What Windows as a Service and a “free upgrade” mean at home and at work

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Windows licensing is more or less straightforward in the consumer sphere. Oh, sure, there are complications surrounding self-built systems, but compared to the world of enterprise licensing, the range of options is limited and the pricing simple. Corporate licensing, however, is a whole other matter. We’ve been saying for some time that the process of updating and upgrading Windows is going to change in Windows 10, and perhaps unsurprisingly, this is going to have implications for Windows licensing. The underlying theme is this: Microsoft does not want the Windows market to be split between a bunch of different versions. For a brief period, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 were all both extant and actively supported Windows versions. This is bad for more or less the entire Windows world. It’s bad for developers of Windows software because they’re forced to choose between the best functionality (found in Windows 8.1) or the widest compatibility (target Windows XP). It’s bad for Microsoft, because it has to support all these versions. It’s bad, in many ways, for end-users, too; using old versions means that they don’t get the latest features, and in the case of Windows XP, they don’t even receive security updates. Read 22 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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What Windows as a Service and a “free upgrade” mean at home and at work

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