Would you pay for a Windows subscription?

The Windows operating system is offered as a standalone buy-once version and as a subscription-based version right now.

The standalone version of Windows 10 is available as a full retail version, as a system builder version, as an upgrade, and as something that is already on a machine that you buy.

The subscription-based version is called Microsoft 365, and it too is available in different service plans. Microsoft 365 Business is the only plan currently that is available to anyone even though it is designed for businesses predominantly.

Microsoft moves from creating retail and upgrade versions of Windows and Office to subscription-based systems. The company launched Office 365 first, a subscription-based service for Office. Plans start at $69.99 per year and include access to Office applications online and locally, as well as online storage.

Microsoft launched Microsoft 365 more recently. The new service combines Office 365 with Windows 10, and works very similar to Office 365. You sign up for a plan, pay a monthly or yearly fee, and get access to the versions of Office 365 and Windows 10 that are included.

microsoft 365

For Microsoft 365 Business, it means Office 365 Business Premium and Windows 10 Professional. All other Microsoft 365 plans are Enterprise-only services.

Office 365 subscriptions at the end of 2016 were close to 25 million according to this Computerworld report. While the growth of new subscribers slowed down, revenue is not as Microsoft reported a year on year increase of 43% in Office 365 revenue.

Office 365 is the second fastest growing product (after Azure) in the 2017 fiscal year. It is too early to tell how well Microsoft 365 will do as it was launched just recently in 2017.

One question that comes to mind is whether users will switch from a pay-once system to a subscription-based operating system. While Microsoft seems to focus on the Enterprise heavily right now with Microsoft 365, it seems very likely that the company will extend the service to include Home plans as well in the future.

Advantages and disadvantages of operating system subscriptions

What are the advantages of subscribing, and what are the disadvantages of doing so? Microsoft 365 includes both Office 365 and Windows 10 which means that you get access to both with a single subscription.

Read also:  How to edit timestamps with Windows PowerShell

Since it is a subscription-based service, you will always have the chance to upgrade to the latest version of Office or Windows without having to make another one-time payment to do so.

Many of the features that are part of a subscription are mostly interesting to businesses right now. These include device management services to manage users and device settings, deployment using AutoPilot, or automatic deployment of Office apps on PCs.

To be fair, there is no Microsoft 365 Home plan currently. If Microsoft launches it in the future, it will probably do away with the business-focused services that Microsoft added to other plans.

One of the main downsides of subscribing instead of buying once is that you pay more. The cheapest Microsoft 365 plan is offered for $20 per month currently. It includes an Office 365 and Windows 10 subscription and will cost you $240 per year.

Microsoft sells Windows 10 Pro on its website for a one-time price of $199.99, and Office Home & Student 2016 for PC for $149.99. That's roughly $350 in expenses in the first year, and not taking into account that you can buy Windows 10 and Office for less.

In the second year, you pay another $240 for the subscription so that you are at $480 in total; that is $130 more already than for the standalone products.

If you use the device five years, you end up paying $1200 in that time for the subscription, and $350 for the standalone products.

Even if you assume that Microsoft 365 Home would be offered for a cheaper price, you'd still save money buying once instead of subscribing. If the subscription price drops to $10 for a Home version for instance, you'd still pay $600 over five years.

Another disadvantage of subscribing is that you will lose access or functionality when you stop payments.

Now You: Would you subscribe to a Windows plan? Can you think of other advantages or disadvantages?

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Would you pay for a Windows subscription?
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The Windows operating system is offered as a standalone buy-once version and as a subscription-based version right now.
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Responses to Would you pay for a Windows subscription?

  1. Jeff September 26, 2017 at 7:33 am #

    I am trapped on Windows but 7 is tolerable. Will do anything to avoid Windows 10, subscriptions and any perpetual money making scheme that does not offer me much value. Subscriptions might push me to Linux Mint with KDE.

    • Weilan September 26, 2017 at 12:20 pm #

      Agreed, Windows 10 is garbage, gave it a chance for 12 months, it didn't work out. Windows 10 is a downgrade compared to 7 so I had to upgrade back to 7.

      • Lorenzo September 27, 2017 at 3:01 am #

        What exactly do you find is garbage in Win10? Seems to work flawlessly for me, with less updates than before.
        I am not happy about having to add software to adjust the fonts sizing, but the rest is fine.

    • ellisgl September 26, 2017 at 5:05 pm #

      I think I would be leaning towards jumping to Linux also. Only issue I have are games and work.

    • mikef90000 September 26, 2017 at 11:40 pm #

      As a reminder, it is possible and even preferable to run both Linux and Windows on the same system.
      The main options are dual booting (separate partitions) and running one o/s in a virtual machine.

