Microsoft Announces Windows As A Service

The evolution of Microsoft Windows has occurred over several decades, and many working professionals today remember the fervor over the arrival of Windows 95, which introduced the world to a radically improved version of the operating system.

In the two decades since that introduction, Microsoft has released several versions of its famous operating system with varying results. A recent announcement by the company shares some surprising news that may eventually impact all Windows users.

The announcement made was that Windows would be transforming from a version of the operating system bought at a specific point in time (like Windows 7 or Windows 8) to a Windows as a Service option. 


According to Microsoft, Windows will cost enterprise users seven dollars a month per user and will be known as Windows 10 Enterprise E3. At first, the only users paying for Windows-as-a-Service will be enterprise customers, but Microsoft has indicated Windows 10 will be the last named or numbered version of Windows.

With no more new versions of Windows on the horizon, that means there will be no Windows 11, 12, or any new versions in the future. Instead, Windows will receive incremental updates as time passes and Microsoft creates additional or updated features for the OS. Users will pay for subscriptions instead of purchasing the OS outright.

As-a-Service Becomes the Industry Standard

Many companies are eliminating the style of development where new versions are released every so often, and consumers or business owners buy the newest version whenever they upgrade their computers or purchase new machines.

Instead, companies and developers are offering their programs “as-a-service,” where the user may pay a monthly or yearly fee to access software that is continuously updated. The creation of as-a-service programs has become so widespread that some technology experts are referring to this evolution as the “As-a-Service Economy.”

What does this mean for the average user? While some programs already use this model (Microsoft Office 365 is a notable example), consumers aren’t yet using the majority of their programs in this manner. The evolution has first occurred within the business economy.

Facets Driving As-A-Service Evolution

The stated benefit to consumers regarding the As-a-Service model is that the buyer will enjoy greater flexibility as time passes due to the continuously updated features of the program, application, or operating system.

In return for this flexibility, the cloud-based approach will allow service providers to analyze the success or failure of certain facets of the program. There is the expectation that updates to the service will occur in a timely manner through the exchange of information from client to service provider.

There are also some expectations that the increased flexibility of the programs will allow clients, too, the opportunity to analyze the success of the program and make swift decisions on whether to continue using a service or consider a different service.

As-a-Service Impacts Legacy Technology Investments

One of the interesting results of the As-a-Service economy is the ability of enterprises to utilize Business Process-as-a-Service (BPaaS) options that reduce the amount of future technology investment required. In the past, an organization would make a heavy investment in legacy technology solutions.

The arrival of cloud-based process delivery has reduced the necessary investment in updated technology and increased the “speed-to-market” advantage of companies that have chosen to utilize the As-a-Service Economy. However, problem-solving will still need to occur on some levels of the organization to ensure the right services are being utilized.

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