When Microsoft announced that Windows 10 would become a Windows as a Service model, rumors started surfacing that, even though the company promised to supply Windows 10 for free to eligible recipients, customers would have to start paying for it eventually. And, while the book isn't exactly closed on that, Gabe Aul was asked on Twitter recently about a potential for a yearly subscription fee for Windows.
Here's what Gabe answered…
@briguy943 "Windows as a service" just means that we'll continuously keep it up to date. There is no ongoing fee.— Gabriel Aul (@GabeAul) May 12, 2015
How is this different from past Windows versions? Not too much. And, if the recent announcement of the various versions releasing of Windows 10 is any indication, it seems that the term Windows as a Service is what happens when sales and marketing win a heated fight over logic and better product alignment. Explained this way, it's an almost benign and expected solution.
We're still trying to come to terms with what Microsoft is planning, and I'm sure there's big discussions still going on inside the Redmond compound, but it seems that the idea is less about Windows as a Service and more about Servicing for Windows. Maybe Microsoft's messaging and branding folks should take a class from Gabe in clear communications.