      As for purchasing a Windows 10 subscription, I say No eFfing Way !!
      My few Windows-only apps run fine on WinXP, and only one must listen to an Internet connected server.

  2. Russell J. September 26, 2017 at 7:33 am #

    is this an onion piece? are you serious?

  3. Ivan September 26, 2017 at 7:33 am #

    I'd rather stick with Win7 for as long as I can.

  4. Yuliya September 26, 2017 at 7:46 am #

    No

  5. Tony September 26, 2017 at 7:53 am #

    No way.

  6. Paul(us) September 26, 2017 at 8:07 am #

    With those prices, you're laying out here above anybody would be not only completely crazy but a thieve of himself or herself to accept the M$ subscription.
    Even when you consider that the subscription is included you having a 365/24 technician who is sitting waiting in your house for your specific problems, its more than quit costly.

  7. Alternative für Deutschland September 26, 2017 at 8:23 am #

    Good move Microsoft, now dig little more your own grave.

  8. Gazoo September 26, 2017 at 8:51 am #

    The better question is: Should Microsoft be paying users for all the data they collect on them and resell? Is it time for these abusers of privacy to formally partner with their userbase? The Nielsen ratings people understood the importance of privacy many decades ago.

  9. Timson September 26, 2017 at 8:52 am #

    Mark my words: standalone version would be removed in the future and only subscription will remain for new licences for home and corporate PCs whit only exception for special cases (like ATMs or whatnot).
    And there is nothing you can do about it. Open source OS development for home computers has proven to be untenable, and Microsoft have no commercial competitors.

  10. Nik September 26, 2017 at 8:56 am #

    hmmm. no.

  11. Jojo September 26, 2017 at 9:17 am #

    "Microsoft sells Windows 10 Pro on its website for a one-time price of $199.99, and Office Home & Student 2016 for PC for $149.99. That's roughly $350 in expenses in the first year, and not taking into account that you can buy Windows 10 and Office for less.

    In the second year, you pay another $240 for the subscription so that you are at $480 in total; that is $130 more already than for the standalone products.

    If you use the device five years, you end up paying $1200 in that time for the subscription, and $350 for the standalone products."
    ===========
    This is why SaaS (Software as a Service) is all the rage these days! Subscription software gives a company revenue that repeats on an [almost] guaranteed annual basis, since most people/companies get locked in and it's easier to just continue their subscriptions. And the yearly subscription cost will likely increase many years also.

    What is not to like as a shareholder or member of executive management?

    OTOH, as a subscriber, you are going to pay a lot more money over years as you point out above.

    This might just be the kick that needs to make Linux a true competitor to Windows.

  12. Belga September 26, 2017 at 9:25 am #

    All this makes me think of the programmed obsolescence of products that are currently being discussed (at least in Europe) and therefore the obligation for the consumers to replace their apparatus and to pay for their modernisation.
    I'll too stay with Win 7 and win 8.1 as long as i can and will search something else then.

  13. R September 26, 2017 at 9:31 am #

    With the introduction of malware tactics for upgrading (GWX), a non existant QA Dept., incompetent windows OS patches, and minimal information, there are alternatives and that's the beauty of the scenario :)

  14. lehnerus2000 September 26, 2017 at 9:32 am #

    Who'd pay a subscription fee for a buggy constantly changing OS like W10?

  15. Tom Hawack September 26, 2017 at 9:54 am #

    When Windows 7 will have passed (my decision could be before, at or after its EOL :

    1- I pay 5$/month for the OS free of userID, tracking, advertisement. Not negotiable.
    2- I get paid 20$/month for the OS including userID, tracking and advertisement. Negotiable.
    2- Pay-once included in a new desktop computer, even with userID, tracking and advertisement : we'll manage to put a cover on that garbage.
    3- Bye-buy Microsoft and hello Linux.

    That's my scheme at this time.

  16. www.com September 26, 2017 at 10:13 am #

    Can you say, RIP-OFF?

  17. Alan Robertson September 26, 2017 at 10:27 am #

    A service is something extra that is supplied to customers besides the main product. Microsoft couldn't care less about the level of service they offer - the first problem you hit along the way will involve attempting to fill out a form with a "do any of these already answered questions answer your question" and the obligatory "I have read the _ manual". Next you'll get presented with a pop up Window for contacting them - really useful when most browsers block the pop up then! After a lot of time wasted you might get to "type" with someone reading a flow chart from another country who really doesn't have the skills to deal with the problem properly. Let's face it the thought of the aneurysm inducing, circus parade will make you try Google, colleagues, friends, family, that guy down the pub... before even attempting the horror of trying to get in touch with Microsoft, so it's probably a fair bet that if no-one else knows then the flow chart that their cheap labour force are using isn't going to help either. Don't bother looking for any email addresses - they aren't available for Joe average, and you'll get the touch tone maze run around if you try to call them. So, just what kind of "service" will they be offering in addition to selling you the main product? Can I email / call someone that actually knows how the product works? I doubt it.

