The question which (as far as I know) Microsoft haven't answered is how long Windows 10 will be supported with (at a minimum) security updates and patches.
For instance I am typing this on an old laptop which came with XP and I've upgraded through to 8.1. The OEM already don't support it (there were no Windows 7 drivers published for instance, let alone Windows 8.x). So you could argue it is already past the 'supported life' of the device.
However it runs 8.1 fine and I know that if the hardware keeps working, I should have security updates to 8.1 until 2023.
I suspect Forbes are being pessimistic (and their figures are about accountancy rather than technical support) but still, Microsoft haven't actually answered the question which I and many others will have:
If I upgraded to Windows 10, how long will I be eligible for updates on this laptop?
Honestly at this stage I don't think that the "how long will the support will last" should be an issue since Windows 10 is the last OS that MS will come out with the support will never end,, well as long as there is both a MS company and they have windows.
And Forbes is business publication and not a tech journal. Getting tech information from them is just silly.. IMO.
They have said
But without telling anyone knowing what the 'supported lifetime' of a device means, they leave it open to speculation and articles like the one in the OP. And it could be that for my old laptop (no longer 'supported' by the OEM), I'd get support for longer under Windows 8.1 than Windows 10.Microsoft said:
What the author of the article is blurring is the cost for users who opt for a device upgrade after the 2-4 year time period. Yes,, they will have an additional cost but the vast majority of that will be for the hardware and not Win10, IMO. And he just neglects the fact that not everyone will opt to do that.. upgrade their hardware within 4 years. In that situation they will not incur any additional cost for using WIn10.
Oh God, not that article again. IMHO it's bunk. The 2 to 4 year period is what Microsoft considers to be the life of the device. And is the time frame its using to calculate future revenue. That's all, it has nothing to do with how long the Windows 10 free upgrade will be free. They are projecting future revenue for when all these free upgraded devices die and or are replaced. When they are, Microsoft will then earn income from new Windows sales on the new devices bought as replacements. That's how I read it. The author read something into it that just isn't there.
EDIT: They obviously don't know my buying habits? My devices have all been around a lot longer than 4 years. I don't have the disposable income to replace them that fast.