Would you pay a subscription fee for Windows?

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 13, 2016

Ever since Microsoft introduced Windows 10's free for the first year upgrade offer, rumors circulated around the Internet that the company would introduce subscriptions after that time period that all users who had upgraded to Windows 10 for free would have to pay.

While those rumors are not true as far as I can tell, it is clear that software companies have been moving towards subscription-based services in the past couple of years.

Microsoft for instance introduced Office 365 not long ago. Starting at $69.99  for a one year subscription for one PC that gets you access to Office tools and 1 Terabyte of storage space, it is a highly popular offering.

In fact, the subscription price is discounted often on third-party sites so that users pay even less for it.

Subscriptions pro and con

Software as a service has its advantages. First, you can be sure that you will always get the latest version of a program. Updates and upgrades are included for as long as the subscription lasts, and you don't have to worry about support expiration or using a product that is no longer supported and thus maybe vulnerable to attacks due to unpatched security issues.

You pay a monthly or yearly-paid subscription fee for the software in question. That's one of the core differences to perpetual licenses, as you make a one-time payment only for a program.

While updates are usually included, upgrades to newer versions of a program are not. This does not invalidate the version bought right away though, and it is theoretically possible to continue using it.

While a developer may end support for a program at one time -- think Windows XP or the upcoming end of support for Windows Vista -- it does not usually happen overnight. Upgrades need to be purchased separately though when they become available.

Windows as a subscription

Microsoft confirmed recently that it will make available Windows 10 as a subscription-based service for Enterprise customers.

Priced at $7 per month per user, Enterprise customers have to pay $84 per user per year for a basic Windows 10 subscription. Microsoft plans to make available larger packages that include Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection but has not revealed pricing information for those yet.

The company has been tight-lipped about offering Windows subscriptions for consumers. Many things point to the possibility: the success of Office 365, Microsoft's move to subscription's in general, and now the introduction of subscriptions for Enterprise customers.

If Microsoft would offer Windows 10 subscriptions, maybe under the Windows365 umbrella, it would probably match the Office365 pricing or come near it.

It is unlikely that Microsoft would market a per-user payment model to the consumer market though.

Instead, what seems most likely, is that Microsoft would offer a per-device subscription instead.

Consumers can purchase Windows 10 Home for $119 and Windows 10 Pro for $199 currently, and a subscription package would have to be priced reasonably or offer additional features or services.

Microsoft could offer a 1-PC and multi-PC subscription for Windows 10, and price the first at less than half the price of the perpetual license, and the second at about 2/3 of the price.

Now You: How much would you pay for a Windows subscription?

Would you pay a subscription fee for Windows?
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Would you pay a subscription fee for Windows?
Will Microsoft introduce a subscription-based product for Windows for consumers? If so, what are the advantages and how much would it likely cost?
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  1. Supergirl said on September 9, 2016 at 9:49 am

    I also have not done the free w10 upgrade.
    So…No ….not a penny for a subscription.

    Im on disability & dont even have a minimum wage income..
    I suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome ..so its REALLY HARD for me to learn anything new.
    I am Totally point & click…no Command Lie typing for me.

    Heres what I did……If I can do this you can too.

    I bought an i5 HP Probook on Craigslist for $150 US.
    {2 weeks later there was an i5 HP dvt4 for $75 so I bought that too!}

    I yanked out the W10 HD on the Probook & put in a 7200Spin 500GB HD that I bought for $32 US.
    Thusly I can stick the windows HD back in it & sell later if I want.

    I stuck a Linux flavor on it & gave it a whirl..But be careful…. Linux likes mainstream hardware..
    I tried it on really cheap best buy sales laptops…No distro worked.

    I went with LXDE style desktop because I dont want fancy bloat on my OS I want responsiveness.

    i have 2 laptops with Linux on them, #2 is anASUS dualcore its a bit slow… w7 was faster on it.

    Im hoping to progress to running w98/Xp in a virtual machine some day soon.
    Then no more Microsoft,,ever again..tada!!

    I have tried :

    PCLinuxOS….Others are more user friendly…
    Lubuntu..so far my Fave…
    LXLE…really beautiful….my 2nd fave.. but has a prg called Zeitgeist which monitors/tracks my comp use !!!!
    I uninstalled that but it broke lotsa stuff…..I may retry this 1.
    Linux lite…..uses xfceDesktop but has a welcome screen which has the software updater right there on it.
    Thats real handy… 2or3 clicks & Im all up to date…Super beginner version

    Zorin core11……Also really nice beginner. Tho It seemed a bit sparse compared to a try of zorin 7 way back.