    For those of you who are paying for Office 365, why don't you donate it to the Document Foundation instead and help develop a free alternative instead. Even one years equivalent subscription can make a big difference to the project. Office products are a fundamental requirement today - it's not optional in a modern society and to be held to ransom by a company that is fast becoming obsolete with many of their products, is a last ditch attempt to try to lock "customers" in to their walled garden before they realise that they can have access to Office based tools for free.

    Oh, and the Libre Office team have a forum where they will attempt to help you with any problems you may have.

    Why are you waiting? Libre Office is available on Windows, MacOS and Linux and it often comes pre-installed on Linux. Life is better on Linux!

    • Tom Hawack September 26, 2017 at 10:40 am #

      "Walled garden" is so true. And the garden itself is far from Eden's.
      I use LibreOffice myself, a nice product built by nice people with nice assistance. Totally symmetrical to MS.
      Imagine... an OS built with LibreOffice's state of mind, philosophy, I'd even dare say humanism. Maybe one day.

    • OldManDic September 28, 2017 at 8:26 am #

      I’ve been using LibreOffice for over 4 years. Great office suite, and the price is right!

      I will never rent an OS as a service. NEVER! From what I have seen / read, I will be setting up a few dual boot (Win7/Linux) boxes before Win 7 hits EOL.

  18. dark September 26, 2017 at 10:29 am #

    No.
    I would go Linux instead.

  19. AnorKnee Merce September 26, 2017 at 10:48 am #

    Since its launch in 2012, Office 365 subscriptions have already been proven to be a failure with only about 20% adoption today out of about 1.2 billion Office users, adopted by mostly Enterprise Office users/subscribers, ie about 80% today continue to use stand-alone Office, eg Office 2007/2010/2013.

    Business users are M$'s cash cows, not consumers. With Win 10, business users are being pushed by M$ into subscriptions, eg by degrading Win 10 Pro for SMBs, by making it much more expensive for the corporations to buy the 10-year-EOL Win 10 Ent E5 LTSB Volume Licenses and by making each Version of Win 10 Ent has an EOL of only 18 months(= corporations could no longer buy and use stand-alone Windows Ent VL for about 10 years, like before with Win 7/8.1 Ent VL - until 2020/2023).

    Most of the corporations who had previously paid less upfront cash to M$ to lease Win 7/8.1 Ent VL together with mandatory Software Assurance or Upgrade Insurance have little choice but to upgrade and move to Win 10 Ent subscriptions.
    ....... IOW, these corporations are the ones mostly running Win 10 Ent today.

    Come 2020/2023, ie EOL for Win 7/8.1 Ent, many corporations who had previously bought Win 7/8.1 Ent VL, will be stuck between a rock and a hard place, ie pay a lot more to M$ for Win 10 Ent E5 LTSB VL or Win 10 Ent subscriptions.
    ....... The other rock is to hire a few Linux pro's/experts and move to free Linux or pay lesser for Suse/Red Hat Linux Enterprise subscriptions.

    • AnorKnee Merce September 26, 2017 at 4:12 pm #

      As for milking the consumers, M$ have imposed mandatory auto-updates and twice-yearly upgrades for Win 10 Home & Pro, which would likely make the consumers' computer hardware obsolete after using Win 10 for "free" for about 4 years, ie no device drivers available for the latest Win 10 Version for OEM computer hardware that are 4 years old or more, eg the 2013-released Intel Clover(view) Trail Atom tablets were blocked by M$'s Windows Update from being upgraded to Win 10 Version 1703.

      So, in future, do not be surprised if your 4 or 5 years old OEM Win 10 Home or Pro computer could not be upgraded any more = you have to buy a new OEM Win 10 computer or a new Win 10 Home or Pro Retail license = more profit$ for M$ and the OEMs.

      Previously, after buying a new OEM Windows computer, consumers could use Win XP/Vista/7/8.x for about 10 years, and could even upgrade their old computer to a newer Windows Version, eg from Win XP to Win 7(total use of the computer = about 15 years)
      .
      .
      P S - Even though a Win 10 license is supposed to have an EOL of 10 years, M$ have stated that your Version of Win 10 will no longer be supported if the OEMs end support for their old hardware and devices.

