back to article You can buy Windows 10 Enterprise E3 access for the price of a coffee

Microsoft is moving into new as-a-service pricing and bundling territory with the full-fat version of Windows 10 Enterprise. Today Redmond announced it is releasing Windows 10 Enterprise E3, which would normally be reserved for big operations and sold via Microsoft's volume-purchase programs, at a price of $7 per seat per …

  1. azaks

    you pay 7 bucks for a coffee?

    didn't I pick the wrong industry to be in...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: you pay 7 bucks for a coffee?

      There is no way I am paying MS for a subscription to any Windows seat. No effing way.

      We have a few Win7 workstations left and no plans to to replace them when they go down. The rest of the staff and entire production floor are running Linux workstations with Open Source office software that costs us 0 to run. All but three servers are running Linux and those have planned phase outs next year.

      Fortunately, we have an IT Manager who saw this coming five years ago and convinced me to act back then. Can't tell you how many times we've been screwed over with MS patches and just eliminating that cost was worth going down the Linux road. I won't lie, it was a bumpy road at first, but we're on the Autobahn now. Best part, no tolls.

      1. Preston Munchensonton

        Re: you pay 7 bucks for a coffee?

        The rest of the staff and entire production floor are running Linux workstations with Open Source office software that costs us 0 to run.

        Obvious, you mean that there's zero license costs to run. There are still support costs, energy costs, hardware costs, etc., some of which would be equal and some not so much.

        Most every Linux deployment to replace Windows has come with higher initial support costs. The question is whether those costs drop over time. With some forward-thinking design, the answer should undoubtedly be yes, but unfortunately support costs never seem to factor into estimates of TCO until it's too late.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Preston

          "Most every Linux deployment to replace Windows has come with higher initial support costs."

          But was that caused by Linux or the way the transition has been set up? I think the latter. Thing is: a lot of people allow bias and personal preference to slip in, sometimes right up to a point where it becomes ridiculous. Another important question: in which area did the replacement take place?

          We replaced all our Windows (2k3) servers with FreeBSD and yeah: it is absolutely true that the transition itself wasn't free. It took time (which amounts to money), it took re-training of some admins and we also replaced some hardware. Oh; our backup policies also had to be redone because of ZFS.

          But I can't recognize our situation in your story at all. We didn't have to deal with higher support costs: our end users didn't even understand what all the commotion in the IT department was all about. They had no clue that they suddenly were using completely different machines. It was just business as usual for them. Some even called us a bit crazy because of it :)

          Sure; this becomes different when we're talking desktop replacement, I can see that. But that's not what you said up there. But higher initial support costs per definition? It doesn't have to be that way.

          1. DainB Bronze badge

            Re: @Preston

            Yes, servers. The things noone but systems administrators care about.

            Not try same for desktops.

        2. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

          Re: you pay 7 bucks for a coffee?

          Properly managed transitions from Windows are not that difficult. The key is to get users to realize they are not using Winbloat. The other OS will do somethings similarly and others somewhat differently. The same is true of the applications. In both cases, showing the users what to expect and realizing they will have lots of questions initially will help smooth over the rough spots.

          BTW, the same is true when switch versions from Slurp.

          The short term transition looks only at the transition costs while a longer term view looks at transition, licensing, and support costs. Many excellent Linux distros have no licensing costs at all. Support costs are often lower since much more can done in house; one does have the source code. Long term, the overall costs often favor Linux.

          1. DainB Bronze badge

            Re: you pay 7 bucks for a coffee?

            I call bullshit on that. Maybe your average beancounter does not know or cares about difference between Windows 10 and Gnome but try to replace their Excel spreadsheets with Calc and ask rewrite all macros in totally different language and you will very soon know what exactly the costs of transition are.

            1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

              Re: you pay 7 bucks for a coffee?

              May I ask why your incompetent bean counter is using a macro and has them enabled? One of the best known attack vectors is Office macros. Macros are an idea that is like Flash, something must die.

              1. DainB Bronze badge

                Re: you pay 7 bucks for a coffee?

                Serious question - under which rock you're living in a yankland ?

                Excel is a swiss knife type tool every accountant knows on a level you would not master in years. By the way that's exactly same accountant that can easily quantify loss of productivity from switching to new "free" piece of junk and I can safely guarantee you that it will be few orders of magnitude more than $7.

