Last week Microsoft announced that its upcoming version of Windows-Windows 10, will be the last version of Windows made. Is Windows going away? Not at all. Microsoft is shifting its model to delivering the operating system as a service. While it may sound different, if you own an Apple iPhone or iPad, you are already familiar with how this works. As a user, you’ll get regular updates to the operating system that change and improve the functionality over time. As with the Apple iOS updates, you’ll most likely be able to choose whether or not to install the update.
What remains to be seen is how Microsoft monetizes this. They’ve already said that users of Windows 7 & 8.1 will get Windows 10 for free in the first year of its release. What about subsequent updates after this? Will they look to control this via compatible hardware such as Apple does? Will they simply start charging an annual fee subscription model to stay current with Windows?
It’s our belief that this is the way things will go-Microsoft will start charging an annual fee for a continuously updated version of Windows. Unlike Apple, which has few hardware versions of its products, Microsoft has a vast amount of devices to ensure compatibility with. Trying to keep up with what hardware is compatible with the current state of Windows would be very challenging. As a result, the subscription model seems to make more sense.
This is all pure speculation of course. At Anchor, we’ll continue to keep you updated as we see things unfold. It will be very interesting to see how this affects the small business and the small business budget!