Windows has always been an operating system that you can freely purchase and install on your computer. This can be done now, but Microsoft’s attitude towards the OS has changed over the years. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella recently said the company is looking to the Windows platform as a vehicle for distributing its paid subscription services.
“I think it’s very clear from a commercial standpoint that Windows is the nexus for Microsoft 365 ,” Mr. Nadella said during Microsoft’s first-quarter financial results announcement. He also added that the relatively recent release of Windows 11 and the Microsoft 365 cloud platform “worked very well”.
Comparing Windows to a nexus seems especially apt given that Microsoft doesn’t care about selling new versions of the operating system to users. Users with a licensed copy of the OS can still upgrade to Windows 10 or Windows 11 for free, and the software giant has been leaving that loophole open for years.
Microsoft chief sees Windows as a socket to the company’s subscriptions
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Microsoft has long promoted various subscription services, especially those that can easily be included in the budget of an enterprise as a “cost of doing business”. Encouraging business users to subscribe to as many paid subscriptions as possible has become part of the company’s modern mentality. We can see this clearly in the development of the Office suite. Since the launch of Microsoft 365 in 2017; Microsoft has been steadily pushing users to move to a subscription-based cloud office.
Microsoft also sees Windows as a vehicle for bringing other products to consumer devices. For example, Nadella has reported growth in user base for the Edge browser and Microsoft Start; a personalized news service that the company says has 500 million monthly active users. Apparently, Windows is helping Microsoft encourage people to use the company’s other products, and possibly view ad content.
The idea is for business and consumer customers to use Windows as a gateway to the company’s software and services. If we are talking about a free service, Microsoft will not make much effort to promote it. If it comes to a paid service, then the software giant will do everything to make the offer seem the most profitable and necessary to customers. During the announcement of financial results, Nadella did not even mention the number of PCs sold. This suggests that at this stage, Microsoft only cares about the number of subscriptions sold; and Windows will continue to be the link through which you can access them.