                Your only hope after that is management won't notice that 3.5 inch USB drive you brought Libre office on as it would cause significant pain on both ways in and out of your dumb ass. So you'll be better off using USB sticks.

                1. Nevermind

                  Re: you pay 7 bucks for a coffee?

                  And let's not forget the horde of desk squatters in big uk biz that use excel-as-word-form, excel-as-gannt-chart, excel-as-document/report. Get them to use the appropriate software package is nigh impossible now, let alone tell them to use libre writer.

                2. John Sanders
                  Windows

                  Re: you pay 7 bucks for a coffee?

                  >> By the way that's exactly same accountant that can easily quantify loss of productivity from switching to new "free" piece of junk and I can safely guarantee you that it will be few orders of magnitude more than $7.

                  I know quite a few competent accountants who had a look at Calc and their opinion is that they could work with it just fine, most of the "real" problems nowadays steam from having to make small changes here and there as some functions do not work exactly the same.

                3. Paul Crawford Silver badge

                  Re: @DainB

                  "Excel is a swiss knife type tool every accountant knows on a level you would not master in years."

                  Very true, but why do people assume that a general migration to Linux means EVERYTHING must be Linux?

                  In my own limited experience, most folk are happy with Linux for many things, and the few business-critical programs you really must have can often be run in a VM of Windows. Said VM can be minimal, have limited network access, and generally is a very secure way of doing things (given that a lot of smart malware avoids running in VMs to evade analysis).

                  Sure it is an extra training step for those users, but my 75 year old and largely computer-illiterate father was able to master VM use for a specific genealogy program. I'm sure your accountants, etc, would manage it fine if given a couple of minutes tuition and a cheat-sheet of things to remember.

                4. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
                  Facepalm

                  Re: you pay 7 bucks for a coffee?

                  Excel is a swiss knife type tool every accountant knows on a level you would not master in years.

                  Yes, the blood stains and finger pieces in the accounting sector show that this is the case!

                  88% of spreadsheets have errors

                  Excel: A bad idea, implemented badly, used badly by herd mentality people who want to have nothing to do with "programming" and actually believe fitting complex dataflow logic into a harebrained 2D schema with hidden and impenetrable interrelations (and design faults galore) is ABSOLUTELY NOT PROGRAMMING.

              2. taxythingy

                Re: you pay 7 bucks for a coffee?

                Really?

                Set group policy to disable them but allow override.

                I have two macros that are used several times a day. They both turn 2-3 minute click-fest, multi-workbook jobs into alt-f8, tab, enter.

                Estimate 10 minutes a day, 150 days per year with more consistency and fewer errors. 25 hours a year over three years and counting. That's worth a lot to me and my group.

                If you want to make sweeping generalisations, go join a retentive H&S team.

            2. John Sanders
              Linux

              Re: you pay 7 bucks for a coffee?

              If you refuse to learn, test, and re-test yes the cost wills bite back in your ass and rip it off.

              A competent migration will look at these issues and if required keep a number of workstations running windows, or wine, or VMs or whatever is required to keep the business working.

              Linux is not Windows, if you have to learn anything at all that is the most important thing you are going to learn.

              If you insist on Linux being 1:1 with Windows you are in for disappointment and failure, it does not work like that.

              Linux is in what "I call the creeping in" phase, it is steadily replacing boxes here and there, first is an email relay, then is a proxy, the terminal server (text terminal server), the router is running Linux, minor databases are running now on MySQL/Postgress, random appliance runs Linux (or BSD), etc.

              It is a matter of time...

            3. TonyJ Silver badge

              Re: you pay 7 bucks for a coffee?

              "...I call bullshit on that. Maybe your average beancounter does not know or cares about difference between Windows 10 and Gnome but try to replace their Excel spreadsheets with Calc and ask rewrite all macros in totally different language and you will very soon know what exactly the costs of transition are..."

              Not just macros but plugins.

              Anyone that's worked in the public sector will know they often rely heavily on them. And not just limited to Excel.

          2. TonyJ Silver badge

            Re: you pay 7 bucks for a coffee?

            "...Properly managed transitions from Windows are not that difficult..."

            To be fair, I don't believe being difficult was mentioned. The point is, that it isn't free.

        3. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: you pay 7 bucks for a coffee?