      P P S - In April 2017, notice how M$ used Windows Update to block Win 7/8.1 computers running Intel Kabylake/AMD Ryzen processors from receiving security updates.

  20. ramsam September 26, 2017 at 11:22 am #

    There must be no expiry dates for operating systems. Only one time payment is OK
    When I buy a computer or laptop, I dont pay any annual fee. Then why should I pay for OS?

    • Jody Thornton September 26, 2017 at 8:05 pm #

      But @ransam, how do you continue to generate revenue on that one time sale? As a company, I need to create a reason to generate more from you, otherwise, "What have you done for me lately?"

    • Jody Thornton September 30, 2017 at 1:48 am #

      My only question is this however. How would booting be controlled? Do you boot from the local device or from a network EPROM?

  21. Weilan September 26, 2017 at 12:22 pm #

    M$ can do whatever the F they feel to completely ruin the Windows brand, but I'm sticking to Windows 7 and then moving to Linux.

    • Womble September 26, 2017 at 10:53 pm #

      If you haven't moved to Linux yet that might imply something is holding you back. If it isn't for you now, what do you expect to change in the near future?

      • Yoav September 27, 2017 at 6:11 am #

        What is holding me back is that adopting a new OS is a pain, especially after learning and working with Windows for years. But Win10 and the new subscription trend will be enough to move me off of Windows. I'm just delaying this as much as possible.
        P.S. Previous attempts to install and use Linux were unpleasant. There is definitely a learning curve.

      • Anonymous October 13, 2017 at 7:40 am #

        Support for Windows 7 ends in 2020. W7 is Microsoft's best OS and I'd rather switch to GNU/Linux than be forced to upgrade to that pile of garbage W10.
        Also, the lack of decent drivers on Linux is a bit of a turn off.

  22. Al CiD September 26, 2017 at 12:47 pm #

    No, never.

    Even Bill Gates moved this days from Windows to Android ... (ok, OT)
    (in German) https://www.googlewatchblog.de/2017/09/ueberraschung-microsoft-gruender-bill/
    (in English) https://youtu.be/3c2OyVlZEvA?t=709

  23. Marina September 26, 2017 at 1:43 pm #

    Definitely NOT. This is just another piece of bad news coming from a company that has already become so annoying and should be renamed to BNC, the bad news company!

  24. Pierre September 26, 2017 at 1:53 pm #

    Pas moyen ! Même pas en rêve ! (by no mean)

    • Tom Hawack September 26, 2017 at 2:43 pm #

      Vive la France !

  25. Matty September 26, 2017 at 1:58 pm #

    Hello Linux !

  26. Norm September 26, 2017 at 2:32 pm #

    Yes! Yes! Absolutely! Sign me up! And I'll pay with the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Problem is that MS, not I, get
    to define the meaning of the word "service", and when MS can afford a billion dollars worth of lawyers, it can mean one
    thing today and the exact opposite thing tomorrow.

    • Tom Hawack September 26, 2017 at 2:46 pm #

      Technology is politics as they say. Policies and declarations included.

  27. kalmly September 26, 2017 at 2:39 pm #

    This is no surprise at all. We all knew Windows subscription was coming. Why in God's green and purple earth would I pay MS a monthly fee for Windows 10 to do what it will with my system? -- and sit there looking so damn ugly to boot. I am sticking with Win7 and keeping my old XP in good order. Also, I am looking for another Win7 computer. EOL does not trouble me at all. When/if the day comes that I can no longer use the last of MS OSes, I will, with heavy heart, switch to Linux.

    • AnorKnee Merce September 26, 2017 at 3:40 pm #

      @ kalmly

      Dell still sells new Win 7 Pro computers online.

      • kalmly September 27, 2017 at 2:51 pm #

        Thanks for the info AnorKnee Merce. I was looking for an HP, but Dell will do.

  28. RPWheeler September 26, 2017 at 3:10 pm #

    > Would you subscribe to a Windows plan?

    No.

    > Can you think of other advantages or disadvantages?

    ) Personal savings: I'm fine without MS Office. I use LibreOffice / OpenOffice at home and WPS(KingSoft) office free if and when I need more compatibility with MS Office (most times I don't need it).
    ) Business savings: I saw even business companies moving to selective MS Office use and using LibreOffice where MS Office is not needed/requested for additional budget. I think that states servants can go the same approach. If there is no heavy reason you should pay for MS Office -- don't pay for it.
    ) Aesthetic. I don't like at all MS interfaces since Ribbon.
    ) Confidence. I'm not satisfied with how Skype works since MS bought it and even less satisfied with its work after they "moved it to MS cloud". People I know use Viber or Google Talk for private messaging but not Skype. Similarly, I don't want to rely on MS online tools. But as far as I see, I have no other option if I want access office documents from Mac or other OS. So, offline install of LibreOffice looks more reliable option for me.

