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Yes, Windows 10 subscriptions are coming, at least for enterprise

Mark Hachman | July 13, 2016
This reveals one way Microsoft plans to monetize Windows, but the company is mum about a consumer version.

Microsoft’s subscription model for Office 365 has been an unqualified success, even extending to non-Windows platforms like Apple’s iOS.

Consumers probably don’t care as much. If Windows Defender were to be turned off or not updated, consumers could turn to a number of free alternatives from Avast, Panda, and others. A more pressing worry would be whether Microsoft would withhold patches and security updates unless consumers paid for them. This seems highly unlikely, given the potential security risks to the platform.

However, Microsoft has clearly stated it will cease patching and updating Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 in the next few years, spurring consumers and enterprises to migrate to its latest platform. Many consumers remain on Windows 7, an OS that launched seven years ago. If Windows 10 is the “last Windows,” will Microsoft continue to support PCs in 2023?

A year ago, Microsoft opened the door to a great deal of speculation on how it would monetize Windows. Microsoft’s new subscription model for enterprises raises those questions once again.

This story was updated at 11:46 AM with comments from Microsoft.


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