Windows 10 – Not so Free?


The initial word on the coming Windows 10 was that it would be free. It is. But, I am seeing more and more articles talking about the cost of this FREE software. Forbes is the latest. See: ‘Free’ Windows 10 Has High Cost To Windows 7 And Windows 8 Users.

The Guardian @ The Conquest

The Guardian @ The Conquest by Brattilicious, on Flickr

We know there are some exceptions to the ‘FREE’ offer. Servers, Enterprise versions, and RT version are excluded. Those folks pay. What we are finding out is Microsoft is evolving Windows into a new product, one we WILL have to pay for. Are you asking, WTF!?! 

The new Windows 10 is hailed as the LAST Windows version. Starting with Windows 10, it will automatically update to add new feature previously coming only in new release version, also for free. We are hearing that the next two releases of Windows will be updates named Redstone, figure you’ll see those by mid 2016.

The rumor from leaks is the updates will evolve Windows 10 into Windows Subscription… Microsoft will likely just call it Windows without any other designator. Yes, another freaking monthly subscription to pay for.

If your computer has downloaded and installed patch ‘KB3035583’, you now know that Microsoft can design nag-ware. This patch KB3035583 has been classed as ‘Important’, which means Win 7 & 8 will automatically install it. Remove it and it will reinstall. Expect them to try other tricks to force people to upgrade. Also expect the nag to get really annoying the longer you put off updating.

Forbes writer Gordon Kelly reminds us that in the upgrade from Win 8 to 8.1 Microsoft made all future security upgrades dependent on users upgrading to 8.1. Expect the same considerate treatment with Win 10. Upgrade or be abandoned. In the case of the 8.1 upgrade, we had 4 weeks of warning before Microsoft cut off the Win 8.0 updating service. User screamed and Microsoft extended the grace period to 4 months… really big of them. You had no choice. Update or be at risk.

Kelly points out that we do not have solid information on what Microsoft is planning. Microsoft is staying silent. We do have Microsoft’s track record. We know what they have done in the past. We can to some extent expect the same behavior in the future. But, things are changing… so…

Microsoft has said they will support Win 7 to 2020 and Win 8.1 to 2023. So, we may have longer support for 7 & 8 than we will have for this coming version 10 release. We saw that happen with 8.0.

12 thoughts on “Windows 10 – Not so Free?

  1. This shouldn’t really be a surprise. All companies do bait and switch. Actually, the chance to be at a current OS is good anyway. I agree that a monthly subscription fee later on would be somewhat misleading

  2. So here is what to do: Download Linux! It is free and that means it is really free, no subscribtion, no fine print. There are many flavours for every taste. For Windows users I would recommend Linux Mint, which has a desktop similar to the Windows Desktop. You can just put it on an USB stick and run it from there. If you like it, you can install it on a hard disk, which takes less than 30 min. Most software can be downloaded from a central server, including popular SL software like GIMP or Blender, it all goes automatically, also free. One click and your favorite software is installed. No need to download from 3rd party websites or to worry about anything. You do not have to install drivers and no painful security updates or service packs. There is no need for anti-virus or anti-malware software. All future updates are free. And you do not have to be afrait about Government backdoors, because it is open source. You can even esily protect yourself from evil people (which these days means your government) by encrypting your hard disk with just one click.
    There is no single reason why anybody would use Windows.

    • Any computer novice that has tried to use Linux knows why they use Windows. Otherwise you are right on.

  3. Honestly… It sounds like you’re reading way too much into doom and gloomy details which all made up by some tech blog experts. Forbes isn’t the best place for proper tech details.

    Microsoft still haven’t said much details about anything yet, and that’s for a reason.
    You have to keep in mind about the risk they’re facing… We all could easily switch to Mac or Linux since that’s free and there’s ton of distros`. Not forget to mention SteamOS, a lot of gamers will swing over there if this said gloomy doom actually came true. Much less care for Win10 touting with DX12.

    They’re testing the water to see what people would say before dropping more details. They already learned their lesson with Win8 and Xbox One.

      • Alright well, let’s see…

        For Win8. They restored the start menu back into Win8 with Win8.1 update after so many people complained about being forced to mobile method when they’re clearly using desktop and laptop with this OS. However, it wasn’t enough, because it was still heavily designed for Mobile/touch devices. So they created Win10 that supports all platforms, including Xbox and Raspberry Pi. That’s one big lesson there.

        As for Xbox, during the absurd console war over at E3 back in 2013, they had their own DRM system for the games to play on XBO (X-Box One) where you can’t play a \used\ game disc. It also didn’t have backward compatibility. Enforces you that you must have online connection to play any games. It also come with Kinect 2, not giving you option to buy the console without it, because it cost too much as one whole bundle. Sony flat-out won the event.

        Few months later, Microsoft finally backtracked on DRM system, the online requirement and finally gave people the choice to buy packages that come with Kinect 2 or not.
        And now…. this week at the E3’s 2015 event, Microsoft just announced that XBO now have the backward compatibility feature.

        Yup, lessons learned, that’s for sure.

        • My point in saying I haven’t seen them learn, is they keep making these types of mistakes and having to correct them.

  4. Having worked with Linux for a decade now, and done tech support on IRC for about as long, frankly I’m not surprised at all that Microsoft as an OS developer would want to push everyone to use the latest version of a product. The more old versions of your own product you’re forced to support, the more of major pain in the ass it becomes. (In the Linux world, Debian and CentOS tend to impose that.) I’m sure, if people had their way, MS would still have to keep patching Windows 98 to this day. And NT 4.0. And Windows XP.

    Yeah, sometimes stuff changes too much, like with 8.0, but they eventually backtrack on the really bad decisions, so it’s enough to skip a version, no need to stick with it forever. (Here at work, half the computers have 8.1 and all it needs is Classic Start Menu to disguise it as a better faster 7, it hasn’t caused any troubles otherwise. And 10 undid the start menu thing after all.)

    ~ ~ ~

    Not talking about old hardware though. Resource-wise, 8.1 is lighter, so upgrading 7 → 8.1 really isn’t a problem. But I am really not sure what to suggest when someone’s system can’t run 8.1 because the CPU lacks PAE, for example – it’s a requirement that can’t be removed once they add it. (Last I checked, PAE was needed for the good kind of security protections it allows.)

    “Buy a new one” wouldn’t be a good answer I guess. Perhaps that’s one case when you just have to stay on an old version. I’m quite sure however that Microsoft doesn’t run the nagware on such systems…

  5. I don’t think that Microsoft will charge home users a subscription fee for Windows. These days almost no one actually buys an operating system anyway. It comes preinstalled when you buy a computer and you just do the free upgrades. Microsoft makes most it’s money for Windows selling to companies that build and sell computers. They also make good money from Enterprise/Network setups. I really don’t think they expect home users to suddenly start paying a monthly fee for an operating system – most home users aren’t even aware of what an operating system is. They just open their programs and do their thing. I’m betting this just isn’t gonna happen.

    • I expect they will try to roll Office and the OS together to get some stream of cash flow. But, you may be right. They may stay with selling to OEM’s.

  6. Sure you all know this anyway, just not seen it in the post. But Windows 10 will only be free for the first year after it’s release. Then they will charge for it after the first year if you want to get Windows 10. I read about it a few months ago on the BBC website.

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