    Bohdi I think it was ……not for me……. & not on this hardware.

  2. Scott said on August 18, 2016 at 10:17 am

    If Windows for home users go away I will either A. Go back to a previous windows version B. Go to Linux and open office… honestly what home user would pay to use their OS total BS

  3. Pissy Bob said on August 12, 2016 at 6:05 pm

    Fuck no! I would never pay a subscription for software. That is why I am still stuck on Adobe CS6.

  4. wonton said on July 18, 2016 at 1:04 am

    this is probably why they went back and reworded it to free upgrade from free os i bet they will give all who updated 30-60 days to get a subscription when free upgrade period ends

  5. john said on July 17, 2016 at 1:48 am

    MS is crazy if they think someone will pay for a subscription to windows, and then if it lapses new computer will stop working. Even money hungry cell phone carriers aren’t that stupid. There will be millions of lawyers chomping at the bit to take on MS when they start remotely shutting down computers because of lapse of payment.

  6. exxxie said on July 15, 2016 at 9:42 pm

    I will continue to use the product I have been using. the Piracy edition.

  7. Tom Hawack said on July 15, 2016 at 4:51 pm

    Microsoft Confirms Windows 10 New Monthly Charge (only applies to enterprises, for now) :

  8. o_O said on July 14, 2016 at 10:47 pm

    Reason for subscriptions is steady money flow to MS (it is not about user), many businesses does not care if software is new or old, it must do its job (better cheap and without hassle), if MS-DOS/WS2003 + software does its job, then sorry MS…no money for you, nobody in their mind will update OS that often (say, every 2 years), WinXP was perfect, very long support, that was what people wanted I think, no bullshit with forced updates, you control the OS.
    I want Windows 10 LTS edition with like 10-20 years support, without bullshit attached, enterprise like version, with full control as before, I don’t need this constant mindless change… because they want money from me again, I’m not here to finance microsoft endlessly. Subscription is bad in long term. Even better to move to *nix. Monopoly will screw everybody how they like.

  9. Jim Cone said on July 14, 2016 at 10:19 pm

    Made the decision about the operating system quite a while back.
    Windows XP is still running, now on my third machine I believe.
    I paid for it only once and it works/runs just as effectively as it did on day one.

    I may be able to finance a vacation, sometime in the future, when I sell the XP disc and my copy of SP3

    1. A41202813GMAIL said on July 16, 2016 at 2:53 am

      I Have A Volume License Key For XP Professional.

      The Only Concern Is If The Original CD Keeps Working.

      You Can Install It In A Couple Of Machines At The Same Time.


  10. Panamapatrick said on July 14, 2016 at 9:12 pm


  11. The Pontificator said on July 14, 2016 at 6:03 pm

    Hmmmm…pay for an already unsat product? Uh, NO.

    I’d go Linux Mint. In fact, my next computer will be Mint-y fresh.

  12. John Krazinski said on July 14, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    Microsoft will be digging it’s own grave going subscription way.
    The moment users can no longer bypass Windows piracy protection and must pay for it, they will go Ubuntu.
    Take Microsoft’s share of the OSes runing around the world. I’d guess more than 50% of that number correspond to illegal copies of Windows.

  13. kalmly said on July 14, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    I would happily pay $200 (like I did for XP) to purchase a license for a Microsoft OS that is infinitely customizable (like XP certainly was and Win7 somewhat less), which doesn’t run a kazillion mysterious services that I don’t need, want, or understand well enough to decide which to shut down, that does not include some huge advertising crap (a STORE? Puhleeze), that doesn’t break things when it updates, that would never remove an application from my computer without my permission, that would never change settings that I’ve made, that, in a nutshell, keeps its busy fingers out of my system. I will not pay MS a dime for anything less.

    I will not pay even a nickle a month for a subscription to anything, certainly not to use an OS that can change at MS’s whim.

    Like metrocrap, I want a desktop OS again. If I later want an OS for a gadget, I’d pay again, but please give me back my desktop. Win 7 will be my last Microsoft product. When it is no longer supported, I will continue to use it, and I will be looking into Linux. The hell of it is, that all the great software – and lordy how I do love software – is written for Windows. I can only hope that with all the folks moving to Linux, more Linux software will begin to appear.

  14. Don said on July 14, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    If MS starts charging a subscription I would drop it like a hot potato. I would install Linux and run it until the machine died, then use my laptop ’til it died, and then if I am still on the upside of the grass I would buy an Apple or a Linux laptop. No more tablets, no more desktops. MS wiped Linux dual boot and some other things from my machine a while ago. I have had it with MS.
    I have been using Libre Office and Google Docs because I WILL NOT pay them a cent and luckily they have left that alone.