  29. PANAMA PATRICK September 26, 2017 at 3:54 pm #

    NO AND WINDOWS 7 FOREVER. LARGE CORPORATE USERS WILL PROBABLY GO FOR IT AS THEY WILL HAVE NO CHOICE, DOESN'T MAKE SENSE FOR NON-BUSINESS HOME USERS.

    PATRICK

  30. Tom Hawack September 26, 2017 at 4:24 pm #

    Off-topic : I won't subscribe anymore to be email notified of new comments/replies as I get regularly a notification with a link to the comment which is not available here, maybe because the comment was updated (within the 10 minutes). YThis is a pain. I know it's not Martin's fault, remains it's annoying : twice the same post notified with a chance on two of its availability here is somewhat archaic in 2017.

    • A different Martin September 26, 2017 at 5:11 pm #

      Hi, Tom. "Different," here. I've noticed the same thing and it is annoying. The email notification for new comments seems to go out when a new comment is first saved by the commenter, not when it has actually been posted (after the ten-minute grace period for editing). The solution is to open the link to the new comment and refresh the tab ten minutes later. It's still annoying, but since I'm never going to remember to go back and visit most of the posts I'm interested in, I'm going to continue to subscribe to them.

      • Jojo September 26, 2017 at 8:01 pm #

        I gave up subscribing to comments here long ago because my email can be overrun with an active thread.

        What needs to happen is that you get ONLY one email if you subscribe to comments and then no more emails until you revisit the forum. This is how most forums seem to work these days.

  31. A different Martin September 26, 2017 at 5:24 pm #

    Would I pay for a Windows subscription? Let's see. I run Windows 7 on an old ThinkPad (T510), and starting around a couple of years ago:

    * I switched from Microsoft Office to LibreOffice.

    * I've been deliberately favoring cross-platform, open-source apps over closed-source, Windows-only apps.

    * I've been trying out different Linux distros in VirtualBox virtual machines. (Consistent favorite so far: Linux Mint Cinnamon.)

    I believe I have answered the question.

  32. ilev September 26, 2017 at 5:48 pm #

    No way.

  33. chesscanoe September 26, 2017 at 6:29 pm #

    Even Office 2019 and Office 365 Home are't for me; LibreOffice will continue to meet my needs for the foreseeable future.

    http://windowsitpro.com/collaboration/ignite-2017-microsoft-announces-office-2019-customers-avoiding-office-365

  34. A Lurker September 26, 2017 at 6:46 pm #

    I am very selective about any software purchase or subscription. My rules are (not in any specific order):
    1. Is there a major professional benefit to either at this time
    2. Is there a major personal/hobby benefit at this time
    3. Does the price seem fair to me
    4. Is there an FOSS or freeware that will do the job adequately for my needs
    If the answer to 4 is yes, then that is option I will likely take for OS and most software. Professional and personal benefit means there only a few programs I would ever consider spending money for.

    In the case of Windows or Office, I can find what need on Linux for home use so I do not need Windows at home. Ditto for Office, I do not need the minor features of Office at home so no money for Office- LibreOffice is overkill for me. MS needs provide a reliable OS and a compelling reason for me to use either at home. Office, I use what IT provides.

  35. seeprime September 26, 2017 at 10:22 pm #

    I already cancelled my Office 365 subscription, and reinstalled Office 2010 and 2013 perpetual versions. LibreOffice has some issues with Excel templates that (temporarily) drove me back to MS Office. Office 365 and MS 365 will steal your milk money while constantly changing some settings on you. I tested Linux Mint and it worked perfectly. Since our shop services and sells Windows computers, I'll keep it our machines, for now. To be fair to MS, Windows 10 Creators Update isn't bad. Windows Defender is finally usable with the need for a third party AV program. Still, I'm wary of MS and their tactics. Someday we may only sell Linux boxes. Until then, our shop will stay the course.

  36. Bored September 27, 2017 at 12:18 am #

    Well, a company's role is to make money. If more people subscribe, its revenues are up. This leads to the stability and growth of the company. So, they can hire more people. More people get employed, and they are able to feed themselves and their families. Since people have regular paychecks, they can afford to subscribe Windows subscription or buy other goods to improve the economy. Overall, it is a good thing. Except, the price is too much. It should be around $50 a year just like Redhat or Suse Linux.

