Readers may well applaud the focus on the brave strategy of litigating to gain the user's trust – but wonder why Microsoft's continues to use aggressive malware techniques to persuade us to upgrade to Windows 10. Good question. Some consistency here would be welcome, Redmond.
These are both business decisions with, arguably, good reasons behind both.
By focusing on being a trusted cloud provider, is a very good call and aside from being a key sales point in Microsoft's favour, should also help to improve the entire hosted services (cloud) market.
Windows 10, despite a lot of annoyances (in particular with patchy upgrades and the horrible default security options), is a change of tactic by Microsoft in response to a very real market change, namely that Operating Systems are now just commodity enablers and the value is no longer in the OS itself as it's in the services and applications that run on it. Does the average comsumer or computer user really give that much of a stuff as to what Operating System their computer happens to run on? No, they just want to access certain applications, or types of applications, which for the vast majority of users are a web browser and a word processor of some form and it's useful to note that more and more the word processor is accessed through a web browser. There are exceptions of course, but these are more down to specific requirements such as applications that only run on a given Operating System or even version of the Operating System, largely games and specialist software. So from Microsoft's point of view, the value isn't in the OS, it's in what sits on top of it and in how they can help steer users towards Microsoft's offerings rather than alternatives. If the value of the OS is reducing and the enhancements that can be delivered as part of OS updates are diminishing, then why would users even care to upgrade? They won't, for example the distaste of upgrading from Windows XP onwards as in general user terms the previous OS did what they required. This leaves Microsoft tying to implement their services on a fragmented and messy OS base, which is far from ideal particularly how in the past they have intentionally intermingled application and OS features. Support five different end point OSes or just one? It's an easy choice and I'd make the same call. Getting consumers to upgrade to this OS is a different matter, although my prediction is that after the free upgrade period is over MS will seriously consider extending it "for goodwill reasons", the time pressure of the current fixed date for free upgrades will ensure that a large base of installed users are in place by then and the rest will tend to want to keep up with the masses.