Windows 10 Likely To Go Freemium, Analysts Say

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Remember those rumors a few months back about “Windows as a Service,” an alleged cloud-oriented, subscription-based version of Windows? They’re starting to make more sense.

No, Windows isn’t likely to shift to a full subscription model, at least not for most customers. But based on Microsoft COO Kevin Turner’s recent comments, analysts agree Microsoft will make most versions of Windows 10 free but charge users subscription fees if they want to activate certain features and services.

Microsoft will likely simplify Windows 10 to base, cost-free versions that offer mainstream functionality, said Gartner VP Steve Kleynhans in an email interview. He predicted more expensive Windows editions that enterprises purchase will likely “shift toward a subscription mode, on top of the base product.”

Windows licensing costs often hinder businesses and institutions from adopting the newest versions, Forrester analyst David Johnson told InformationWeek. “Walk around almost any hospital, school or any other cash-strapped organization and count the number of Windows XP machines still in use,” he stated.

“[Microsoft] has to remove every possible barrier to adopting new Windows releases, and the licensing model is one of the very few things entirely within Microsoft’s control.”

Read more: InformationWeek

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