          "Most every Linux deployment to replace Windows has come with higher initial support costs."

          We've been running a mixed environment for nearly 20 years

          80% of the desktop support load is generated by windows (and MS services such as live.outlook.com) despite only being 15-20% of the fleet.

          On servers, the 2 windows servers (software which can't be ported) generate about half as much support load as the rest of the fleet combined (30-odd systems)

          Windows requires a disproportionate amount of support load.

      2. depicus

        Re: you pay 7 bucks for a coffee?

        I haven't installed a Windows server for about 4 years, I much prefer Linux for servers now and I like to make a small donation each month to an open source project with the money we save from paying for licensing so a win all round.

      3. azaks

        Re: you pay 7 bucks for a coffee?

        Why is it not possible to have a single article that mentions microsoft or windows without some moron (or group of morons) telling us that they have either stopped or are planning to stop using it?

        I had Weetbix for breakfast - do you think anybody fucking cares or I would bother posting about it? FFS...

        1. hplasm Silver badge
          Gimp

          Re: you pay 7 bucks for a coffee?

          "Why is it not possible to have a single article...waaaaa."

          Said a windows moron.

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: you pay 7 bucks for a coffee?

          "Why is it not possible to have a single article that mentions microsoft or windows without some moron (or group of morons) telling us that they have either stopped or are planning to stop using it?"

          Have you stopped to think why? Maybe you should start from considering the possibility that they're not morons and then carry on by asking yourself what it tells you about their experiences with Microsoft & Windows.

        3. Patrician
          Facepalm

          Re: you pay 7 bucks for a coffee?

          I agree, as soon as there is any article that is about, or even mentions, Windows you see the Linux evangelists posing here about how wonderful everything in the garden is since they moved to Linux. How they never have to support anyone anymore, how they never, ever crash or reboot. How their Linux machines turn their water into Wine for them every morning, and how there's never been a rainy day since.

          1. david bates

            Re: you pay 7 bucks for a coffee?

            Actually my Linux server has crashed several times in the last couple of weeks trying to copy terabytes of data onto a NTFS volume.

            Mind you, none of my Linux machines has ever ground to a complete halt, and required a reboot only for me to find that this was just a cunning trick to install an updated which, despite apparently being 100% complete, took the best part of an hour. Windows 10 has done that twice in 4 weeks on my work machine.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: you pay 7 bucks for a coffee?

        That's good. I also like working with Linux. Anything but that marketing shit from Microsoft. But truth is that Linux and it's free software is often buggy, dated, incomplete with poor hardware support sometimes (always has been). Sure it's usable, it's better than a decade ago, but it's not there yet. OSX is too expensive.

  2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    The outcome is a simpler approach to ensuringlock in customers have the technology they need to run a secure and productive enterprise and enable their digital transformation.

    FTFY

  3. Swarthy Silver badge

    And so it begins

    $7 a month, that's cheap! Until you realize that you'll be paying that $84 per year, every year. That is $252 for the OS alone, over the (industry standard 3-year) life of an enterprise computer.

    Who could have seen this coming?! (Answer: All of us.)

    1. Tezfair
      WTF?

      Re: And so it begins

      "$7 a month, that's cheap! Until you realize that you'll be paying that $84 per year, every year. That is $252 for the OS alone, over the (industry standard 3-year) life of an enterprise computer."

      Don't forget that's per user per year. Multiple that by the number of users that use the same computer and it's going to get a whole lot dearer.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And so it begins

      That $7 a month is only the introductory offer and is certain to rise as soon as enough people are locked in.

      I wouldn't be at all surprised if it went up to $27 a month when all the 'features' are added.

      1. Peter2 Silver badge

        Re: And so it begins

        $84, or £63 per year for one user. Or £79 for a grade B (scratched) refurbished computer with a years warrenty and a perpetual Win7 Pro MAR license.

        Now I can see the attraction of a subscription model for office, that makes sense if you have been reusing a really old office VLK and want to move up from Office 2003/2007 but can't afford to buy several dozen/hundred office licenses. There, a subscription model genuinely makes sense.

        . . . but Windows is not something that people actually want. We just need it, because you have to have something to run other software on. Are they actually mad in thinking that we are going to pay £189 for three years of using software so bad that you then have to spend about that again on security software for it?

        If they expect to sell any at that price then I expect to see something useful that i'd want bundled with it.