  15. chesscanoe said on July 14, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    Free or one time cost is always cheaper than subscription or credit based payment plans, unless you’re prone to drop your laptop overboard with some frequency. :-)

  16. Giorgos said on July 14, 2016 at 2:09 pm

    Pay for Win-doze?
    Well…I think NOT!
    I won’t buy any dozes. :-)

    I’m perfectly happy with Debian as my primary OS, in parallel with Win7 for some (older, Win-only) games.

    PS. And a nice video, showing the MS free policy:

  17. Ben said on July 14, 2016 at 9:41 am

    No because first of all I would never trust MS with my name/account data.
    If I could pay anonymously, then maybe 5$ or so max per year (for the professional/ultimate version).

    1. Charlie said on July 14, 2016 at 1:30 pm

      me too

  18. metrocrap said on July 14, 2016 at 7:18 am

    Just wish that MS would actually make a Pure DESKTOP OS like Windows 7 and below for DESKTOP users/gamers/enterprise/working persons and make that Mobile Craps “optional” or “removable” completely during installation/upgrade on DESKTOP COMPUTERS/LAPTOPS.

  19. Velocity.Wave said on July 14, 2016 at 1:57 am

    Monthly payments to Microsoft, from my account?!


    That said, I do actually love many Microsoft products, especially xBox.

    I’ve also begun learning the C# programming language and using Visual Studio, and WOW… I have to say that Microsoft has a HUGE hit on their hands with that programming language and development environment. It’s a work of beauty!

    I also really do like Windows 10…


    HOWEVER… as much as I love MANY Microsoft products…

    I am still VERY UPSET about Windows-10 telemetry, and the way that Microsoft did HUGE damage to their brand, by tricking users (using malware tactics) to upgrade to Windows 10.

    I think the damage to their brand is far greater than they suspect or anticipate, and it will eventually hit their corporate and business sales, as many users (who will become tomorrow’s system administrators) will REMEMBER what Microsoft did in terms of tricked Windows 10 upgrades for a very long time.

    I know I will, for a VERY LONG TIME.


    Anyways, I’m kinda rambling here…

    So in short, I really do actually LOVE MANY Microsoft products, and see myself continuing to use them.

    BUT… I shall NOT in anyway, shape, or form, be contributing monthly funds from my account to pay to Microsoft.

    A big part of my reluctance is because of Microsoft’s astonishingly unethical and disgraceful recent tactics to trick people into Windows 10 upgrades, that left a really bad taste in my mouth.

    I’m also still smarting over their One-Drive fiasco, in which they promised me unlimited storage, but then reneged.

    So again: certainly NO monthly money for you Microsoft, from me, after those antics you pulled!

  20. mikef90000 said on July 13, 2016 at 11:34 pm

    Windows still hasn’t adjusted the retail price point low enough to tempt me. I would like the option for access to the few Windows only apps that I need to keep going. If Win10 Pro RETAIL (with ‘portable’ activation on newer motherboard) goes below $100 USD then call me.
    The 95% Rule applies – 95% of the comparable Linux apps are good enough for me.

  21. A different Martin said on July 13, 2016 at 11:01 pm

    I’ve already reached a firm decision that Windows 7 will be my last Microsoft operating system, and I wouldn’t take Windows 10 for “free,” so … I guess my answer is “no.”

  22. RPwheeler said on July 13, 2016 at 10:49 pm

    No, I’m not going to be subscriber.

    1) I don’t want to pay anything to Microsoft. Even when I do, I don’t want to, and I hope to jump off the Windows hook some day.
    2) Usually I reject subscriptions and SaaS. “No, just no”. Or, as one comment years ago said, “my monthly bills are high enough”. I reject even non-subscription licenses which may need renewing in years. There are a lot of reasons:
    2.1 I have what I think better spending for my money (just donated $120 to charity)
    2.2 I think that other people, my relatives and friends, also have better reasons to spend the money
    2.3 I don’t like at all what MS did since Windows 7. I don’t need that. If they want my money, they have to do what I like, not what I don’t need.
    2.4 I don’t trust MS updates and offerings, I don’t trust MS in general.

    * As I said several times, I was paid subscriber of Quake Live for 2 years. $2 per months. I may consider $4, but not for Windows 10 or anything other with bugging Metro-Modern interface.

