Rumours

Windows 10 might require a subscription fee in the future

Microsoft
Windows 10 wallpaper featuring Windows 10 logo on a blue background
Windows 10

Microsoft have always been calling Windows 10 a "service" which prompted users to become increasingly paranoid over the years, since that word is now a glorified prefix for "subscription fee". It turns out these fears might come true.

As it turns out, Microsoft are looking to actively charge Windows 10 users on a monthly basis. This currently applies only to Enterprise edition, which is not a big deal but recent news imply that subscriptions might come to user desktops soon as well. 

The company is apparently looking to launch "Microsoft Managed Desktop" soon, which will charge a monthly fee to keep user computers up to date and actually working with said updates.

According to a report by Mary Jo Foley from ZDNet, Microsoft "already has a number of the pieces in place to make this happen". The examples include Windows Autopilot, Surface Plus and Surface as a Service programe. On top of that, there are subscription bundles for Windows 10 and Office 365 already requires a subscription.

One of Foley's contacts confirmed that Bill Karagounis, who is a part of the Enterprise Mobility and Management part of Windows and Devices, is the head of the team bringing Microsoft Managed Desktop to life. Microsoft are publicly hiring for Karagounis' division so it appears everything is ready to get underway, but there is still no ETA on the subscription service.

Foley currently believes that the subscription based programs will be targeted at businesses only, but there is no telling for how long. Considering that Microsoft confirmed there will be no more new Windows operating systems coming in the future, and Windows 10 will just keep getting updated, it is only a matter of time until they start charging a monthly fee for it.

Undead LabsWindows 10 wallpaper featuring Windows 10 logo on a blue backgroundState of Decay 2 - A Windows 10 exclusive

It wouldn't be a profitable business model to just keep updating it without selling any new Windows iterations every few years. On top of that, Microsoft has already been forcing their games not to run on slightly older Windows versions. For example, in order to run State of Decay 2, you must have Windows 10 as it will not play on Windows 7 or 8.

What does this mean for games? Well, less control for you and more for Microsoft. This would almost be fine if the software giant hadn't shown troubling ineptitude with the way they handle gaming on their Xbox PC app.