We know that software as a service is an attractive idea to software companies which seek to balance out the cyclical peaks and troughs of their business. Right now Microsoft is suffering from a lack of Windows sales as evidenced by its latest set of financials. It is in a trough between Windows 8 and Windows 10. Also it's been a while since it offered a new Office suite. On the other hand Adobe enjoyed a 20 per cent uplift in revenue, albeit deferred in our most recent report, thanks to the success of its Creative Cloud subscription model which has an added benefit of lower peaks and shallower troughs in cash flow.
Microsoft has been tiptoeing towards subscription software and has run its Office 365 subscription program for quite some time - but without phasing out the Office desktop suite software. Actually Microsoft recently revealed plans to work on the Microsoft Office 2016 desktop suite, it's scheduled for H2 2015. But what about Windows, will it ever become a subscription service?
Interestingly Neowin reveals that Microsoft has recently filed for the 'Windows 365' trademark. With this move it looks like Redmond has set the wheels in motion to at last providing some kind of Windows subscription offering.
However it's hard to see what any subscription could be for right now as we've just heard that Windows 10 would be a free upgrade for Windows 7 & 8 owners. It is most probably a very early move for something beyond Windows 10, or could even be just a move to trademark the name before someone else makes a claim to it.
Concepts behind a possible Windows 365 model
Windows 10 Season Pass
Conspicuous by their absence at the recent Windows 10 event were any pricing details for Windows 10. A month before the event we heard Microsoft's Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner talking about monetising Windows, how it wouldn't be a 'loss leader' and that there would be a new business model going forward. "We've got to monetise it differently. And there are services involved," Turner said. He elaborated to say that Microsoft would "monetize the lifetime of that customer through services and different add-ons that we're (going) to be able to incorporate with that solution". That sounds like you might buy Windows and then choose to get the 365 Season Pass? What do HEXUS readers think?