        1. Malcolm Weir Silver badge

          Re: And so it begins

          I think it's common in smaller businesses that horrible mismatches of OS versions proliferate. For example, because the previous individuals allegedly "in charge of" such things were incompetent and/or naive and/or dumb, I have a user population using an unholy mix of XP (yes), Win7 Home Premium (Huh?), Win 7 Pro, Win 7 Ultimate, Win 10 Home and Win 10 Pro. Plus various Linuxes, but they don't count for this point.

          Now, if I can lease Win 10 Pro for (say) my Win 7 Home and Win 10 Home users I can concentrate on replacing the oldest machines (the XP ones), getting a standard Win 10 Pro license as part of the deal, while postponing the need to pay $200 for a Win 10 Pro license for the others. In a year or so, I'll replace the machines that I had leased the OS for, and I'll be happy without large spikes in my CapEx budget.

          Sure, my chaos may not be common, but for me, this is an interesting option!

        2. DainB Bronze badge

          Re: And so it begins

          "Are they actually mad in thinking that we are going to pay £189 for three years of using software so bad that you then have to spend about that again on security software for it?"

          The only one who is mad is person who thinks that retraining users would be cheaper than $7 per user per month. In reality loss of productivity will be more that 100 times of that.

          Hell, I'd even offer to pay it out of my pocket is I was given choice between Windows and Mac/Linux.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: And so it begins

            "Hell, I'd even offer to pay it out of my pocket is I was given choice between Windows and Mac/Linux."

            That's generous. But what would you pay out of your own pocket when one of your business's customers comes along and wants to know why you've put personal data about him on computers, maybe in the US, that you don't control and he wants to see you in court about it?

            1. DainB Bronze badge

              Re: And so it begins

              I don't have anyone from Northern Korea as my business customers.

              Regarding everything else you mentioned - get your facts straight or go buy roll of tin foil in cooking section of your local supermarket.

          2. John Sanders
            Holmes

            Re: And so it begins

            >>Hell, I'd even offer to pay it out of my pocket is I was given choice between Windows and Mac/Linux.

            No, you wont.

          3. no-one in particular

            Re: And so it begins

            >The only one who is mad is person who thinks that retraining users would be cheaper than

            > $7 per user per month. In reality loss of productivity will be more that 100 times of that.

            Because Windows never changes from release to release so the re-training costs for that are zero?

          4. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

            " In reality loss of productivity will be more that 100 times of that."

            When will Microsoft Online Reputation Managers stop spouting this nonsense[1]? This and "Linux is only cheaper if your time has no value" actually works AGAINST Microsoft. Windows requires more support than, for example, Mint, and Libreoffice is easier to use than the current version of MS Office. This is not my opinion this is my observation, having seen both sides in action.

            [1] Never, I'm guessing...

        3. chris 17 Bronze badge

          Re: And so it begins

          Many would happily pay £30 per month for a new laptop with latest Windows, office and AV pre installed with a remote support and return to base wrap around. That for 3 years on a £1k laptop wouldn't be too bad.

          How many small businesses would jump at that. Don't forget it'll be tax deductable.

    3. Xamol
      FAIL

      Re: And so it begins

      Read the article. If you're going to bash Microsoft, at least do it with a fact based argument...

      "Take a step back to last week. Microsoft renamed its Enterprise Cloud Suite as Secure Productive Enterprise E3 while also announcing Secure Productive Suite E5.

      The former includes Office 365 and Enterprise Mobility + Security E3 with Windows 10 Enterprise. Mobility + Security E3 is the old Enterprise Mobility Suite, also renamed, and includes mobile sync, security and device management."

      HINT: There's more than just the OS for $7 per month.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: And so it begins

        "HINT: There's more than just the OS for $7 per month."

        Yes, there's holding data on someone else's computers, for all you know outside the jurisdiction and a whole lot of legal complications as that mess matures.

        1. Xamol

          Re: And so it begins

          "Yes, there's holding data on someone else's computers, for all you know outside the jurisdiction and a whole lot of legal complications as that mess matures."

          Have you read about Enterprise Mobility? Please point me to the bit that says you have to store data offsite let alone, in a specified jurisdiction. You do get cloud based single sign-on but it looks like even that has a choice of multiple datacentres.

          It might not be popular to defend Microsoft but some of the comments on here are pure FUD.

