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Dec
10

With Windows 10, Microsoft could move to a subscription-based model

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Microsoft has indicated that Windows 10, which will be released next year, could move towards a subscription-based model. Instead of going the usual route and buying a perpetual Windows 10 license for $50 to $200, you would instead pay a few dollars per month — and then, as with most subscriptions, you’d get free upgrades when major new versions of Windows come along. Another option might be that you get a basic version of Windows 10 for free, but a subscription would unlock more advanced features — this is the scheme that Microsoft currently uses with its Office for iOS apps.

Speaking at a conference in Arizona, Microsoft’s COO Kevin Turner spoke quite frankly about the rapidly changing tides of the PC market, and how ultimately Microsoft has lost a big chunk of its money-making potential. “The first 39 years of our company, we had one of the greatest business models of all time built around … the Windows client operating system,” said Turner, and then spoke about how Microsoft is pivoting to become a cloud- and devices-oriented company.

Later, Turner was asked about whether Microsoft intends to use Windows 10 as a loss-leader to keep users within the Windows ecosystem, which prompted this very interesting response: We plan to “monetize the lifetime of that customer through services and different add-ons that we’re (going) to be able to incorporate with that solution.” That isn’t quite confirmation that Microsoft is moving Windows 10 to a subscription-based model — but it certainly soundslike subscriptions will play a key role in developing new revenue streams. (Turner said more details about Windows 10 pricing will be available next year.)

 

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