Windows 10 As A Service – What it means

While allowing Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users to upgrade to Windows 10 for free, Microsoft has made it clear that version numbers will not matter anymore. Windows will be Windows 10 on all devices. Rather than a standalone operating system that has to be upgraded manually after every major release, Windows 10 will become Windows As A Service. Thus, it becomes like a cloud computing structure – however not the very same. We cannot yet call it Software as a Service (SaaS) literally but the functions of SaaS would be coming to the new operating system.


Windows 10 As A Service

So then, will Windows come as a subscription model? No! Once a Windows device is upgraded to Windows 10, Microsoft will continue to keep it current for the supported lifetime of the device – at no additional charge.

In its event on Jan 21 2015, Microsoft has made it clear that the future of Windows operating system is going to change the entire scenario of how computers work. Along with a range of features in Windows 10, Microsoft has announced that Windows 10 will be same across every device: from PCs to tablets to smartphones. Plus Windows 10 will be a device lifetime service. By device lifetime service, I mean that Microsoft will continue providing updates and upgrades as long as a person is using a device running Windows 10.

Whether a user buys a device preloaded with Windows 10 or upgrades to Windows 10 from 8.1 or Windows 7, he or she will continue receiving updates as long as the device is working. Later, when the user buys or switches to another device, he or she will receive the operating system with the latest features (Read as “the latest edition of Windows 10 with latest updates and upgrades”) and will again continue to receive unlimited support on the new device.

The pricing system will sure change if Microsoft means what it said. Because there won’t be any need of purchasing new Windows releases after Windows 10, they may implement “pay as you go” method as is the case with most Software as a Service (SaaS) systems. Further, the two different marketplaces for Windows 8.1 for PC and Windows 8.1 for phones will merge to offer similar apps on all types of devices. These apps can fetch in revenue as Microsoft plans to import Android apps to the Windows marketplace.

The pricing system for Windows 10 is not clear at the moment, but merging both marketplaces and creating Windows version of Android apps is certain to bring in good revenue as the choice of apps will be wider compared to what it is currently. It will also make it easier for people to migrate from Android to Windows 10 and enjoy the new features of Windows 10, without losing out on their favorite apps.

Now read: Free Upgrade to Windows 10 – Gains and Losses.

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Arun Kumar is obsessed with technology, especially the Internet. He deals with the multimedia content needs of training and corporate houses. He also offers online training for Business English. Follow him on Twitter @PowercutIN


  1. Ed

    Well, MS has said Windows 10 will be a free upgrade to those running Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 for the first year after it’s release. What they have not made clear is if you upgrade within that first year and have to reformat and reinstall after the initial first year is it still going to be free?

    Windows as a service? I really am not sure how much I am going to like that, I don’t like the idea of my OS running in the cloud. This essentially means that MS is moving towards Windows becoming a pay as you go service where everyone will be on the same OS computing in the cloud, yes it will be easier for them to distribute updates and patches for the OS but there are too many drawbacks to the scenario.

    First being as the end user will lose control of their system and MS takes over the drivers seat, if you don’t pay for the update or patch or monthly bill I can see systems being locked or shut down.

    Second, in the event of a virus outbreak ….. everyone gets infected not just a handful of users.
    Third, MS basically will have the keys to your system, privacy will no longer be an issue because they have any and all information on you whenever they need it whether it be with or without your knowledge.
    In short I can basically see all pc’s, handhelds and tablets basically becoming empty boxes that are controlled by MS, pay for the service and you’ll be fine, don’t pay and your shut off, just like if you don’t pay your power bill, you’ll be sitting in the dark.
    As I type this I can only see the worst and it doesn’t look good.

  2. Arun Kumar

    Yes Ed, you always have a point or two that I always miss out while analyzing news or writing articles. The thought of Microsoft totally controlling our computers is creepy. Already many governments are against privacy. Windows as a Service will kill whatever little privacy we have left with us.
    The other point of yours about subscription charges is also true. There are many, especially students, who will be largely affected by this. Earlier there was one time payment and now it would be recurring payments. That will certainly increase the burden and debts of those poor guys. Hope Microsoft offers some discounts to students.
    Thanks for the inputs. 🙂

  3. That’s not done. Nadella and his freakin cloud first moto. FTW it means people gonna need a new man from cloud at TPB.

  4. Ed

    Another point I’d like to touch on is when installing Windows 10, which I have been doing in a virtual environment. I forgot where I seen it but someone posted a screenshot somewhere that when installing Windows 10 as a clean install, if you need to revert back to your previous version say like Windows 8.1, it will not let you access your recovery partition. If true, this is just another way of MS forcing everyone towards 10 by destroying your recovery partitions.

  5. Arun Kumar

    To me, it seems their well thought out plan. Force everyone to Windows 10 and then charge annual or monthly subscription fee. Waiting for MS to reveal their pricing strategy so that it becomes clearer

  6. Microsoft are going too far in my opinion, furthermore not everyone uses devices some of us don’t like them, I don’t, The cloud is a no no for me I have read too many warnings about it for my liking

  7. Totally agree with privacy and subscription issues may occur, at least it is more than true for developing nations like India where there are end-users and small-firms who still need to explore cloud into there mainstream computing.

  8. PatSG

    Well, it’s not just students who would be adversely affected. Just think about users from working-class homes & less developed countries. Who is going to provide “discounts” to these people ?

    Besides recurring monthly &/or on-demand subscription payments, the proposed cloud computing structure would also restrict the user demographic to those who can afford to pay for a regular & reasonably fast internet connection with unlimited data quota.

    Is Microsoft trying to push the less-privileged users off the grid ?

  9. Arun Kumar

    I will agree on this point. Cloud means if hackers compromise the server, all the devices using that server will become vulnerable. Wonder if Microsoft has all these points in mind. The only thing it will serve is to stop piracy.

  10. Arun Kumar

    That is what I too was thinking. If there is an annual subscription type of thing, most of my money would go to Microsoft considering that I am already considering using Adobe subscription. If Office and other programs too become subscription based, I will have to go for free alternatives. We have alternatives for almost all programs but how do we create an alternative for Windows 10? I suppose developers will continue developing apps and upgrading them for Windows 10. Seriously, if Corel Draw etc would run on Linux, I will switch immediately. At the moment I am just hoping that the subscription fee would not be more than I can afford.

  11. PatSG

    I just read the below report, which says that after the 1st year of Win 10’s introduction:-

    • Free Win 10 upgrade via Windows Update for Win 7/8 users: No longer available
    • WIn 10 clean/re-installaton via DVD/ISO: Not free-of-charge

    • WIn 10 to become subscription-based ?:
    No, “Windows As A Service” refers to Microsoft providing regular incremental updates, rather than special packs

  12. I agree Arun, Microsoft knows alright its just money for them

  13. EnoughSaid83

    I’m not to keen on a subscription to use their products. Microsoft seems to be moving all their products to a subscription based model. It’s going to be an expensive proposition to use MS products in the future.

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