In a widely anticipated move, Microsoft announced last week that its newly launched operating system, Windows 10, will be provided as a free upgrade to the users of Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1. Terry Myerson, Executive Vice President, Operating Systems group (OSG), Microsoft announced during the January 21, 2015 Windows 10 event keynote that “for the first year after Windows 10 is available, we will be making a free upgrade to Windows 10 available to all devices running Windows 8.1 and Windows 7.” Both Satya Nadella and Terry Myerson stated during their addresses that Windows 10 marks the beginning of “Windows-as-a-Service”. This, coupled with the announcement of a free upgrade from Windows 7 / 8.1 to Windows 10 only for the first year of it becoming generally available, could imply that Microsoft intends to move Windows to a yearly subscription model, as it has done with Office 365.
“The free upgrade will also help the company reduce fragmentation in the current prevailing versions of windows operating system. Since, windows XP and windows 7 still remains the most popular windows operating systems for PCs across the world, Microsoft’s focus is to push those users switch to Windows 10,” opines Sanchit Vir Gogia, Chief Analyst & Group CEO, Greyhound Research.
Organizations will want to ascertain that their current infrastructure supports the new OS before initiating the upgrade process. “While a free one year availability of Windows 10 will indeed prove as an advantage for Microsoft, a possibility of frequent requirement of desk visits and significant hands on activity on the new software can hinder the enterprise adoption for Windows 10,” points out Gogia.
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