    Also I won’t pay for MS Office. I switched to OpenOffice, then LibreOffice since 2007 , using Google Docs sometimes and for job-related collaboration, also used Kingsoft office occasionally. I won’t pay Adobe (I’m using GIMP) etc.

    Р.S. Please don’t bother me if you think that I’m of “Anti-MS lobby”. I’m QA, paid for assessing quality of software products. I tried Win 7 and it is good enough, I tried Win 8 and it was just not good at all, I tried 8.1 and it was not better than 8, now I don’t want even to try 10 until I see a lot of post from my friends that it is good :) But I don’t think that it happens in the next few years.

  23. Anonymous said on July 13, 2016 at 10:48 pm

    If I’m not taking the FREE update I surely wont pay a subscription for it…

  24. Khidreal said on July 13, 2016 at 10:25 pm

    I would not pay more than 40 euro a year for windows.. I mean, windows is full of things I don’t even know what are they for, than if this thing continues as it goes I don’t want to get my ass’s picture on some guy’s Twitter, if you know what I mean…
    there are good Linux out there that are crap-free (don’t have millions of tools you will never use neither know if them – case of windows) and don’t produce so much eletronic garbage as windows. also they come with their own store (in majority), like windows 10 has, and IOS, except that in contrary of Windows Store, they are desktop apps, not those crappy fullscreen shts…
    I said 40€ because of a reason: most of the linux paid versions are business editions, and still they can have 2GB less than a windows 7 home basic .ISO and still have as much (or bettter) quality… AND STILL, 40 euro for a business edition is like a cerry pie on the top of the cake, paying 150 or 200€ for a business version of windows is like a robbery for me… actually paying 100euro for a home edition is a robbery already, the OS is not worth that much, is just added cost of “windows has been out there for many decades, has a marketshare of 90%, is used by bla bla bla users…”
    if windows had as much users as let’s say, Debian, windows would not even cost so much…

  25. Martin said on July 13, 2016 at 10:07 pm

    Charging for windows would just encourage the very rapid development of Android for PCs.

    1. Khidreal said on July 13, 2016 at 10:27 pm

      there is already a OS like that. Remix OS. mixes the best things about Windows and Android in the same package and it’s based on Linux.

  26. Martin said on July 13, 2016 at 10:06 pm

    Throughout a 40 year career in IT I’ve laughed at Unix/Linux as fadist and Nerdy. If Microsoft tried charging me for Windows I would become fadist and Nerdy

  27. Microceph 10 said on July 13, 2016 at 9:25 pm

    Subscriptions??? We need alternatives to Microsoft and Apple, that’s what we need. :p There is an opportunity now to create a spyware-free platform, that is the selling point. Not that it is necessarily easier to use or faster for games, but that you don’t have to worry about what some board of directors or government agency decides to do with your computer next or whether they are spying on your chat and creating a psychological profile on you that will affect your credit rating or get you a full cavity search at the airport. Not only is this now an opportunity for software it is an opportunity for hardware like routers, and servers, etc.

  28. Stella Vantouz said on July 13, 2016 at 9:02 pm

    It needs to be said: Windows 10 does not work and I won’t pay for a product that doesn’t work. It’s an additional disincentive to pay for something when Microsoft shows naked contempt for users and complete indifference to the data and work we entrust to their products.

    I don’t know how or why Microsoft delivered such a breathtakingly subpar product (or should I say flung it insistently and repeatedly at us). Many, many of the features that aren’t broken outright are slow, and bring unexpected results. Perhaps worst of all, options to configure or fix the performance of Windows 10 are more scarce and even less intuitive (if that’s possble) than past versions.

    It’s hardly a compliment to say Windows 10 is not as bad as VIsta and in some ways an improvement upon 8.1. The same annoyances from versions past exist in the company of new ones. Almost nothing has been done In the year since Microsoft to fix the glaring holes.

    I don’t usually try to make predictions, but I don’t Cortana and Edge will stay quietly tucked away as cute options for the niche user, Cortana was not developed to make my life easier…I already have 10,000 notifications about a flight I once searched on 10 years ago. Cortana and Edge, if they aren’t already, will be the hoover and a pipeline for your data and clicks. They are half-baked at best and the rocky, messy road to getting them ready (at least to Microsoft’s standards) will be a road we will be forced to follow.

    A new fee for Windows will be enough of a push for me to move to Linux. I’m no expert but I’ve tested a fair number of distributions and at least a dozen I can see as very palatable alternatives to Windows.

