The future of Microsoft depends on Windows being free
But this isn’t going to be the future of Microsoft; the days of charging for upgrades are over and the company is being slowly backed into a corner by the trend of free upgrades on mobile and Apple completely removing OS upgrade pricing on Mac. Consumers simply aren’t willing to pay for upgrades anymore, instead, they expect them to be free for most of the lifetime of a device.
The value of OS upgrades has been entirely lost in a time where we’re accustomed to receiving free updates to mobile devices as long as they can continue to handle the software. Why does this same model not apply to the PC yet? Microsoft has adopted free upgrades for Windows Phone already, so why not for the PC?
Microsoft has remained quiet on what its plans for Windows pricing in future, but did make it free for users to upgrade from Windows 8 to 8.1 and we know the upgrade from 8 to 10 will be free, but will this continue? The company recently unveiled Windows 10 but didn’t detail whether it would be another free upgrade or not; however, it almost certainly must be a free upgrade for most Windows users.
If Microsoft wants to retain it’s iron grip on the future PC market, it needs to decouple the enterprise and consumer markets. It’s entirely reasonable to expect businesses to pay to license software — even if only to receive extended updates and support — but expecting the end user to care enough to spend over $100 to upgrade every two years is ridiculous.
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