          For $7 per month, you get and OS, Office 365 (like it or not this is the de facto standard for business), device management and enterprise security. If you're in the Microsoft ecosystem (happily or otherwise), it doesn't seem like too bad a deal.

  4. Bottle_Cap

    In best B5 voice... and so it begins...

    1. Aqua Marina
      Alien

      In best Kosh voice... and so it begins...

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qYbVQu7YAQ

      (Alien icon cos they don't have a jelly fish one)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Obligtory XKCD!

        No, wait.... Let's try that again:- Obligatory XKCD.

  5. King Jack
    Trollface

    Let the Slurp defenders begin..

    I cannot wait to read their take on this one. "It's great value, it's really cheap, What subscription?"

  6. Erik4872

    Aaaaand, welcome to Windows subscriptions!

    I know all the accounting tricks say that OpEx is better than CapEx, but I still say it's totally retarded to pay a company for the same service, over and over again in small pieces, rather than buy it outright and use it forever. Look how long big companies stuck with Office 97 and Office 2003! They paid $xx once and used the software for 10+ years in some cases.

    I did see this coming though - Microsoft is signing absolutely everyone up for Office 365 and is in the process of becoming every company's auxilliary (or sometimes primary) data center for a low low fee per month. The Home and Pro users get Windows 10 "free" but Enterprise users are going to have to pay, Creative Cloud style, until the end of time.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Aaaaand, welcome to Windows subscriptions!

      Still running Office XP (2002) and it still running great on Windows 7 Professional. Glad I bought it as a product & not a subscription (if such had been available back then) saving myself a lot of money. If Microsoft ever stops activating my legitimate copy I'll put out the Office 2000 Suite I previously bought which only requires a Product Key...no authorization required, before I subscribe to Office365

  7. Thatguyfromthatforum

    How long until they start charging by bit of data accessed from their "cloud service"?

    1. Dwarf Silver badge

      @Thatguyfromthatforum

      I think you will find that most cloud providers already do !

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Question Remains....

    Why bother?

    1. John 104

      Re: The Question Remains....

      Legacy apps used to be the reason to keep with Windows. not so much any more. This will be the death of Windows in the enterprise. Give it 10 years and people will be saying, "remember when we used to run windows?"

      1. Preston Munchensonton
        Thumb Up

        Re: The Question Remains....

        Legacy apps used to be the reason to keep with Windows. not so much any more. This will be the death of Windows in the enterprise. Give it 10 years and people will be saying, "remember when we used to run windows?"

        @John 104, couldn't agree more. I've been recommending to clients for the last several years that they should focus strongly on web-based application wherever feasible to eliminate the need to only support one type of user. The advent of the iPhone in 2007 is really the impetus to make this push happen and the sooner the better for almost everyone involved.

        1. Gary 24

          Re: The Question Remains....

          The problem is most corporate web apps are still activex, flash or some horrible Java monster... We are forced to use ADP for our payroll, they recommend a "modern" browser of IE7,8,9 or 10 no other browser works.,. Horrific.

          1. James 51 Silver badge

            Re: The Question Remains....

            We use Java in my department. We support several hundred people and most of our stuff is used by small groups so never had to test it scaled but we've never had any problems.

          2. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

            Re: The Question Remains....

            Of flash, activeX, and Java only one is Winbloat only (activeX) and I believe server side. Flash is (sort of) cross platform. Java is cross platform. The problem with Imbecile Explorer only sites is the more likely they coded the HTML/CSS/Javascript to use Imbecile Explorer only screwups instead of coding vanilla HTML/CSS/Javascript to work with any browser both current and future. Mostly this happened because some very dim PHB demanded this.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The Question Remains....

        Windows will be a glorified DOSBox, you launch it once in a while to take a nostalgia trip running all those timeless classics.

        Because most modern apps are web-centric and platform agnostic, Windows is optional (and irrelevant on mobile).

    2. DainB Bronze badge

      Re: The Question Remains....

      Because if you have more than 100 desktops to manage, as typical subscribers of Enterprise version do, you would pay literally any money to get anything even remotely comparable to SCCM or AD on your Windows-disabled PCs. And you will fail, because there's no such product.

      Of course some artistic* people will claim right now that Linux desktop works for them and Mint is the best thing created in the whole Universe, thing is - your experience does not scale.

