Re: Richard Plinston
Fine. By your own definitions I will also state Windows 10 is free and will always be free. As there are people with the ability to gain it for free and schemes in place to get free copies. Just as it is also paid for by subscription by some and they will always pay for that subscription.
So yes, it is a "global" claim that it is free just as it is a global claim it is charged for.
I'll admit, I'm unsure if it will go "free (as in beer)" just as some Linux distros are, or if it will just be "free (to use)" as Apple do with OSX. That you can argue over with me about. But I'll not take a side on it, I'll wait to see what Microsoft decide (in the consumer space, I have little interest or expertise in the corporate OS industry, but as you say they already do charge a subscription for this).
No stamping of feet here. Just standing steadily on the ground.