I often write about the transition that Microsoft is undergoing and how the world's biggest software maker aims to become a major force in cloud services for its next act. But this strategy's impact on Microsoft's consumer customers is rarely discussed.
The benefits of subscription services are well-understood: For a low monthly or annual cost, you obtain access to some service or goods that would be prohibitively expensive, if not impossible, to buy outright. When the deal is good enough, it's described as a no-brainer. Depending on your needs or wants, Apple's iPhone Upgrade Program, Amazon Prime, and Netflix all fall into this category. (I pay for all three.)