    Kudos to Martinn Brinkmann who has provided tremendously useful articles about Windows 10. As always, gHacks reporting to is timely, fair, well-researched and insightful,

  29. seeprime said on July 13, 2016 at 8:34 pm

    If a Windows subscription was offered to consumers it would have to be the Enterprise version, where privacy can be mainlined, to make any sense at all. Even so, I would expect that our business would start selling Chromebooks that would suit most customers anyway. People must be getting tired for having money sucked out of their bank accounts for , anti-virus program subscriptions and overpriced monthly “maintenance” from ISP’s. Enough already.

    1. Tom Hawack said on July 13, 2016 at 9:11 pm

      Internet businesses handle tremendous power of course, power of information gathered on the populations, power of delivered information, power of money. That means that all is done to elaborate a system and make it better and persistent, including rumors, disinformation, intoxication, myths and hoaxes … but globally if disinformation is more particularly adequate for a small number of recipients, intoxication is the best tool for maneuvering wide arrays, and the WWW is wide. From there on, anti-malwares which intentionally or not act as malware as part of the effect of what humanity is able to do when it smells big, very big money but more than money : the power of domination, the ultimate dream of power, that to be a god with the means to transform societies, psychologies by creating an everlasting addiction to what is presented as the World Community but which is in fact nothing more than a planetary sheep yard, or robots land when we are the very robots in perspective. In this land a lie is never a lie but only a contribution to a better world, whether we want it or not.

      Don’t think too much about it, or please yourself with imaginings, because if you start to dig the smell gets worse and worse. All I know is that besides and above, before and after virtuality there is the perfume of a rose, the smile of a kid, the wrinkles of an old man, laughs and cries, emotions and dreams, a quest for happiness. I don’t think the Web, as it is going on now, as it seems to be leading to, is the right place for happiness. It’s exciting, a thrill sometimes but, as far as I’m concerned, none of those thrills evoked serenity and none filled me with the joy of spending an afternoon in the country walking bear-footed in the grass, “happy as with a woman” to translate the end of the poem of Rimbaud.

  30. Dave said on July 13, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    NO!!! But I wish that everyone that likes windows 10 to have to pay it! LOL

    1. Yvette said on July 14, 2016 at 11:36 pm

      I’m with you, No Way!!! 7,or 8.1 or Chromebook.

  31. Shiro said on July 13, 2016 at 5:55 pm

    If your OS is on a subscription basis, the actual owner of the copy of the OS you’re running is Microsoft, who can change the terms of use during the subscription at will, or cancel your subscription whenever they like it.

    Feel free to place your companies future in the hands of Microsoft. Really. We need more Darwin’s law in the marketplace, let the dumb ones die out./sarcasm

    1. Tom Hawack said on July 13, 2016 at 6:00 pm

      Pertinent! let’s not forget the legal context, indeed.

  32. Marco said on July 13, 2016 at 5:13 pm

    To all those who say they’d never pay for a Windows subscription: maybe you don’t remember that before Windows 10 being offered for free for a 1-year period, all previous Windows versions need to be purchased. Or, they came with a new PC (OEM version), but in that case it was still paid within the total price of the PC. But in any case Windows has never been a free OS (contrary to Linux for example).
    After July 29th everybody who wants to upgrade to Windows 10 will need to purchase it.
    The subscription model is very convenient for consumers. I moved to Office 365 as soon as it came out and I never had a single issue, and I can always count on the latest version available.
    So Yes, personally I’d subscribe to Windows as well.

  33. Jeff-FL said on July 13, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    Nope. I’d move to Linux. We’re mostly power users here though, and MS would have a good laugh at these responses. Their target is noobs and businesses. The 1 or 2% of outraged nerds (incl me) is meaningless to them.

  34. Alan said on July 13, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    I would consider paying a reasonable monthly fee ($5) if Windows 10 was tracking free and add free. Of course, it better come with a large hunk of cloud storage too.

  35. Neva said on July 13, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    Would you pay for someone to watch everything you do in your house, and have that someone choose your furniture, change everything you choose and place ads anywhere in your house? No? Then Windows 10 is probably not for you.

  36. Anonymous said on July 13, 2016 at 2:09 pm


  37. Tom Hawack said on July 13, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    A subscription for what? For an OS free of tracking, free of built-in advertisement? Certainly. The price of the normal license divided by a lifetime/years I estimate to be 7, per year consequently say $24 or $2/month.

    But paying a subscription for what Windows 10 is now is like digging one’s own grave : paying to be tracked, paying to have an AdvertisementID … Now of course everything has a cost therefor a price, but personally I never “felt” the price of the Windows OS because I’ve always switched OS with a new computer and the OS was included in the computer’s price, and it was and still is, here in France anyway, a problem to find a “naked” computer with the OS fee cut off the price of the computer, it’s possible by means of a lawyer, too complicated. This is the result of intensive lobbying and this lobbying is now receiving the boomerang of its maneuvers : since a computer is the same price with or without the OS why buy a license?