    • AnorKnee Merce September 27, 2017 at 12:08 pm #

      @ Bored,

      Problem is, to push business people to subscribe to Win 10, M$ have imposed the twice-a-year upgrade cycle which is just too unstable and too much work for businesses.

      M$ should have just stopped selling standalone Win 10 Volume licenses, moved completely to subscriptions and maintained the once-in-3-years upgrade cycle, instead of using disrupting, predatory or malware tactics to push business people from buying standalone Win 10 Volume licenses to Win 10 subscriptions.
      ....... This would be more honest of M$.

      As for the ordinary consumers who are suffering collateral damage from above, M$ will likely be using Windows Update to make obsolete OEM Win 10 computers that are about 4 years old, ie by blocking such computers from receiving security updates = EOL'ed. M$'s excuse for doing so is that the OEMs no longer support such "old" computers, ie no OEM device drivers are made available for the latest Version of Win 10 = the consumers will have to buy new OEM Win 10 Home or Pro computers or new Win 10 Home or Pro Retail licenses.

  37. dmacleo September 27, 2017 at 12:58 am #

    no.
    for the one program I need (anydvd hd) I will run a win7 vm on linux mint using virtualbox.
    evolution hooks to my exchange server well enough I can make due w/o full outlook (hooked to exchange is POWERFUL) but will not pay monthly fee.

  38. Robert September 27, 2017 at 1:28 am #

    Microsoft is not only going to kill off themselves but also those who make a business writing software for Windows. These software vendors should think about writing their software for Linux and selling it for that platform instead as that is where people are likely heading.

    • seeprime September 27, 2017 at 7:53 am #

      You deserve a non-existent upvote, or ghacks gold, for your insightful comment. I really wish codes would port, or write, for Linux. It might help narrow down the thousand plus Linux distros if one variant became the standard.

    • kalmly September 27, 2017 at 3:02 pm #

      There, in a nutshell, is the main reason I stay with Windows. Software. Lots and lots of lovely software. It is also why Linux doesn't appeal to me. Very little software. Yes, I know. How much software does one need? I can't answer that. I can only say that I - joyfully - use a great deal of it. When the sad day comes that my Win7 and XP OSes are struggling to start up and I can find no more parts to keep them perking, I will have no choice but to make the switch. Maybe by then, there will be more software choices for Linux. Here's hoping.

  39. john September 27, 2017 at 2:14 am #

    I won't pay a subscription fee for any operating system. It's not an anti-Microsoft thing or an anti-anybody thing. I just don't need the added expense. I have a small fixed income in general, and have in the past and probably will go through times in the future where I have to drop some of the things I've previously paid for temporarily or permanently in order to pay for the basic necessities. When I buy a computer, I own it, and expect it to work even when I don't have some monthly subscription fee- I've paid for it already.

    I recognize that some things only make sense on a subscription basis (Like how could you permanently "buy" Internet access or cable television service?), but a computer operating system isn't one of them. I don't want my PC to turn into a brick because I haven't paid this month's fee or because I chose to prioritize something else over a fee that for my entire life wasn't necessary to use an operating system on a computer I owned.

    It really only vaguely matters whether it's $1, $5, $10 a month, or more. I don't want to cross the line into having to pay a monthly toll to access my PC no matter how "low" the price is, because there is always some chance circumstances might pay and I won't be able to meet the toll. Prices can go up, for one, but, also, what if your bank account gets closed or your credit cards get cancelled or whatever? That would nix your PC access under a subscription model even if you have the money, because you can't wave your cash in front a of a screen and expect it to literally take your money. :) Those are just examples- there are a lots of things like that. Maybe your account gets banned the same way Amazon and Google ban accounts and you can no longer buy or subscribe to things from them. Who knows? As long as my hardware is working, I would like my operating system to boot up and do whatever it does without a toll or a monthly nod from a mega-corp.

    I've tested out Linux a bit over the years, and, honestly, I prefer Windows and find it more usable. However, if having a Windows PC starts to require a monthly subscription fee, I honestly would switch to Linux, perceived warts and all. I think buying from a company that builds PCs with Linux preinstalled to ensure driver compatibility and support and such would eliminate a lot of issues that sometimes exist with dual booting or putting Linux on a machine designed for Windows where you're using drivers that might not be ideal. Also, if it became my only computer, I'd be likely sticking to LTS releases that would be more stable and have fewer bugs than the more frequent ones. In general, I would say Linux users would also be well served by buying machines with Linux preinstalled because it benefits companies that benefit Linux and is voting with their wallets. Why pay a company to pay Microsoft to install Windows and then wipe it? That's still going down as a sale for Microsoft and the computer company that sells Microsoft computers.