      *s/ar/au/

      1. John Sanders
        Linux

        Re: The Question Remains....

        ""you would pay literally any money to get anything even remotely comparable to SCCM or AD on your Windows-disabled PCs. And you will fail, because there's no such product.""

        No, all you need to do is focus on "what I need these workstations to do", not on what AD or SCCM can do.

        See the issue is that you know how to use SCCM and AD, but nothing else, SCCM and AD make sense to you, but anything else you come across you instinctively just run a checklist comparison and of course on Windows any MS solution wins.

        You remind me of someone I had to show that you can have ACLs on Linux that behave like on Windows, not twice but four times, and his argument in the end was that it wasn't as sophisticated as on Windows. The point that you could achieve exactly the same functionality was of no value to him.

        Think that perhaps your issue is that you do not know how to do something in Linux (and any other platform) and not necessarily that Linux can't do that.

        The only area where Linux lacks is if you are locked-in With a MS only technology, office documents, Exchange PIM (for email Exchange is a bad joke) or Windows-only applications.

        One thing that I find funny is when people confuse what you can do with Shell scripts in Linux with what's possible on Windows (even with powershell) and conclude that because you have to write scripts the platform is of lesser value (tip is totally the contrary).

        1. hattivat

          Re: The Question Remains....

          First, my credentials: At home I use a systemd-less installation of Arch Linux with i3 tiling window manager. I love it and consider it vastly superior to anything M$ could ever offer.

          And though it pains me to say it, AD is still lightyears ahead of any *nix alternative I've ever seen. The reason is very simple - *nix solutions typically assume that the people using them are intelligent. You simply cannot afford to make such an assumption in an enterprise setting - unless you are an elitist Silicon Valley corporation, at least half of your employees are guaranteed to be dim, including half of your IT dept. And the time of your brighter IT folks is simply too precious to be devoted to solving banal issues raised by idiots, so you need to have dim IT people support dim business employees, and for that AD is perfect.

          "and conclude that because you have to write scripts the platform is of lesser value (tip is totally the contrary)"

          It is of vastly lesser value because you need competent people to do that, and competent people are in short supply. Especially in the enterprise, since for some strange reason intelligent people tend to avoid boring dead-end jobs in painfully bureaucratic organizations unless forced by circumstances.

        2. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: The Question Remains....

          ACLs are fine for a few machines, now go and manage a few hundred geographically dispersed systems...

          There are reasons why tools such as SCCM and AD exist; Systems configuration and management tools also exist for Unix/Linux - I used one back in circa 1989 for the management of 6000+ systems.

          The real issue with Unix/Linux is that you generally have to go and look for these tools, rather than simply browse the MS resources. Plus the Unix/Linux tools cost compared to the MS management tools due to then not being cross-subsidised from the sales of other products.

          1. John Sanders
            Linux

            Re: The Question Remains....

            >>> ACLs are fine for a few machines, now go and manage a few hundred geographically dispersed systems...

            No one has said that ACLs is how you manage a few hundred geographically dispersed systems.

            >>> There are reasons why tools such as SCCM and AD exist; Systems configuration and management tools also exist for Unix/Linux - I used one back in circa 1989 for the management of 6000+ systems.

            No one is saying there is no reason for these to exist, or that they are not justified, although Linux exists since the early nineties (1991).

            >>> The real issue with Unix/Linux is that you generally have to go and look for these tools, rather than simply browse the MS resources. Plus the Unix/Linux tools cost compared to the MS management tools due to then not being cross-subsidised from the sales of other products.

            The issue you are referring to is that you use an operating system called "Windows" which is produced by a company called "Microsoft", and are arguing that you like the Windows + Microsoft tools to manage workstations better than the equivalent tools on the Linux ecosystem, tools that you're unaware of or have never used.

            I'm not going to argue that, I will simply note again some details most Windows chaps ignore.

            In a Linux environment it is not a problem to have a designated server running some kind of service taking control of other machines, down to any level of detail you need. Making a computer do something remotely is as native to Linux as it is to click on the start menu in Windows.

            AD is nothing but LDAP+Kerberos, DNS and DHCP in pre-configured form (yes and the GPOS and another myriad of components that do not work as well as most people think), any Linux person worth its salt is capable of setting these up and tailor them. Whether it is easier to do in Windows with MS's tools, or if there are enough Linux people out there to do that customisation in Linux, is part of another discussion.

