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Microsoft Software Hardware

Microsoft Announces Surface as a Service, Windows 10 Enterprise E3 for $7 Per User Per Month (zdnet.com) 157

Mary Jo Foley, reporting for ZDNet: Microsoft plans to make its recently renamed Windows 10 Enterprise product available as a subscription for $7 per user per month, or $84 per year. Microsoft took the wraps off the pricing of one of the two renamed versions of Windows 10 Enterprise at the company's Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto on July 12. Windows 10 Enterprise E3 is the name of the lower-end of two different versions of Windows 10 Enterprise. Windows 10 Enterprise E5 is the new name of the Windows 10 Enterprise version that also will include Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection, a new Microsoft service for detecting and responding to attacks. Microsoft announced the renaming of Windows 10 Enterprise last week, and said the E3 and E5 versions will also be available as part of "Secure Productive Enterprise" bundles.Microsoft also announced a subscription service for Surface tablet. The company says that its Cloud Solution Providers and Surface Authorized Distributors can now sell Surface as a Service.
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Microsoft Announces Surface as a Service, Windows 10 Enterprise E3 for $7 Per User Per Month

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Can you say "rent-seeking," ladies and gentlemen? MS knows they're out of ideas, so their next step is to "Office-ize" their entire vertical stack, from hardware to OS to applications. Predictable, and ultimately a very dangerous move for ordinary consumers.

    • Can you say "rent-seeking," ladies and gentlemen? MS knows they're out of ideas, so their next step is to "Office-ize" their entire vertical stack, from hardware to OS to applications. Predictable, and ultimately a very dangerous move for ordinary consumers.

      Hmm....I'm not sure how well received this will be in the private corp world, but I'm pretty sure in the Federal Govt world, especially DoD and maybe VA with sensitive, classified or privacy patient data, this isn't going to go over too well, especially

      • I work for one of Microsoft's major (probably biggest) 'partners corporations', and I'd be honestly shocked if they went along with a 'subscription' model; I'd think it'd be more along the lines of, "You either give us one-shot enterprise licensing like always, or maybe we stop supporting your software with our hardware"
      • by deniable ( 76198 )
        This will be for the OpEX over CapEX rapid upsize / downsize organisations. They can change their numbers monthly and immediately expense it rather than having to predict sizes and expenses for three years at a time. These are the same people who do Office 365 monthly rather than getting it baked into an EA.
    • No, no, I think you've got it wrong, they're going to pay users $7/month to use Windows 10. Not enough unfortunately, I'd maybe consider it for several hundred a month, but I'm not inflicting Win10 on anyone for a lousy $7/month.
  • by Lab Rat Jason ( 2495638 ) on Tuesday July 12, 2016 @11:05AM (#52497145)

    So no shock here... windows as a service for 3x the price you used to pay. Nice move Micro$oft.

    • If you can say "Surface as a service" ten times in a row, Microsoft will give it to you for free.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Actually, Windows 10 Enterprise will be 100% cheaper for up front cost and 20% cheaper for annual cost, compared to the same SKU for Windows 8.1 Enterprise with Software Assurance (pre-paid upgrade rights, basically).

      Not 3x the price you used to pay in any math system I'm familiar with.

  • Well, I guess we can all guess what will be coming soon....... Will you be paying for your copy of Windows 10 with a check or credit card?
  • by LichtSpektren ( 4201985 ) on Tuesday July 12, 2016 @11:06AM (#52497159)
    For everyone who swore up and down that Windows 10 will never be a subscription and Microsoft will always stick with their old business model (pay once for the OS, additional support by subscription): hope the crow is tasty!

    Now the question is if they'll turn the 'Home' and 'Pro' editions into subscriptions as well. It's clearly not beneath them, it's only a question if their execs determine that the hostage revenues will outweigh the massive bad will backlash they'll receive.
    • by thoromyr ( 673646 ) on Tuesday July 12, 2016 @11:24AM (#52497315)

      I suspect that instead of MS choosing over "pay once" vs "subscription" they will introduce it as a "cost saving alternative" to "reduce the up front cost" of maintaining your operating system. Instead of paying $200 (or whatever) for an OEM copy it will be $5/mo. Then they can insist they are simply providing more options.

      To move into complete subscription mode they will transition the "legacy free support" model to "ad supported" with the option to pay a subscription fee in order to eliminate (or at least reduce) the advertising.

    • by SScorpio ( 595836 ) on Tuesday July 12, 2016 @11:24AM (#52497321)

      Nothing has changed. Microsoft has had this type of licensing in place for Enterprise before now. Adding a subscription to Home and Pro would be a major change. But if they threw it into O365 it would actually be a good change, just as long as they still a purchasable copy that doesn't have a recurring fee.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 )

      For everyone who swore up and down that Windows 10 will never be a subscription and Microsoft will always stick with their old business model (pay once for the OS, additional support by subscription): hope the crow is tasty!

