Speculation surrounding the possibility of Microsoft introducing a subscription based option for Windows 10 has been doing the rounds for quite some time. We even wrote about it way back in 2014: Subscription Based Windows OS – Is It On The Cards?
Now, it seems, Microsoft has taken the first step in this direction by offering a subscription based Windows 10 option to enterprise consumers. On Tuesday, Microsoft confirmed that it will be offering Windows 10 Enterprise E3, a special enterprise tier of Windows 10, which will cost $7 per user per month.
This makes good sense for enterprise users as it guarantees an always current operating system across the board – no huge upgrade bills – plus a degree of management assistance. It’s a good deal for Microsoft too, not only ensuring that enterprise users are all on the same page but also generating a predictable and perpetual income stream.
The question is, will a similar type of subscription based Windows also be introduced for home users at some time down the track? My guess is that it is quite likely, although purely as an option rather than the only choice. The biggest likely difference being a fee per device rather than per user. I’d also assume that, because it wouldn’t include any sort of management component, the fee for home consumers would be considerably less.
One aspect of a subscription model for home consumers that concerns me is; once the provider (in this case Microsoft) has established a viable user base, what’s to prevent them from increasing the fees.
- At what point does the contract, and by association the terms of the contract, expire and renew?
- What steps will Microsoft take if a user defaults on payment?
This excerpt from the Office 365 subscription terms and conditions:
However, an operating system is a whole different proposition to an Office application.
I am not a fan of subscription based software, never have been and never will be. I, for one, will definitely not be interested in any sort of subscription option. What about you?