    So if I don’t buy as such a license for an OS why would I pay a subscription? Will the salesman tell me “Now that Windows OS is a subscription fee the price of the computer is lowered by $150” ? Never. Computers will have the same price and the user will have moreover to pay a subscription. As far as I’m concerned, niet, nein, no, non : not a dime.

    Take example on the numerous companies, not only but also state, public companies which kicked off Microsoft to adopt Linux, mainly because of Microsoft’s enormous fees.

    I won’t play that game, count me out.

  38. Mark Hazard said on July 13, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    If it amounted to $50/yr, then yes; if it were higher, then no. You also have to factor in paying for Windows Store applications, and looking at ads. I would switch to Linux if I thought it wasn’t worth the hassle.

  39. Dave said on July 13, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    I would like to get away from Windows as soon as possible, but much of the professional software I use is Windows-exclusive. Even basic software like Excel is inferior on other platforms, including Mac, and the alternatives are a joke if you know what you’re doing. While there are plenty of alternatives to Windows, there just isn’t the software support on those platforms. That’s the issue.

  40. anohana said on July 13, 2016 at 12:53 pm

    In that case Wine will improve as much as hell. I tried it some years ago, but still don’t like linux. What I can do in half a min on win, I have to suck at least an hour on linux. I’d really like to use linux, but you need a lot of time and patient, reading forums, searching etc. Last time I couldn’t install dropbox either, it’s a shame. And the softwares in the software center outdated, so it’s not an option for me.

    1. klarkkent said on July 13, 2016 at 2:06 pm

      @ anohana.. The software updating for Linux is a problem for alot of versions of Linux. Linux Mint 18, updates their software on first use/install, I think. I’m not really very knowledgeable with Linux yet, but when I installed Linux Mint 18,Cinnamon, a couple of days ago for a friend, Firefox and every thing else in Mint package updated, to the latest version. It was like 10 or more apps they offered updated versions for, while you are on the install black screen. As soon as I got to the desktop it was downloading and updating. It’s a good Idea because like you said it’s very time consuming to find where and how to use the update stuff in any version of Linux, unless you really have experience with it and kinda know where stuff should be located and how to deal with it once you find it.

      As far as I’m concerned, that Cortana Witch can pack her stinky stuff and get out. I will be glad to ride the wave of people changing their systems to Linux, or putting them back to Win7, or Win8. It’s not a problem with me whatever people want to do. I like the extra cash fixing their software and hardware problems. Looks like I will need to learn Linux a little faster though, If I’m going to need to do a little teaching along the way.

      1. Jason said on July 15, 2016 at 2:59 am

        Mint updates their repositories more frequently than Debian, but they still prefer to be a bit behind the latest release in the interests of system stability. Those who want the absolute latest release should always go for a “rolling distribution”, of which there are many (Fedora and openSUSE TumbleWeed, for example).

      2. Rocky said on July 14, 2016 at 3:35 pm

        @klarkkent. When you say Mint updated to the latest version this really means the latest version in the Mint repositories. This is not necessarily the latest available of the the software. I can’t speak for Mint but Debian Stable for example freezes their “package set ” every couple of years and until the next freeze the packages will receive only security updates. Other distros have other philosophies regarding updates. Older versions are not necessarily worse/better than new .

        Ultimately though Linux tends to be volunteer based or alternatively pay for support. Horses for courses – use what works best for the individual circumstances.

  41. Alan Edwards said on July 13, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    I would probably go back to Windows 7 or 8.1 (or buy a Mac) and a perpetual licence if there was a sub charge for Win 10..

    My concern would be what happens if you can’t pay the subscription fee – you lose your job, bank screws up etc. What do you lose access to? Is Windows then not activated, do I lose internet access, locked out entirely? The rules may change in the future too, and the charge can go up and up as it can be reviewed annually or even monthly.

    It’s not like a lapsed Office sub, where you can just use Open Office or a cheap Office 97 disc off eBay, this is the computer’s OS. It’s a brick without it.

  42. Jonnyredhead said on July 13, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    If the subscription meant MS would not advertise anything via the OS to paying customers. And gave a proper solid off switch for telemetry and other snooping. Then yeah maybe. If not, then no never.