      You gotta admit, whne the shills start trying to claim that Microsoft's subcription service really isnt a subscription service, it will be horrorshow fun.

      Now the question is if they'll turn the 'Home' and 'Pro' editions into subscriptions as well. It's clearly not beneath them, it's only a question if their execs determine that the hostage revenues will outweigh the massive bad will backlash they'll receive.

      It isn't a question of "if". If they are doing Surface as a service, there is no reason why everything won't be a "service' soon. So after say the 5 year lifetime of your computer, you'll have paid 420 dollars - not a bad deal eh? And we'd have to be fools to think that it won't soon rise to 10 dollars a month in short order.

      What I wonder about howeve

    • by ljw1004 ( 764174 )

      For everyone who swore up and down that Windows 10 will never be a subscription and Microsoft will always stick with their old business model (pay once for the OS, additional support by subscription): hope the crow is tasty!

      What? Who would have said that? Microsoft have been offering Windows by subscription for many years already.

    • For everyone who swore up and down that Windows 10 will never be a subscription and Microsoft will always stick with their old business model (pay once for the OS, additional support by subscription): hope the crow is tasty!

      You sure get riled up easy.

      This isn't new: Enterprise Agreement [wikipedia.org].

    • Did something change? Enterprise has always been available in a subscription form. Microsoft announcing a new tier of Enterprise licensing doesn't suddenly mean that Windows is now subscription only.

    • by fermion ( 181285 )
      To some degree MS was kind of like a rental program, at least for consumers and small business, as far as revenue was concerned.. You bought a computer, and got to run the OS on that computer for the time the computer was in use. You could pay a fee to upgrade, but you could not transfer. MS was insured a steady revenue. As computer got cheaper, the fees they could charge got smaller, and that steady revenue got smaller.

      To combat this they came up with an insane number of SKUs, and sold a stripped down

  • To all those Microsoft fanbois who said affirmatively that Microsoft was not planning a subscription model for Windows 10, please explain once again how Microsoft would never institute a subscription model for Windows 10.
    • by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 ) on Tuesday July 12, 2016 @11:28AM (#52497367)

      To all those Microsoft fanbois who said affirmatively that Microsoft was not planning a subscription model for Windows 10, please explain once again how Microsoft would never institute a subscription model for Windows 10.

      Simple - it will be renamed to Windows Overlord Edition. So it won't be Windows 10.

      • Simple - it will be renamed to Windows Overlord Edition. So it won't be Windows 10.

        Given the past few years, I think it's more likely they'll call it Windows Sierra.

    • by vux984 ( 928602 )

      To all those Microsoft fanbois who said affirmatively that Microsoft was not planning a subscription model for Windows 10, please explain once again how Microsoft would never institute a subscription model for Windows 10.

      1) Windows Enterprise Editions via VLA have been subscription based forever. So this move in particular is much ado about nothing.

      2) I don't think anybody has ever said Microsoft isn't moving towards a subscription based system. What people have said, is that the Windows 10 systems out there right now, they don't think will become subscription in the future.

      IOW, that PC you upgraded to windows 10 last month... I'm skeptical it will EVER require a subscription to win10. I don't rule it out. But I don't think

      • I don't think anybody has ever said Microsoft isn't moving towards a subscription based system.

        That's funny, some people right here are saying it.

        What people have said, is that the Windows 10 systems out there right now, they don't think will become subscription in the future.

        Are people saying that? Many here including me are saying just the opposite. As MS have said Win10 is the last ever version of Windows, how are they to get any future income from non-enterprise Windows unless they turn those systems into subscription? MS control those Win10 installations so they can do it.

        -- its one thing to have a perpetual windows license for a PC as a small line item in a $1000 purchase

        It is not a small item, and you need to look hard to find a PC costing as much as £1000. Windows is a significant part of the cost of a high stre

        • by vux984 ( 928602 )

          And don't talk about Linux - Joe Sixpack is never going to install it - can't, won't.

          But dell might, if people balk at buying PCs that require a subscription. Or chromebooks or android PCs or something along those lines...

          In my opinion linux doesn't sell well because people 'want windows' and linux is 'close but not windows' but if microsoft pulls a subscription model out, people might suddenly want NOT windows... and be a lot more open to alternatives. And because they are sitting their pining for windows they're satisfaction with the alternatives will be a lot higher.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Wouldn't "surface as a service" in any sane world just be called leasing it?