            Once the time is right and demand is there, Linux distros will provide easy point and click tools to leverage those services in a palatable form (add water and stir) to Windows sysadmins IE: IPA.

            The biggest challenge Windows sysadmins face when setting up infrastructure is their lack of knowledge to separate services into components, and distinguish when an issue is platform or protocol specific, plus an annoying insistence on doing everything the MS way (which is usually the worst way even in Windows).

            Example; I have seen people join Linux web-servers to AD and painstakingly modify Apache to run under the domain account, something that may have some purpose in Windows, but doesn't serve much purpose at all in Linux. I could go on and on.

            1. Roland6 Silver badge

              Re: The Question Remains....

              and are arguing that you like the Windows + Microsoft tools to manage workstations better than the equivalent tools on the Linux ecosystem

              Not quite, I was pointing out that doing stuff the Microsoft way is easy, just as doing stuff the IBM way was easy if you were an IBM site. Unix/Linux requires people to get up and make an effort to go looking... Hence why having a company such as RedHat having their own SCCM and AD equivalent offering isn't such a bad thing.

        3. DainB Bronze badge

          Re: The Question Remains....

          "Think that perhaps your issue is that you do not know how to do something in Linux (and any other platform) and not necessarily that Linux can't do that."

          Just stop the BS and name at least one product designed to manage Linux workstations. No, Novell does not do it properly or rather at all, neither likes of Puppet.

  9. Geoffrey W Silver badge

    What I want to know...

    The thing I really want to know, but haven't yet been able to discern, is what happens if you stop paying the subscription?

    Does the installation stop working completely and refuse to boot?

    Does it stop being updated and does it still work as an OS?

    If it stops being updated but still works then does it receive security fixes?

    I don't really need an enterprise version, so what will it be like for pro, or even home, versions?

    And finally, how is it going to work for OEM versions that come with a bought PC?

    Surely subscriptions cannot work in all situations? No matter how hard I hit myself over the head to dull my senses I cannot believe they would be so silly to try that?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What I want to know...

      Why not, AV companies supply their software with a trial period and then want subscriptions. The software still works after the trial but no security updates.

      They could also take the view that to have many machines unpatched could be a security risk and disable the OS until subscription starts again.

      I agree it may not be a wise decision for MS to do the same but there is nothing stopping them.

      Interesting times ahead.

      1. Geoffrey W Silver badge

        Re: What I want to know...

        AV software isn't the same as operating system. Stop using AV and its not that big a deal to put on a different AV. Swapping out an OS is much more problematic.

        This subscription model is an alternative to the current licensing system for enterprise systems. That seems perhaps viable as an alternative for enterprise licensing, but I really cant see it being an option for home and OEM systems, not even if the subscription was micro. There's no advantage except for the vendor. I can't see them doing it; not if they have any sense left in their collective heads. Who's holding breath and waiting these days though?

    2. John Sanders
      Windows

      Re: What I want to know...

      >> Surely subscriptions cannot work in all situations?

      Congratulations on the purchase of your secured boot new PC, you have 30 days to comply, we mean to activate your Windows subscription, we mean license, if you fail to comply, we mean activate your license your OS will be able to use only 2GB of RAM and you will be subjected to ADs, also your shiny new 3D card will run at half the speed, we mean won't perform at full speed.

      And so on, if I can imagine it, the new MS can imagine it too, years in advance.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A very growing concern though...

    Is if what you're buying into will remain the same over all those years of usage.

    I think I can answer this myself when looking at Office 365: It won't. Although Microsoft probably won't call it a major upgrade I'm pretty sure those are going to happen. And thanks to them whacking TechNet there's no other option for you than to get 2 licenses so that you can maintain a test environment. If you don't then I'm sure that you'll end up taking some major risks over time. After all: not every upgrade will have the intended result, especially not when major changes get applied.

    In conclusion consumers will end up paying more for a lot less service (and control) in return. It may look cheap at first: but look carefully. You're basically selling your control over the system away, that's where your "discount" comes into play.

    What are you going to do when you find out that Microsoft plans to implement a feature which you really, really, really do not want to have because it will end up hindering you? Decide not to upgrade? You're assuming you'll still have a choice in the matter. Look at how they enforced Win10.