  43. Womble said on July 13, 2016 at 11:50 am

    Despite using it I already don’t like Windows 10 much so you would think a subscription would be a really hard sell to me but having tried Linux dozens of times I find much of the software that doesn’t have corporate backing is lacking. I guess in the end I would just have to submit to Microsoft’s demands.

    Windows already has plenty of revenue streams built-in therefore it might not be in their best interest to introduce a subscription model for home users, but in an ecosystem that, for most people, doesn’t hold a real alternative, they could probably get away with it.

    We’ll see…

  44. Antony said on July 13, 2016 at 10:58 am

    Micro$oft is looking to give people one more good reason to download pirated versions.

  45. yoav said on July 13, 2016 at 10:36 am

    As a joke I think this is a great idea. As a real-life option, it’s crazy. Las Vegas is probably already taking bets on how many computers will crash because of subscription “problems”.

  46. ccdrop said on July 13, 2016 at 9:58 am

    At this point I am not even willing to take windows 10 for free.
    When 7 becomes unusable I’ll switch my main computer over to Linux like all my other computers now. I switched my not so tech savvy wife and mother in-law over to Linux and I get a lot less requests for help and support as they have a lot less issues.

    1. A different Martin said on July 13, 2016 at 10:23 pm

      I keep reading stories like this: techies who tire of providing constant Windows support to their less computer-literate relatives, who switch them to Linux, and who “never hear from them again” (in a good way).

  47. Andy said on July 13, 2016 at 9:43 am

    I have already moved to Linux a few months ago. I’m loving it so far.

  48. Nebulus said on July 13, 2016 at 9:42 am

    I will not pay for a Windows subscription. Ever.

    I only pay for software that I can “own” (by owning I mean being able to install it on my computer whenever I like, how many times I like, without an online connection to their home servers – which might stop working at any time).

  49. Antimoneygrab said on July 13, 2016 at 9:31 am

    Hell no. Hello piracy or Linux.

    1. Wayfarer said on July 15, 2016 at 11:24 pm

      I’m with you mate. Subscriptions? Emphatically NOT!

      I’m retired and on a fixed income. That means that if I have £100 to spend, I spend it – if I don’t, I don’t. In contrast, just a few pounds per month is a HELL of a lot of money to me, as it represents not a purchase but the kind of permanent debt I simply can’t countenance.

      If MS introduce subs, then I’ll go from 50-50 Windows/Linux to 100% Linux… With the addition of a decent tablet operating on Android, that’s a very usable arrangement for me.

  50. Jozsef said on July 13, 2016 at 8:33 am

    Since i maintain computers for others, I might pay as much as $7 a year or a bit more just to have it on one computer, much as I have Win 10 insider Preview on a laptop now just to keep an eye on it. I can’t imagine depending on an OS that has a built in shutoff capability in case of a lapsed subscription or glitch, whichever comes first. ;) I think it’s a joke and I do expect to see it offered.

    1. ilev said on July 14, 2016 at 8:06 am

      ” I can’t imagine depending on an OS that has a built in shutoff capability”..
      Microsoft has remote shut capabilities and much more, today.

      1. vosie said on July 15, 2016 at 10:07 am

        But not on cracked Windows systems. That’s why the cracked / pirated versions are better, and it’s true for ALL kinds of softwares. You can use them indefinitely.

  51. RichardT said on July 13, 2016 at 8:25 am

    The main problem I have with a subscription service is that although the initial cost might seem reasonable, the terms and conditions would surely allow them to increase the fee once customers are locked in.

  52. ilev said on July 13, 2016 at 8:24 am

    In short, never.

  53. Jeff said on July 13, 2016 at 8:22 am

    Sure why not. I even pay subscriptions to my air and clothes provider. I pay $20 per day for air and $50 for a set of clothes per week.

    1. Gary D said on July 13, 2016 at 9:59 am

      @ Jeff

      That’s cheap ! I want to move to your area ! :-)

  54. Jojo said on July 13, 2016 at 7:49 am

    The subscription based software model has always been a vendor’s wet dream. Unlike perpetual licensing, SaaS offers a predictable income stream year after year.

    With perpetual software licensing, a vendor could never predict how long a user would continue to use the software before buying a new copy. So vendor’s in the enterprise long ago began charging annual fees for maintenance (usually between 15% to 22% of current software prices) to build a steady income stream.

    In the PC world for retail customers, Microsoft continues to give away maintenance and upgrades for free (I think the last time I paid for a copy of Windows was maybe Win98), which is why they restored to practices like selling screen space and apps built into the OS to bring in more revenue.

    How much would I pay for an annual Windows subscription? Unsure at this point. I might finally switch to Linux.

