Re: Read the whole thing...
> Gotta say I agree with this. Windows 10 free for life - great, I'll take two. Windows 10 free for a year - they can shove it: I'll stick to 7, thank you.
Windows has two uses: work and games: Work Windows gets installed into a VM. Nice for moving it between hardware and, ahem, testing upgrades. Gaming Windows gets W7 or W8. It really doesn't matter two hoots, since Steam is set to start automatically.
There will be consumers who upgrade because it looks like a free upgrade and support is being pulled. That won't be me. Even if MS drops security fixes, it doesn't really matter because I have golden images for Work Windows and Games Windows doesn't browse except to very well known sites, it doesn't deal with email, IM (except Skype). Games Windows can also be re-installed if required. It's no big deal. All my important stuff runs on Linux or OSX.
For Small Biz it will be great to keep paying out for stuff they didn't upgrade for years. I'm sure they'll love it! Not. A lot of these places are not tied into the MS ecosystem. No Exchange or Lync to help drive upgrades. They use gmail and some Word/excel macros to generate invoices. Apps are the thing. Click on the "X" or the "W" or the "E" is all they need.
Medium Biz is probably in the same boat, except that they do have windows server products which drive upgrades, because externally connected servers do need patching. I'm reasonably sure they don't like to upgrade so frequently though and they are price sensitive.
Big biz will carry on as usual. There ain't no upgrades coming through until they've been tested. I'm pretty sure they'll resist because they never really did the 3-year windows-upgrade thing so they won't want a subscription model which is going to double their costs over 5-6 years. They still have to do all the testing so there is no pain-relief for them from MS here. Rolling upgrades won't fly. They won't want to move from 7 to 10 any time soon.
The upshot is, no-one likes upgrades except the vendors. Users like features. Hey Cortana, why is voice control very cool but slower and less reliable than other UI's? Hey Cortana, why is MS tying application features like games streaming to an OS rather than keeping them layered as applications on top of the OS? Why do they think streaming is a killer feature when Steam has been doing it for a while now and, quite frankly, it isn't that useful. Hey Cortana, do most browser-users think browsing is too slow and the reason is their local software?
Don't get me wrong, I suspect W10 will be better than 8.x and will have interesting things in it. I'm just not convinced that most users want to pay for their OS as a service, or indeed that it offers enough to make it worth paying for, again and again and again. Compute as service, storage as a service has had a difficult enough time with dirt-cheap providers. When compute as a service turns out to be more expensive than the other option, it will be a hard sell.
That's assuming it is an option. If MS has saturated their market and looks to increase revenue by charging existing users more, the value proposition begins to look shaky. Upgrade every three years instead of six or nine or twelve and you are seriously increasing your desktop costs. Home users might start looking more seriously at Apple. Lovely to look at, lovely to hold, free upgrades. Hmmm. When great uncle Albert's PC stops working because he didn't know he had to keep paying, some little pip-squeak is going to either replace it with an old mac or a linux installation. Maybe linux running on an old mac.