    Anyway, I'm using Windows 10 now. I'm mostly happy with it. This is all hypothetical at this point. They aren't charging me. They haven't announced plans to charge me. Windows 8 came with the PC and it was a free upgrade to Windows 10. I see why people might speculate that they will try to charge eventually, but since I find this is the best thing for my needs, I won't switch to something else unless they announce they are charging.

  40. basicuser September 27, 2017 at 4:45 am #

    No thanks. Will not do business with an entity that would use the sleazy, underhanded tricks MS did to force feed W10 to users of Windows 7 and 8.

  41. BM September 27, 2017 at 5:44 am #

    Unlike the Linux fans above, probably not likely.

    More likely an open door for Android / Chromebook to replace MS Win.

    Not a fan of this, but it is plain to see that there is far more exposure / familiarity in the public with the free Google OS than Linux.

    • Reply September 27, 2017 at 8:04 am #

      Good luck with that. To be fair, chromebook or mac support lifecycle is shorter than current Windows lifecycle (cough, might change. No one knows for certain). It also needs special software to boot another OS. It is not just as simple as easy-to-dual-boot Windows device.

      • BM September 27, 2017 at 7:09 pm #

        True, but it really is about MS maintaining market share while charging a subscription against what is perceived as a free OS that already has a significant following on other platforms.

        The finer technical points may appeal to and may be a requirement for several enterprises, but that may become irrelevant over time if the door is opened wide enough.

    • John September 27, 2017 at 7:18 pm #

      Were Windows to introduce a subscription model for home users and be the only major player to do so, I see the operating system market bifurcating. Users who could afford it and were willing to pay, and with specialized needs requiring use of a full operating system, would jump ship to Macs. Users with less disposable income or who don't want to pay the toll, and who mainly may be using their computers as Internet machines, would wind up with a Chromebook. In addition to that, the general trend of some users abandoning traditional computing and relying only on cell phones or tablets would pick up even more steam. Windows itself would become primarily a business operating system that ran in a distant 3rd place among home users, discounting legacy users who might still be able to use pre-pay to pay versions of Windows.

      So what happens with Linux in that scenario? I see it growing it's marketshare to 250% of current levels. Unfortunately for Linux, it's current marketshare is only 2%, so a 250% increase in marketshare would only bring it to 5% of home users. I think the increase would be people like me who find Linux difficult but not impossible, but can't afford a Mac or don't want it's even stricter wall-gardened approach, and couldn't stomach the cloud first, second, and third approach and vendor of a Chromebook and want an operating system that can still do traditional operating system tasks.

      Still, Google would inherit the lion's share of the market in that scenario, unless Apple were to do something disruptive and introduce a $500 MacBook with a full OS, for example, instead of just sitting back and raking in a high money per unit income that would be increasing but not taking over the market from existing users and those former Windows users who could cobble together the extra money to buy a computer with a full operating system that doesn't charge a per month fee.

      Of course, this doesn't take into account the possibility that once Microsoft hypothetically starts to charge by the month, other operating systems developers could follow suit. I could see Google hopping in line, and possibly even Apple. Linux would be somewhat immune because it's open-source and forkable, though a major or distro might follow- for example- Ubuntu, and wind up inadvertently spawning serial-numbers-filed-off-on-delay clone like RedHat has with CentOS.

  42. Jozsef September 27, 2017 at 7:53 am #

    No chance. Even if by some miracle they made Windows hard to resist, I would never rent the thing. Fortunately there is not the slightest temptation to use W10 even though I have the license, so my ever subscribing is unlikely to say the very least. ;)

  43. Deo et Patriae September 27, 2017 at 8:50 am #

    Pay subscription for Windows for what? Because I need a browser -not made my MS- and a movie player -also not made my MS-?

    For businesses I don't care.

  44. Clairvaux September 27, 2017 at 10:30 pm #

    No. Of course. Come on.... At least, if Microsoft was exceptionally reliable and prompt in its products, service and support... If you knew they would save your bacon if need be, with a real, human technician helping you personally... If they were exceptionally trustworthy with your personal data and privacy... But it's the opposite that is happening these days. The Microsoft update rigmarole is a joke. It's a train wreck.

    Also, this is a general trend : corporations (not only in the digital realm) trying to make you "subscribe" instead of buying, because... well, it's obvious how it benefits them, and it's obvious how it's a swindle for the customer, most of the time.

  45. John in Mtl September 28, 2017 at 3:16 pm #

    No way Jose would I ever buy a subscription to an OS; too many things that can go wrong and lock you out of your own computer, not to mention the security breaches of having a near-constant connection to the mothership for whatever reason the manufacturer deems is "appropriate" or "absolutely necessary for proper functioning of said OS".

