Windows 10 will be offered as a free upgrade within the first year of availability to all those who are running Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 on their devices, but the offer is only valid for consumers and not for enterprises.
While some analysts believe that Microsoft might be planning to make the operating system free of charge for enterprises too, new rumors swirling around the web are pointing to a very smart plan that the master head of the software giant has in mind when it comes to make money with the new operating system.
First of all, Windows 10 is going to be a free operating system, right? This means that consumers would get it without paying a single cent, as long as they update from a genuine copy of Windows 7 or Windows 8.1.
On the other hand, manufacturers will still have to pay a fee to install the new software on their devices, be they tablets, laptops, or PCs.
Microsoft is also working to release a more affordable SKU, most likely to be called Windows 10 with Bing, which would come with its search engine set as default, so OEMs could get this either at a lower cost or even free of charge. But not everyone would go for the Bing-branded version of Windows 10.
And yet, there’s another plan on the table that could help Microsoft make even more money.
If Windows 10 becomes free of charge for enterprises too, Microsoft might come up with a strategy that could really help increase its revenues.
BI writes that some high-profile Softies are talking about the possibility of offering Windows 10 at no cost to enterprises, but to charge them for some features, thus pushing the operating system to the freemium business model.
In other words, you can get the core Windows 10 package free of charge, but for additional functionality you have to pay a certain fee. This would obviously appeal to many enterprises out there that could get a Windows version which would better address their needs, without having to pay for additional features that they wouldn’t use.
In one way or another, Windows could become more like Office 365, and this wouldn’t be such a big surprise. Satya Nadella himself has said that Windows is evolving to Windows as a Service, so there’s no doubt that a subscription model has been discussed within the company.
In fact, there were some people who previously indicated that, with Windows 10, Microsoft could also release a SKU called Windows 365 that could be based on the same concept as Office 365 and offer a number of features based on a subscription.
In the meantime, Microsoft denies all these rumors and says that it’s not planning to change the business model for Windows 10, but if the operating system becomes free of charge for everyone, Redmond needs this to bring home the bacon at the end of the day.