Windows 10 about to become a subscription product


New developments appear to confirm this:

Microsoft is finally going to start charging for Windows 10 subscriptions, providing only the most basic features for free. Anyone who wants more than bare-bones functionality will have to pay. Windows 10 is already a broken, unstable mess, so instead of fixing it MS will now make new features exclusive to subscribers? This is nothing more than an outrageous cash-grab and should mark of the end of Windows as a consumer product.

Comments (25)

25 responses to “Windows 10 about to become a subscription product”

  1. willc

    This will be a huge boon for Chromebooks and I can't wait to see how Google moves to capture the PC market. For typical consumers that want a laptop but can't afford a Mac, Windows isn't going to be an option anymore.

  2. bbold

    I say as long as MS makes Windows X (Lite) a great product, I'm all for slimming it down and charging for extra stuff (bloatware.) Most of that extra stuff is what they did in the past with the different editions of Windows, things which used to be free that suddenly they bundled as enterprise or ultimate editions. (Most of that crap was unused by the general public, anyhow.) I'm fine with this. Most consumers just need to write in Word and surf the web, anyhow! Enterprise (businesses) can afford to pay for whatever. MS needs to slim down its products, anyhow, and work on integrating real additions to things like Mail and Edge.


  3. gregsedwards

    The article says nothing about Windows becoming a paid subscription service, merely that they could start delivering experience updates using the app model as opposed to part of the OS. Basically, it just gives Microsoft the flexibility to roll out new experiences without requiring a full-blown OS version update. Seems like a win-win to me.


    Not to long ago we did pay for it. Have we forgotten when we have to buy it as well as Microsoft Office Products and have a key that we had to key in to register it? Even when it came with installed with our computers and laptops we still paid for it. Then came the free upgrade to Windows 10 (free) then Windows as-a-service. This seems to be a progression here...

  5. agneswang

    From the charge of some apps like Windows DVD Player in Windows 10, it's a matter of time, sooner or later.

  6. madthinus

    This is one possible outcome. The other is that certain features is only turned on and delivered via the store when needed. That reduces the base OS and also the bloat. I can see things like the Mixed reality stuff fall into this category, also driver applets for specific hardware. The current Windows feature Turn off / on interface is dated and all that code is shipped on the disk. You don't save anything by turning things off.

  7. Lordbaal

    Microsoft never said it will be a subscription. That's just what the website says, that it can be. With no proof what so ever.

  8. jltuv

    Most people would be find with the basic features in Windows and never purchase a thing. Business are the ones that need a lot of the features of Windows and will pay for what they need. Besides as computing is pushed to the cloud, how much computer will you need? As Windows Home becomes more core OS like then need for storage will drop to 64 or even 32 gig and that will be plenty for the average user who will turn more and more to the cloud to do their computing. In a few years, the average worker will need something more akin to Chromebook than a PC. Thus a the full version of Windows is a waste. Microsoft new Chrome base browser points to a future where the browser will be the user main interface on the computer and the OS is something in the way of the user experience. The average user wants an OS that works and they don't have to tinker with it. We here are tinkers, it is just our nature. In the real world, you turn key the car starts, hit button and TV comes on and future the computer must just turn on and let the user do their thing. They care little about the OS whether Window, Mac or Chrome. Just as long as it let them do their thing. So, in the future Windows needs to be line icons at the bottom of the screen that launches their program or browser allow them the same experience. This mine friends is the future and everything we used to value in a computer is the past. This could be the year that 5G starts the always connected Chromebook or Core OS Windows machine revolution that will began to replace the traditional laptop just enough resources computing as being all that is needed.

    • wright_is

      In reply to Jltuv:

      Nothing here going to the cloud. It isn't allowed - data protection and tax rules prohibit many companies from using the cloud for storing data, let alone processing it.

      • bob_shutts

        In reply to wright_is: The governing body of my profession gives mixed signals on cloud storage. "Yes, you can store client data in the cloud, but you must insure that the data is secure." ???? How the hell can I "insure" that?

  9. learningtotech

    Nothing in life is free. We all have to pay someday. Would you work for free?

    • Bill Strong

      In reply to learningtotech:

      Windows, however, is already paid for, with a promise from Microsoft for updates for the life of the product. Are they going to charge me again? For features they have already given, or for new features?

