“Right now we’re releasing Windows 10, and because Windows 10 is the last version of Windows, we’re all still working on Windows 10”.According to ‘The Guardian’ this bombshell was dropped by Microsoft’s Developer Evangelist Jerry Nixon, and has left the entire industry scratching their heads.
The main assumption right now is that Microsoft is preparing Windows, the company’s conventionally licensed operating system, to be distributed for use in a SaaS model. Microsoft has also recently been mentioning the likelihood of open-sourcing its leading product and has said Windows 10 will be provided to anyone who has purchased a PC within the last six years.
It is reasonable to expect that future versions of Windows will also be free, or will carry at most a nominal charge. While going the SaaS route is slowly becoming the standard, let’s explore together what exactly it means for the world’s most popular Operating System (over 75% of the OS market).
The Longstanding Closed Model of Software Suites is Gone
Microsoft has offered Azure as a PaaS Platform for years, but now Microsoft is poised to unlock even more features.
It isn’t just that. Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella was candid about the fact that Microsoft wants to be open, stating that last week at the Ignite Conference.
Instead of facing a predictable delay in the release of Windows 10 with all the features guaranteed, the company now has the flexibility of launching the OS, even as some of the features are still being developed.
As far as app assimilations, Microsoft continuously validates that other apps can seamlessly integrate with Office 365, for example, and under Nadella’s leadership will probably continue to accept more third party vendors to consolidate with Windows.
The Cash is in The Cloud
Thus far, Microsoft has shown no interest in open-sourcing or going “Full SaaS” with Windows or Office, its two big cash cows. Why would it? The company’s financial foundation rests on these profit machines.
Still, Mark Russinovich, Microsoft Azure CTO, would not dismiss the notion that Windows might go SaaS. In fact, he said it was “definitely possible.” Amazon Web Services is already a massive income generator for Amazon and Microsoft Azure is starting to catch up. Going the SaaS direction can have monumental consequence on Microsoft’s business model. Using the subscription model, users will keep receiving the improvement as long as they remain active paying clients.
I Can’t Avoid Mentioning the Rumor of Microsoft Considering a Bid for SaaS CRM Giant
There has been much debate over the past few weeks about the alleged acquisition offer by Microsoft for Salesforce. Shares in Salesforce spiked after a report appeared that Microsoft might be interested in the SaaS customer relationship management (CRM) pioneer.
This report is still a rumor but it’s important to note that the companies have successfully worked together in the past, having signed an agreement in 2014 that saw incorporation of Salesforce’s cloud software with Office 365.
It is still in the cards if Salesforce valued at 47 Billion dollars will be acquired by one of the large software companies, but one thing is for certain, whoever acquires Salesforce holds the potential to revolutionize the CRM industry and have a far-reaching effect on the company’s clients.
Microsoft has basically caught up with the 21st-century software trends and is shining the spotlight on the cloud while making it the foundation of the future. I estimate that it will never become completely free, and Windows will continue to evolve as a freemium model.
To sum it up, it appears as if Microsoft is staking its bets on Cloud technology by substituting Windows hybrid mode to a full SaaS model. Consumers would forever keep getting updates and Windows 11 will never come into existence.