News, tips, advice, support for Windows, Office, PCs & more. Tech help. No bull. We're community supported by donations from our Plus Members, and proud of it
Home icon Home icon Home icon Email icon RSS icon
  • Microsoft charging for Windows 10! Gertie, buy a shotgun!

    Posted on July 15th, 2016 at 08:40 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge
    Lillian Gish, Night of the Hunter

    Lillian Gish, Night of the Hunter

    I’ve been trying to avoid this, but it looks like I can’t.

    Yes, there’s an article on Forbes that says “Microsoft Confirms Windows 10 New Monthly Charge.” No, I won’t link to it. It’s up to nearly 700,000 hits at this point, and that’s enough. (I’m in the wrong business, I guess.)

    The short observation is that Microsoft has ALWAYS charged companies for the Enterprise version of Windows. This is no exception. In fact, if anything, it’s a major discount from what’s been charged before – depending on how you look at it.

    Mary Jo Foley at ZDNet has the real story.

    Wes Miller, @getwired, knows more about Microsoft licensing than any ten lawyers alive. Here’s his take.

    Win10 licensing

    He’s quite literally correct — Microsoft has charged annual fees for Enterprise licenses forever, but they’re not subscription fees. Software Assurance “can perhaps be considered a subscription… but it really isn’t, as you retain some perpetual rights.”

    UPDATE: As noted in the comments by b, there’s really no difference between a subscription payment and an annual fee. It’s a question of what’s in the contracts.

    If that helped, take a second to support AskWoody on Patreon

    Home Forums Microsoft charging for Windows 10! Gertie, buy a shotgun!

    This topic contains 22 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Anonymous 2 years, 1 month ago.

    • Author
    • #39295 Reply

      Da Boss

      I’ve been trying to avoid this, but it looks like I can’t. Yes, there’s an article on Forbes that says “Microsoft Confirms Windows 10 New Monthly Char
      [See the full post at: Microsoft charging for Windows 10! Gertie, buy a shotgun!]

    • #39296 Reply


      Would Microsoft someday decide to charge a fee for regular users of Windows 10, in addition to purchasing the software?

    • #39297 Reply

      Da Boss

      No. I don’t think MS will ever charge for Windows 10. Their statements have been a bit cryptic – “for the life of the machine” for example – but I don’t see MS ever charging for Win10.

      They will probably (1) charge for other things, that aren’t part of Windows, even if they’re consumer oriented and (2) increase advertising in Windows 10. But MS hasn’t made any announcements, so we don’t really know for sure.

    • #39298 Reply


      I think it’s a question of time & opportunity for Microsoft to decide to charge a fee for regular users. They can’t at this time because of the “free” upgrade plan but Windows 10, if it will indeed be the last number, will maybe be only the last numbered version, followed by “Windows” (maybe “Ultimate” or “NewGen” or whatever term) and from there on a subscription plan may arise for regular users alike.

      I think we have to understand that Microsoft’s communication focuses on marketing strategy and not on their long-haul business plans. Thse company is what you would call “fake”, in other words never take theirs for anything else than what they are : blabla. They play with people, analyze the reactions and modify their communication accordingly; their communication only.

    • #39299 Reply


      I love the photo of Lilian Gish from the classic film noir, “Night of the Hunter”. I guess that would make Robert Mitchum “Microsoft”.

    • #39300 Reply


      What’s the difference between an annual fee and a subscription?

    • #39301 Reply

      AskWoody Plus

      So have I been wrong to think that if you wanted to, you could go to a local computer store and buy whatever version of Windows 10 you wanted on a DVD?

      They’re not going to sell it, but instead rent it? I don’t like not having the DVD, I have then or a CD for every OS I have going back to Win 3.1 (3½” floppies in that case).

      Win 7 Home Premium, x64, Intel i3-2120 3.3GHz, Group B

    • #39302 Reply

      rc primak

      This article really had me going! I was about to start stockpiling my pocket change for these subscriptions.

      What this incident does prove, is that people have lost so much faith in anything Redmond says, that they are almost disappointed to learn that nothing has really changed in Windows licensing and fees.

      Everyone just NEEDS to see that other shoe drop (about subscription charges) so badly that it could become a self-fulfilling prophecy if we’re not careful.

      I just noticed a Follow checkbox below this Comment Thread. Nice addition!

    • #39303 Reply


      I think SA is not a subscription literally. If the SA is cancelled at some point in time, I think that the products available during paying for the SA are still licensed to be used even after the SA is discontinued.
      Someone with more knowledge in this area may clarify this issue.

    • #39304 Reply

      Da Boss

      That’s correct and, I think, why he was choosing his words so carefully.

    • #39305 Reply


      The monthly charge for Windows 10 seems to apply to “Windows 10 as a service” targeted mainly to enterprises and not to desktop installations.

    • #39306 Reply

      Da Boss

      In fact, it applies to a version of Windows 10 that’s not even available to consumers.

    • #39307 Reply


      True, for now. Wait ‘n see but I really believe Windows as a service with a subscription plan is what Microsoft has in mind. It’s rather when then if, IMO.

    • #39308 Reply

      Da Boss

      Thanks. Yep, the follow checkbox arrived in the same round of fixes that brought secure connections.

      It absolutely floors me that the Forbes article is up to 800,000 views.

    • #39309 Reply

      Da Boss

      You’ve never been able to buy a copy of Windows Enterprise. It’s been that way for decades.

      You can buy a DVD with Win10 on it – buy it. Gertie can put away her shotgun – Windows for rent isn’t coming any time soon.

    • #39310 Reply

      Da Boss

      There are very subtle differences in the way SA is implemented and the way the new Windows E3 is implemented. Wes Miller is the guy to ask about details, but he does cover one difference in his tweet – residual rights after the subscription or contrace expires.

    • #39311 Reply

      Da Boss


    • #39312 Reply


      So you need to define clearly what the annual fee or subscription is for (product use or support rights). But there’s no difference between an annual fee and a subscription.

    • #39313 Reply

      Da Boss

      I concede your point.

    • #39314 Reply


      So why put, “Software Assurance is a subscription.” under an expert quote which says it isn’t?

    • #39315 Reply

      Da Boss

      Point well made. Change applied. Thanks!

    • #39316 Reply

      Andrew Miller

      I think if you have an old Windows OS the 10 should be free, which is what Microsoft is doing.

    • #39317 Reply

      Da Boss

      I agree. Not sure why MS is charging for Win10, but you can see how the growth in Win10 usage hit a brick wall when MS started charging for it.

    Please follow the -Lounge Rules- no personal attacks, no swearing, and politics/religion are relegated to the Rants forum.

    Reply To: Microsoft charging for Windows 10! Gertie, buy a shotgun!

    You can use BBCodes to format your content.
    Your account can't use Advanced BBCodes, they will be stripped before saving.

    Your information: