Many Windows users were wondering how much an upgrade to Windows 10 would cost. It was widely expected that Windows 8.1 users would have a cheaper or possibly free upgrade path over Windows 7 users when going to Microsoft’s new OS. To everyone’s surprise, Microsoft has officially announced today that for the first year of Windows 10’s availability, users upgrading from Windows 7 and 8.1 will do so for free. Yep, you read it right – free. Microsoft wants everyone to come on board.
Windows 10 will not be a direct money maker for Microsoft: This move is significant in that it would give Windows 10 the fastest ever adoption rate in the history of the platform. For those of you following closely, it’s not hard to see that Microsoft is doing away with major big bang releases of Windows, and Windows 10 seems to be the last one of those, finally bringing everything-Microsoft together in profound ways.
The Money lays in Microsoft services: As Windows 10 starts to adopt a new strategy in licensing, and possibly being offered to OEMs for free with additional parts of it to come at cost, Windows will not be a direct money maker for Microsoft going forward. The money Microsoft intends to make lies in the services, like OneDrive, Office 365, Skype, Xbox and so on.
Exposing hundreds of millions of users to services in as little time as possible: It’s crucial for Microsoft to get everyone on Windows 10 as quickly as possible exposing them to the services it offers. Other Windows devices such as phones and tablets can immensely benefit from the huge influx of users upgrading to Windows 10 in the first year, as they too will be running on the same OS and use the same unified app store. Hundreds of millions of people will be introduced to Cortana on PCs in as short of a time period as six months after the Windows 10 release, and if their experience is a good one, it’s not hard to imagine that they would like for Microsoft’s digital assistant to follow them on other devices, and that’s where Microsoft’s mobile play can benefit greatly.
Massive Windows Store benefits from influx of new users: Another area that will hugely benefit the Windows ecosystem is massive amount of users that will start to use the app store, as with the new Windows 10 design, using modern apps is a much more natural experience. Modern apps will surely be used by a much larger percentage of Windows 10 users compared to that of Windows 8.1, as not having to switch environments to use modern apps will be of tremendous benefit. Combining that with the huge influx of Windows 7 and 8.1 users upgrading for free will surely grab more attention from developers.
Boosting mobile position: Judging by the recent press event and what Windows 10 is set to bring, it shows that Microsoft is very serious about the platform and understand its weak position in mobile. Microsoft is dominant with OS share on PC’s, and using this envious position is the most effective way to add users to mobile part of Windows. Offering Windows 10 as a free upgrade to Windows 7 and 8.1 users is probably the smartest and most effective move the company has made in order to boost their mobile position and levitate more people to their services than ever before.