MICROSOFT'S RUMOURED plan to move to a full-on subscription model seems to be coming to pass.
Rumours are swirling that ‘Microsoft 365', a subscription-based version of Windows 10, is on the way, thanks to some eagle-eyed scouting of job adverts in Redmond. There have been hints that this was the direction for years but now there's some solid if circumstantial evidence.
Microsoft 365 Consumer Subscription product manager and Microsoft 365 Consumer Subscription senior product manager listings have been posted, reporting to the "Modern Life and Devices" team. The roles seem to involve researching and building an offering from the ground up, to eventually launching "a customer-focused subscription globally for Microsoft's various consumer services."
This would put Microsoft 365 squarely in the same department as other subscription services like Office 365 and Skype, as well as other brands like Cortana, Bing, Surface and Microsoft Education.
Details are thin on the ground right now, but the name "Microsoft 365", rather than "Windows 365" suggests this will be a combo offering covering the OS, Office, Skype and possible OneDrive.
This is likely to be offered in place of the current Office 365 home offerings that include everything except Windows 10 already and appears to be aimed at home "power users". The end result is effectively a consumer version of the products already offered to enterprise customers.
Although it sounds a bit odd, the idea of a single payment for all Microsoft services has some merit for the company. After all, Microsoft is selling its ecosystem, and once that's in place, there's every chance that people will start using the apps on other platforms - most notably Android, which the company has targeted as a de facto replacement for its own Windows Mobile OS which was canned last year due to extreme apathy.
In doing so, it could potentially scupper a lot of rival services offered by Google and Apple, because once you're paying an all-in price for something, it's unlikely you'll want to subscribe to something else that does the same job. That's the idea anyway.
By the time the role has been recruited and all the pre-launch work has been done, we can't imagine getting much more info about this until at least Q3 of 2019, when we hear that the October 2018 Update of Windows 10 will be at least 60 per cent bug-free. μ
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