    1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: A very growing concern though...

      One of my major concerns with any subscription is there a viable option for me if it lapses. For some applications, say IntelliJ, there are viable options (Netbeans, Eclipse). For Photoshop, there again are several viable options. There are even options for Office365; some free and some commercial. With any OS you are locked into its ecosystem and subscription lapse could be a disaster.

  11. Ted's Toy

    Cash shortage ?

    One of possibly both using this service would have a cash flow problem or a shortage of the readies. Leasing anything is only for the financially stressed organization as if some one is leasing you something it is to their advantage and your disadvantage. They are making a profit by leasing it and you are loosing. If it was profitable for the to lease, rent it it conversely it is a loss to the other party.

    Bullsh*t by salesmen and marketers can always get the gullible the naive etc.

    1. DainB Bronze badge

      Re: Cash shortage ?

      "rent it it conversely it is a loss to the other party"

      Unless it's immaterial thing, say, dunno, such as software maybe ? You know, the one that can be created out of thin air without any efforts to produce another copy.

    2. hplasm Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Cash shortage ?

      Masochists will always find the money to get themselves abused. See the fanboi posts above...

  12. energystar
    Childcatcher

    For an OS impulse buy to work...

    Installing it should be as easy as installing an image over a common core boot.

    BIOS>Firmware>Bootware should be separated from OS.

  13. dan1980

    I find this particularly interesting and, as with nearly all MS decisions over the last several years, it is part of their long-term plan to push their users into the the products and options that meet Microsoft's business plans, rather than those of the users.

    Imagine you are a smallish business running Windows 8.1 Professional, with your PCs joined to a domain and managed by GPOs but not WSUS, as you don't have the resources to review and test patches. So, some PCs get the upgrade to Windows 10 and it's decided by management that they want to be on the latest OS so everyone gets upgraded to Windows 10 Professional during the free period. Fine, whatever.

    But, one of your GPOs is set to disable the Windows Store and then one day the PCs get a new Windows 10 update and suddenly your GPO no longer works because Microsoft has decided to remove that option from Professional, confining it to the Enterprise license only.

    You could get Enterprise but that's a big cost and requires license agreements that are out of your range.

    Well, lucky Microsoft have a handy solution for you now . . .

    And at that point you realise that MS have engineering their offerings and policies with the effect that you have to pay them a monthly fee to be able to control your own PCs.

    1. John Sanders
      Windows

      The new MS

      >> And at that point you realise that MS have engineering their offerings and policies with the effect that you have to pay them a monthly fee to be able to control your own PCs.

      But... But.. But it is all rainbows coming out of the mouth of Nadella, the new MS and all.

  14. 404 Silver badge
    Boffin

    meh, you folks...

    Do you know how to cure the Windows/Linux heebie jeebies?

    Won't strictly be true, but tell the users it's Android - here are your apps.

    Whether IOS, Android, or Windows biased, the users will say 'ok', and use it forevermore. Can you shop Amazon on it? Email? Docs? Done.

  15. ben_myers

    Per month?

    Per month? Oh, crap!

  16. ben_myers

    Windows 10 as a subscription

    I saw this coming with the original Windows 10 is free announcement. And I had my naysayers, who tut-tutted me. Well, here it is, certainly for enterprises, large corporations, governments.

    Will the next announcement be Windows 10 subscriptions for those of us unwashed and not part of some large volume licensing deal? Stay tuned!

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Windows 10 as a subscription

      Will the next announcement be Windows 10 subscriptions for those of us unwashed and not part of some large volume licensing deal? Stay tuned!

      Suspect the natural step will be to reduced the functionality of Win10 Free to a similar level to Windows 7 Starter but with the advertising capabilities of Office Starter added in. Hence this becomes the new OEM version of Windows. Then all other versions of Windows only need to be distributed via MS controlled subscription downloads.

  17. Joe Harrison

    Don't buy a phone

    These young ones tell me you don't have to rent your telephone handset from the GPO any more. Bah no, does not make sense when you can rent it for only six shillings a week.

  18. Tim 11

    "...customers whose own IT support is thin on the ground"

    Good luck to them - you don't know the meaning of the words "support is thin on the ground" until you've tried office 365 support.

    If you want sympathy from fellow disgruntled users, you'll get plenty of that, but expect things to work properly and you're in for a shock.

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