Microsoft’s Paywall in Photos Remix May Be The Start of Something More

Posted on October 12, 2017 by Brad Sams in Office, Windows 10 with 79 Comments

Next week, Microsoft will be releasing the Fall Creators update for Windows 10 and with it will come new features in the photos app. These features allow you to easily create videos and add 3D effects but to access the entire app, be prepared to pay.

If you are in any of the Insider rings, you are likely already running the release bits that will ship out next week. When you open the photos app, running the latest builds and are not logged into an account that is linked to an Office 365 subscription, you will see the image above as uncovered by Rafael.

While you can create a video with 3D effects without having an Office 365 account, you will be blocked from using some of the effects available to those who are paying subscribers. Think of it this way, non-paying users will have access to a baseline feature set while Office users will get the full suite of effects and music.

This may not sound like a big deal to many users but there is more to the story here. For one thing, Microsoft is adding more ‘value’ to having an Office 365 subscription but there is also a darker side to this story too.

While there isn’t any indication yet, we have seen Microsoft try to squeeze more revenue out of its existing services with premium add-ons. For example, there is Outlook Premium, ads in the Start menu and so on and this is the latest example of the company trying to bring more premium services inside the world of Windows.

For now, this doesn’t seem like too big of a deal but if the company starts putting these feature paywalls into other Windows 10 apps like Mail and Calendar, it may become a requirement to have an Office 365 subscription to use Windows 10 to its fullest capabilities. And if that becomes true and I honestly could see that happening one day, it will represent to final shift for how the company will monetize Windows 10.

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