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Is Microsoft Heading Towards Windows 365?

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Microsoft has shown an almost insane desire to move PC users onto Windows 10. With this being a free upgrade you’d have to wonder why? Could it be the risks that Windows 7 and 8 users expose themselves to by using unpatched operating system software? Could it be that Microsoft is spending too much cash supporting three operating systems? Or is it something else?

There have been  more than a few whispers about Microsoft’s intentions with the Windows platform. After all its doesn’t really promise to be a huge builder of revenue any more. PC sales are getting harder and harder to make, whilst it’s also unlikely that it will see a huge growth in income from those who choose to upgrade after the free period has elapsed.

Some industry experts are seeing this as evidence of the first step along the road to a Office 365-like subscription model for Windows. It seems an altogether too likely scenario given Satya Nadella’s strong focus on the cloud and subscriptions for many other Microsoft products.

Taken even further, I can see a time when Microsoft offers Windows as a client application to access your PC in the Microsoft Azure cloud. The PC on your lap being little more that a remote window on what happens on your cloud based PC. Whereas Windows 10 currently generates just one licensing fee – paid by the OEM to Microsoft – Windows 365 would demand a monthly or annual access fee that kept the cash rolling in.

By getting users off the older, more computer-centric versions of its Windows platforms, Microsoft gains a potentially wider audience for Office 365, whilst also preparing its customer base for a fluid, subscription ownership model for its operating system.

Put like this, it doesn’t seem a far-fetched idea at all.

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