    But if the list price is $199 for Win10 Pro and I intend to get 4-5 years of use out of it, then by simple division the annual price needs to be less than $50/year to maintain equivalency (or around $4/month).

    Also, if Microsoft does turn to a model like SaaS for the OS, they would need the ability to turn the OS off if someone chose not to continue the subscription. That could cause all kinds of problems that in a country like the USA, many lawyers might be chomping at the bit to sue Microsoft over.

  55. Mice said on July 13, 2016 at 7:45 am

    I never like the software as service bussiness model. What if someday you can’t renew the license? Your software will be lost, software is a property not a service. The support is the service.

  56. Ari said on July 13, 2016 at 7:37 am

    I don’t like monthly or yearly subscription that is why I chose Microsoft Office 2016 home and student. The same goes with the OS.

  57. RossN said on July 13, 2016 at 7:25 am

    I’d be prepared to pay $NZD7 per year. Calculation: My $NZ50 Win8Pro upgrade license should last my PC about 7 years.

  58. Andrew said on July 13, 2016 at 7:22 am

    Oh boy… I can only imagine the reactions and comments to this haha… Microsoft already stated that windows 10 was free forever (or for the life of the device), and I know consumers would never go for a subscription on their OS. Enterprise has always been some form of subscriptions, be it support or whatever.

    I can actually see Microsoft offering some subscription on top of their Windows package, a la adding Office or whatnot, but for the core OS for consumers, people I don’t believe have to worry one bit, because that would be a bad business and push people to linux or apple.

    Can’t wait to read the comments that come in… should be interesting….
    *grabs more popcorn

    1. Jason said on July 15, 2016 at 3:07 am

      I actually think Microsoft will go a third route that no one here is talking about: perpetual “free” releases, where instead of selling/renting the Windows OS, Microsoft will earn all its consumer revenue indirectly from ads (see Windows telemetry), sales of Microsoft devices, subscription cloud services, etc.

      And there would be nothing revolutionary about this approach, because it’s basically how Android and iOS already make money for their developers. I think this Satya Nadella is cut from a different cloth than Steve Balmer…

      1. Soxism said on July 15, 2016 at 10:01 am

        Agreed. Why else are they having a massive Push for 1 billion Devices with Windows 10.

        It makes sense they would be going the Android iOS route.

      2. Andrew said on July 15, 2016 at 4:16 am

        Agreed. Though I believe their main focus for getting everyone on Windows 10 is mostly the Windows store and UWP. Everything, though might be a new revenue stream for them, doesn’t seem as important as getting everyone in their ecosystem considering how successful t has been for Apple and Google.

    2. Tim said on July 13, 2016 at 1:38 pm

      ^^^ This, what Andrew said. It makes absolutely zero sense to charge consumers a subscription to use Windows. Businesses – Yes, Consumers – No.

      For consumers, they will look to make up the money from other avenues, rather that Windows licencing itself. I.E. OneDrive subscriptions, Office purchases, store purchases, etc. Once proper software and top level games are introduced to the Windows Store, then the store alone will more than make up for what they were getting from consumer Windows licence fees.

      1. Corky said on July 13, 2016 at 2:34 pm

        @Tim, Well you say that, and i agree with you, but who knows what the future will bring, again I’m not saying Windows subscriptions are 100% certain, however it’s also not 0% like it used to be.

    3. Corky said on July 13, 2016 at 8:33 am

      @Andrew, No not free, and not forever (or for the life of the device), people still have to pay for Windows 10, the upgrade is free however, for the life of the device not forever.

      If, and I’m not say they are, Microsoft did go the subscription route it wouldn’t be until enough customers were locked into the Windows ecosystem, once customers have a good collection of Windows store apps, store apps that couldn’t be taken with them if they moved to another OS.

      1. Andrew said on July 13, 2016 at 10:46 am

        Very true, I stand corrected, the upgrade was free. But you have to remember on the desktop, Microsoft already has people locked in, for some time too. But if they started making people pay for a subscription, it would be the first of its kind and I don’t see people/consumers doing it. Hell, with the number of computers i’ve seen with an expired AV on there it goes to show people just won’t do it. But yeah. Microsoft wants people to get locked into the ecosystem, much like google and apple, so that if they tried to move to another OS they would lose all they bought. But killing an OS by making it a subscription I think would be bad for their business.

        Though, tbh, I would like to see them do it. It would be entertaining to see how the industry reacts.

    4. Martin Brinkmann said on July 13, 2016 at 7:39 am

      If Microsoft creates a subscription-based Windows offer, Windows365, it would surely be added as an option.

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