After pushing most of their users to Office 365 instead of a typical one-time purchase license for the Microsoft Office suit, it seems Microsoft’s next move is moving their userbase to a subscription-cloud-based OS.
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In the past, we would buy a copy of the Microsoft Office suit, which included Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Publisher, Access and Outlook. It is now “cheaper” to just use Microsoft’s Office 365, which, for 7 euros a month, provides a copy of each of these programs, as well as 1TB of storage on OneDrive. Buying them (if we ignore Outlook) in a one-time purchase is 150 euros, while a subscription will cost 69 euros a year. Now, for the MS Office suit with Outlook included, one has to spend 250 euros, so a subscription seems much more interesting. Except you have to pay every month for it.
But this allows Microsoft to make a lot more money from their userbase than if they sold a one-time license to each user. Seeing how their income keeps increasing, now Microsoft is looking into… getting rid of our desktop and replacing it by a cloud-based one. The user can then rent said desktop for a certain fee per month. Great. The “advantage” would be better support and faster patching, done by Microsoft directly, although it does mean losing control of our desktop, depending on Microsoft for the long-term reliability of said service.
This new Microsoft service would be called the “Microsoft 365 Managed Desktop”, and would first be pushed to the enterprise market, getting rid of the need of updating machines with security updates and patches. Even if, really, every single time Microsoft updates Windows 10, it just breaks half of it, and spends the coming months trying to fix it. Lately, even 20 years old software such as Word is suffering from these stupid bugs, which is amazing.
It seems the future, at least for Microsoft (and, sadly enough, many other companies), is a subscription-based service all users would pay, for a service that would barely work anyway, just as Windows 10 and its eternal bugs. Time to find an alternative, and fast.