  46. David September 29, 2017 at 3:24 am #

    No. Actually, hell no. As a user of Microsoft products since the 80's, their current business model of 'take as much as they can from the customer and provide as little support as possible' will continue to turn customers away. Microsoft is moving away from telephone/chat tech support to email only tech support. Their email tech support (and most of the other tech/product support) is, IMHO, is now the worst in the industry. Nope, no more $$ from me.

    • Clairvaux September 29, 2017 at 1:03 pm #

      I'v never had the privilege of any support from Microsoft. Not by phone, not by chat, not by email, nothing. This, I believe, is related to my country of residence and nature of license (home user). But I have been a paying customer for ages. As in : go to Amazon, whip out your credit card, and buy a disc with Microsoft's name on it, and a price in the three-figures (in euros). Not from some shady "reseller" pimping 10-dollar "licenses" on the Web.

      All I can do is go to a Microsoft forum, and hope that some user will provide me with an answer which won't be a canned, completely useless response, of the sort you often get from "MVPs" who want to score easy points for being "helpful" to users.

      This was already outrageous when Microsoft was churning out passably OK versions of Windows. Now that every "update" breaks the previous "upgrade" which was itself meant to repair the "update" before, it's beyond insulting.

      On the other hand, I've had excellent, personal assistance from software publishers selling programs for 15, 20, 30 or 60 euros. Or even for 1 euro (promotional offer). Or even giving out their product for free. Only they were not called Microsoft.

      Paying each month for a program is already a disgrace if it's application software. If it's your operating system, in means in practice that the seller can pull the plug on your computer whenever it likes, just because. It' not far-fetched to envision a situation where Microsoft could disable your Windows for a month, or more, because you lambasted them on their forum, and they consider it "libelous", "offensive", "hate speech" or whatever. That's already the sort of behaviour we see from some big corporations.

      It's high time for some monopoly-busting by the US government, or EU.

  47. ns September 29, 2017 at 10:06 am #

    Am I the only one here using Windows 8? xDD

    • Jody Thornton September 30, 2017 at 1:53 am #

      No I'm using it too (and it's the original RTM too, no 8.1). While I completely get why vendors need to start looking at subsription models for continued revenue, I certainly prefer using a locally controlled OS and doing as I wish with it. I plan to stay with Windows 8 until October 2023. That's when Server 2012 updates (which I use on Windows 8) run out.

  48. [email protected] September 29, 2017 at 12:55 pm #

    So... Windows gets worse and worse, with them foisting even more and more crap upon you, that you don't want, whilst charging you more and more for the privilege...

    Yeah, game-changer, that. It just confirms, to me, that M$ have gone totally insane.

    I'll stick with W7, with updates disabled, ta.

  49. RTBones September 29, 2017 at 4:26 pm #

    Simple answer: no.
    Complicated answer: h3ll no.

    @ns - no you are not. While it took me some time (and swears - lots of swears), I finally have an installation of 8.1 (coupled with Start8) configured in a way that works for me, and I have zero desire for W10. Once I figured out how to take ownership of some registry keys and work with Powershell, I was able to get rid of the majority of what irked me.

    Rent an OS? Have Microsoft have well and truly fallen off their twig?

    As to Office, I have already largely migrated to Libre Office at home. If I need MS Office, I have Office 2013. Apart from gaiming and the occasional forays into ITunes, there are relatively few things I need Windows for.

    I have my issues with Linux, but if Microsoft made subscriptions for an OS mandatory, I would make the permanent jump. I vacilate between dual booting and VMs now as it is, trying to discern which distro I would head to.

    • ns September 29, 2017 at 4:38 pm #

      Exactly this. Win 8 had a few things I wanted, so I did my ultimate best to make it as much like 7 as I could.

  50. pleiades October 5, 2017 at 11:47 am #

    I think it would be better for MS to make the OS free instead.

  51. Timothy October 8, 2017 at 6:38 pm #

    Nope. I stopped buying Microsoft products 5 years ago and see no compelling reason to start again.

  52. grakky October 20, 2017 at 6:12 am #

    NEVER! Don't these f***ing corporations have enough money? IF they want more money they have to offer more features like software that works, a way to get results instantly instead of pays your money and then hope for the best, fuck that. Is anything going to improve if they get more money? What I want to see in the way of justifying more money is like transitioning from a wagon equipped with stone wheels to a StarShip going Warp 1000, that kind of an improvement would be somewhat justifiable but we all know that will never ever happen. Their version of improvement is more versions of Desktop Themes and different looking GUIs, big fucking deal.

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