    • Yeah, I read the article, and wow, what a bunch of mealy mouthed techbro gobbledygook. Just say what you fucking mean for once, instead of constantly inventing new terms for everything.
      • Yeah, I read the article, and wow, what a bunch of mealy mouthed techbro gobbledygook. Just say what you fucking mean for once, instead of constantly inventing new terms for everything.

        Yeah, what they meant to say is that it'll be "pre-owned", just like that clunker the used car dealer tries to sell you.

        It's not leased, you just pay for it monthly!

  • When I first heard Surface as a Service, I envisioned a system where I could blow a whistle and from around a corner a sweat-drenched, breathless, and slightly bloated Steve Ballmer would bolt, full-tilt toward my being with a mighty "woooooooo!" and a surface in each greasy paw and a Microsoft phone the size of a prison lunch tray strapped to his hip.
  • by DoofusOfDeath ( 636671 ) on Tuesday July 12, 2016 @02:32PM (#52499125)

    I don't mind if Windows 10 Pro is rented, per se. If the PC market is slowing, it strikes me as a reasonable way to fund (and incent) continued security patches and bug-fixes. I.e., make Microsoft re-earn my business every 6-12 months. After all, I can always migrate away at my leisure before the rental agreement expires.

    However, I do object to other aspects of Windows 10, that if anything I would expect to get worse under such a model:

    * An EULA that gives Microsoft unfettered access to all of my data, and using it in whatever way they see fit.

    * The inability to assess each proposed patch, and to choose if/when to apply it.

    * The inability to prevent Windows 10 from phoning home for reasons I'm prevented from knowing.

    If it were just the rental cost, the cost/benefit analysis for my wife's photography business would be easy. But the snooping, and particular the risk of uncontrollable, unpreventable, unnecessary downtime on her production computers... that risk is unacceptable even if Windows 10 were perpetually free (as in beer).

    I really don't look forward to the cost of migrating her photo-editing workstation to a sufficiently powerful Mac. But we'll probably need to find a way.

    • * The inability to prevent Windows 10 from phoning home for reasons I'm prevented from knowing.

      If you care, there's a great PowerShell script available [github.com] that turns off everything that's known so far. We're going to include it in our deployment script on principle.

      • * The inability to prevent Windows 10 from phoning home for reasons I'm prevented from knowing.

        If you care, there's a great PowerShell script available [github.com] that turns off everything that's known so far. We're going to include it in our deployment script on principle.

        Thanks for the link. I really hope I don't end up needing to us it. I really don't have the spare cycles to engage in an arms race with our OS vendor.

  • I told you this would happen. I toldja toldja toldja.

    Yeah, they'll start with Enterprise customers but mark my words, within a few years every Microsoft OS released will be a subscription model. Hang on to Win 7 and 8, because that's the last "pay once" OS you'll ever see from Redmond.

    • What are you expecting? That they'll upgrade everyone currently on Windows 10 to a subscription without notice? Why can't we just upgrade now and hang on to that. And assuming they would, Windows already works without registration. It'll just nag you and take over the desktop background. You're not going to have your work interrupted or kept from you unless you're hit by a Cryptolocker.

      And assuming I'm wrong and they block you from your work on your currently purchased copy of Windows 10, what's to stop the

      • What are you expecting?

        I'm expecting them to do whatever is necessary to impose their will on everyone who runs Windows regardless of what they want. Like making the close window control opt you in to the Win 10 upgrade instead of just closing the nag window. [slashdot.org]

        -

        And assuming I'm wrong and they block you from your work on your currently purchased copy of Windows 10, what's to stop them from also taking over Windows 7 and 8?

        I dunno...the the fact that I can turn updates off if I choose to?

        -

        I mean, if you want to believe that Microsoft has evil plans, where do you draw the line?

        I don't want to believe that, it's the conclusion I'm forced to draw after watching their behavior for the last 20 years or so. As far as me drawing the line, that's really up to them, based on what they do.

        -

        • Can you be sure that updates are really "off" short of unplugging your computer from the internet? I mean, this is Microsoft we're talking about, and you are clearly more cynical towards them than I.
          • Can you be sure that updates are really "off" short of unplugging your computer from the internet? I mean, this is Microsoft we're talking about, and you are clearly more cynical towards them than I.

            No, I can't be 100% sure, but none of us can regardless of the OS we use, right? I've mostly switched over to Linux Mint so the whole Microsoft thing isn't a big deal for me, but honestly, how do I know Mint is doing stuff in the background that I'm not aware of?

            It'll be even less sure what Microsoft is doing behind your back in Windows 10....the stuff they've publicly admitted to is bad enough. God only knows what other goodies they have in store or will decide to do during their hourly stealth updates.

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