      Now, from their perspective, getting a money cycle involved may actually solve one of the major issues Windows 10 has faced, focus on customer desired features. So its not all bad.

    • sherlockholmes

      In reply to learningtotech:

      I also dont get it why everything has to be free. Windows 10 being free, we all have to pay for it with our Data. I woild gladly pay for Windows 10 if I could deaktivate Telemetrie or minimalize it. Windows 10 being free and Microsoft stopps to collect your data, thats a thing that nevwer will happen.

      • longhorn

        In reply to SherlockHolmes:

        Both governments and corporations have moved to Surveillance Capitalism. We live in a new era now. Sometimes it goes too far, like the system-wide keylogger in Windows 10. Is it on or off? Why is it system-wide and not per app where it could make much more sense by having a defined purpose and giving users some degree of privacy? If you don't like keylogging you could simply choose to not use those apps.

        I'm not saying MS is worse than Google or other companies. What I'm saying is that data is the new currency. This is how people pay for products these days. Microsoft put telemetry at the core of Windows 10 with up to a million telemetry domains through companies like MarkMonitor. Google was kind enough to put most of the telemetry into Google Play services. For the end user it doesn't matter, unless you load your own Android ROM without Google Play services.

        I tried to fight this, but I have given up. It's really up to governments and corporations to fight this, because they are the ones with sensitive data. Forget about "privacy dashboards" and things like that. 99 % of data collected is "anonymous" and won't show up.

        Apart from the fairly recent addition of data monetization (basically starting with Windows 8), the revenue model of Windows has always been the same. You pay for Windows when you buy a new computer. That will not change.

        The main problem for Windows 10 is that there is so much uncertainty around it. Frequent updates and changes. A "mandatory" subscription would further alienate users so I don't think it will happen for consumers.

        A greater threat than subscription is planned obsolescence. If your device runs Windows 10 for how long will it be supported? It's kind of hard to say. If Intel wants to sell more processors they could make a phone call to MS and remove older drivers from the next version of Windows 10.

  10. lvthunder

    Does anyone even read anymore? Windows 10 could soon..... Monkeys could fly out of my rear end as well. All this means is someone is speculating and then the people here are speculating what's going to happen when the speculation comes true, even though it's very unlikely to happen.

  11. ghostrider

    This, absolutely, was always the long term goal for MS and Windows 10. The only way to truly monetize Windows was to make it a subscription-type product (even though MS originally said this wasn't going to happen). If this goes forward as planned though, MS have limited options for Windows 10 core - one of which is to give it away for free.

    • shameermulji

      In reply to ghostrider:

      1) That could potentially be suicidal

      2) That doesn't square with what Satya Nadella said during an interview with Lauren Goode of Wired when he said that what matters for MS is the app & services layer, not the OS layer.

  12. sherlockholmes

    I have no problems with that. Then I pay for stuff I really need and the rest goes away. Like those stupid crap apps like Candy Crush Saga. And maybe, just maybe, they let you choose if you want a Feature Update or stick with the functions you already have. A win-win.

  13. codymesh

    Aren't people are always complaining about B L O A T and how windows should just be a basic shell with the goal of getting out of the way for third party programs? Now the complaint is that same thing is bare bones? It is literally what people want.

    Every update I hear about how people don't want or need the new features in Windows - even the writers on this site say that.

    Anyway, this article appears to be clickbait, and none of what's happening suggests that they are going down the subscription route.

  14. jimchamplin

    It’s much more likely so that all versions of Windows can be serviced better in the future.

    Windows itself would be updated and be in lockstep across all releases. The differing UX versions - Xbox, Legacy desktop, 10 X - can be updated on their own.

  15. stevek

    This is just FUD. Windows Core OS has been talked about extensively before. It is just the core elements of the OS and they can use that to put different shells on top of it; like Windows 10 X is likely to be.

    This would be no different than saying that the Linux kernel is developed separately from the User Elements of the various distro's and using that as evidence that Linux is going subscription and will make you pay for it! Yep...ridiculous FUD.

  16. Tiny

    The only reason I checked the link is because I hadn't seen this "news" anywhere else. Maybe you had better re-read the last paragraph.

  17. jimchamplin

    To reiterate: This isn't happening.