Windows 10 is famously ‘free’, but Microsoft has been worryingly silent about just how free it really is. Now, only three weeks before release, leaks suggest ‘free’ Windows 10 might not be a good deal at all…
The news comes from ComputerWorld which attained Microsoft internal slides that strongly suggest many Windows 10 owners will have to start paying to receive updates within two years. The key lines ComputerWorld discovered are:
“Revenue allocated is deferred and recognized on a straight-line basis over the estimated period the software upgrades are expected to be provided by estimated device life…. [The estimated device life] can range from two to four years.”
‘Device life’ is the key phrase here. Microsoft has already stated revenue earned from Windows 10 must be deferred because of the free upgrade model (cash isn’t taken upfront), but it repeatedly stressed Windows 10 owners can expect to get free updates for the “supported lifetime of the device”.
The problem is Microsoft hadn’t defined how long the ‘supported lifetime of the device’ will be and now we see it: “two to four years”.
I guess will see how it all shakes out over time. Microsoft will need to make money somehow with Windows 10.