Microsoft hints at ‘Windows 365’ subscription service

Microsoft has filed to trademark ‘Windows 365’, sparking speculation that it’s planning a subscription service

Microsoft is set to trademark Windows 365', suggesting the tech giant may be planning to launch a subscription service for Windows 10, similar to the one for Office 365.

The latter enables users to rent access to the service, rather than buy outright, and Microsoft's most recent move to trademark Windows 365 has sparked speculation this option may soon be available for Windows 10.

As reported by ComputerWorld, Terry Myerson, chief of Microsoft's operating system group, said shortly before the company filed for the trademark: "With Windows 10, we think of Windows as a service. Windows 10 is so much more than the latest version of Windows. Windows 10 changes the rules of the game and redefined the relationship between us and our customers."

Microsoft announced at the launch event on 21 January that the new operating system would be free for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users for the first year.

During a Q&A at the Credit Suisse Technology Investment conference, Kevin Turner said: "We haven't announced the Windows 10 pricing framework yet. The one thing I can tell you that we've not had any conversations on is Windows 10 being a loss leader for us. The business model stuff will be out probably the early part of 2015."

Despite persistent rumours, however, the fact Windows 10 will be freely available for a full year has dampened speculation that a subscription service is something Microsoft is planning to announce in the near future.

Paul DeGroot, principal at Pica Communications, said in an email discussion with ComputerWorld: "I don't think the notion of a non-versioned Windows where customers pay a model fee for updates and patches is a bad idea.

"It could not be expensive, but if consumers, from whom Microsoft gets no Windows annuity revenue now, and businesses were billed something less than $20 for each OC and had access to a steady stream of patches and upgrades, it could work well."

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