Recently we have noticed an uptick in concerns from journalists, users, and clients regarding the long-term plans from Microsoft for Windows 10. Specifically, the fear is that Microsoft is going to begin charging for Windows 10 “subscriptions” much the same way they are actively encouraging/forcing people to do with Office 365. The logic goes a bit like this:
- Microsoft is giving “free” upgrades to Windows 10 so that your PC is running an OS they “gave you”.
- This allows them to then either expire the license or require you to pay a subscription for features and updates going forward.
- Business users will be the hardest hit because Microsoft will try to dip into that lucrative revenue stream and charge for “commercial use”.
It is important to note that NONE of the concerns above have yet to be substantiated.. at all.. as of this writing in early February 2016. However, nobody does know what Microsoft might be planning. There are plenty of people who have looked at this and believe that Microsoft might be trying to use Windows 10 as leverage to make people “subscribe” to their computer OS. But there are plenty of other folks like Ed Bott from ZDNet who have looked at this and feel the odds are slim that Microsoft will try such a route.
Our advice at this time is two-fold depending on your business concerns:
- The upgrade to Windows 10 is worth doing on your systems that have hardware strong enough to support a fair speed within Windows 10. Also, if you expect to be keeping existing hardware for another 2-3 years, upgrading to Windows 10 makes sense so that you will continue to get the latest protections from Windows Update. Remember that while the upgrade is “free”, the process is by no means perfect or smooth.. and we recommend you contact us or another firm before moving your business systems to Windows 10.
- If you are concerned about the long-term Microsoft strategy, remaining on Windows 7 and 8.1 is a viable option for the short-term. Long-term Microsoft will disclose their plans and then a choice can be made about either moving to Windows 10, or moving to Apple or Ubuntu/RedHat/etc. Most Windows systems sold from this point forward will ONLY have Windows 10 as an OS choice, so as your existing systems die a plan will need to be put in place to handle the turnover. Moving to a non-Microsoft environment means converting away from not only the OS but also tools like Microsoft Office. That said, the non-Microsoft world continues to expand so this is a great time to break the chains. We can help your business with planning and migration strategies.
We will keep watching this story and update our advice if Microsoft’s plans should warrant!