Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Windows 10 is a free upgrade, but Why?

Microsoft announced last month that Windows 10 is a free upgrade to Windows 7, Windows 8 / 8.1 consumers (Enterprises still have to pay). This is a tectonic shift that was either not noticed by the industry or the industry has decided to ignore.

There could be two reasons. First, Microsoft has started believing its bashers, who say that Windows doesn't matter any more. This is patently false. Windows still powers billion+ devices, and more importantly all productivity work is being done only on a windows laptop or a tablet. The non-Microsoft platforms have a long way to go when it comes to productivity applications. If Microsoft starts believing this, then this might become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Or Microsoft wants everyone to upgrade to Windows 10, which is the first release of Windows coming after Satya's Cloud-first, Mobile-first strategy. Windows 10 is a unified platform across all form factors. Quicker the users upgrade to Windows 10, better it is for Microsoft to forge ahead, without worrying about incompatibilities. Windows 10 is going to sport a new browser, codenamed Spartan. A web browser is already a platform, and will continue acquire platform capabilities in the future. The new browser is a fresh start, a modern standards compliant browser, which is required if Windows is to run on other hardware architectures, such as ARM. Continuing to invest in the current Internet Explorer (IE) will only hold Microsoft back. I believe this is the most likely reason for offering Windows as a free upgrade.

What do you think?


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