Thursday, May 14th 2015

Microsoft Reveals Windows 10 Variants

Microsoft revealed the six variants in which its next operating system, Windows 10, will ship in. The company decided to unify the Windows 10 brand across its PC, workstation, and handheld platforms. For PCs, workstations, and tablets running x86 processors, the lineup will include the Windows 10 Home, Windows 10 Pro, Windows 10 Education, and Windows 10 Enterprise.

Windows 10 Home has everything a home and small-business user could ask for (including PC gamers and enthusiasts). It will include the Edge web-browser (so your post-install waltz to Chrome or Firefox websites is a few seconds faster), Microsoft Cortana voice-based assistant, richer Bing integration, Microsoft Hello face-recognition software, and support for biometric login methods. Gamers get DirectX 12 out of the box. Users of Windows 7 Home Premium and Windows 8/8.1 get a free upgrade to this edition.
Windows 10 Pro adds features for power-users, such as advanced data protection, remote- and mobile-access, additional cloud features, and remote management for medium-sized businesses. Users of Windows 7 Professional, Ultimate, and Windows 8/8.1 Pro get a free upgrade to this edition.

Windows 10 Education is a brand new SKU designed for schools, colleges, and universities. It will come with features to meed the needs of educators (teachers, management, exam-controllers, computer labs, etc.,). This edition will be sold through specially priced volume licensing to entire counties, groups of institutions, and universities.

Windows 10 Enterprise will be designed for desktops and workstations in a very-large enterprise environment, in which individual machines are expendable, and user data is centralized and portable between machines. It will come with advanced networking, data-security, and remote management features.

In addition, Microsoft is readying two variants of its operating system for smartphones and tablets - Windows 10 Mobile, and Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise. Windows 10 Mobile will be targeted at consumer smartphones, and will have a rich feature-set for communication, social-networking, and productivity; while Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise will be designed for devices given by companies to their employees, with access to privileged information and services.

Unfortunately, and breaking tradition, Microsoft didn't disclose box-art, marking Windows' transition from optical disc media, to one that's distributed by any which way possible, while Microsoft only sells licenses (keys). The company already gives away ISO disc images and USB flash drive install media creation tools for Windows 8.1 on its website; while selling licenses.

Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro, will be offered as free-forever upgrades to users of equivalent variants of Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1, if they upgrade within the first year of Windows 10 launch. Those using pirated Windows 7 may find the upgrade "free," but Microsoft has a slew of anti-piracy measures in store, which kick in after the upgrade.

Microsoft could dramatically change the way it monetizes Windows, in the near future. Gone will be the static $100-ish licenses, and the company will sell Windows as a service, much like Office 365. You choose your desired variant, and pay for using it, monthly or annually. We imagine unpaid installations suffering a worse fate than merely not getting software updates - the OS could become unusable after a "grace period," until you pay up.

On the upside, the monthly or annual fees for each edition could end up quite cheap. Also, the version will no longer be relevant. Microsoft will keep adding big new features every so often (which you normally expect from new versions that require you to buy new licenses). Windows will sell a lot like Office 365 and Adobe Creative Cloud.

Windows 10 will be released in July, in 111 languages, and in 190 countries.
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105 Comments on Microsoft Reveals Windows 10 Variants

#1
GAR
If windows goes to a subscription based windows, I dont see it being very popular, Windows 10 will be used or people will move to a different OS, like Linux......lol j/k Linux will never be mainstream :/
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#2
erixx
Ok. Some people need more information about Media Center, Hdtv pcs.... and if upgrafing to 10 will leave them looking stupid...
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#3
Octopuss
July? That will be rushed as shit :(
Also, subscription based licence, eww.
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#4
NC37
Windows subscription...

Yeah that is really going to help stop piracy...

No way in hell Microsoft...I'd return to Apple and kiss the underpowered, broken down, hunk of overpriced aluminum machines that they are before I'd subscribe to use an operating system. And if Apple did it, I'd then use Apple stores as public toilets.

First Xbone, now this. Think its about time the net unites again and does to Windows 10 like what they did to Xbone. M$ wants to pull this crap...just means they haven't forgotten how they nearly wreaked Xbone and had to bend over and take it from gamers everywhere.

Man I was excited for this as DX12 is looking so great. But now...think I'll keep a closer eye on less scrupulous sites. Its gonna happen, you know it. Someone will be a hero and free Windows users from the subscription hell that M$ wants them to be in.
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#5
techy1
"It will include the Edge web-browser (so your post-install waltz to Chrome or Firefox websites is a few seconds faster)" - that is just mean - you know MS team could be crying right now... while we laugh >:D
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#6
Shihabyooo
NC37
Windows subscription...

Yeah that is really going to help stop piracy...
I don't think piracy is what M$'s aiming at here, more like getting their leeches on your wallet. And with services like Adobe's creative suites and the like doing a to-the-cloud transition without widespread user objection (not the isolated incidents of complaint) it's difficult for M$ or any other big firm not to see SaaS to be a lucrative concept to adopt.

Here's to hoping Vulcan and Linux gain momentum.
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#7
wickedcricket
My body is ready!

Stop moaning people, let's first see what it is and what features it will have. Don't expect smooth transition if you are still sitting on XP or Win 7 - you filthy cheap technology retrogressed bastards :)
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#8
Caring1
No mention of updates being forced on you when they want, only Enterprise will have the option of installing or deferring.
This is exactly what I said it will be, a underhanded way to trick people into "upgrading" for free, then realizing the following year they will be slugged with a subscription fee.
If they expect people to pay an annual fee, there will be many that stay with their existing OS or move to an alternative.
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#9
R-T-B
NC37
Windows subscription...

Yeah that is really going to help stop piracy...
It won't of course, but I'm not opposed as long as all they do is stop updates and offer reasonable license periods (like 5 years for the price of what a current windows license costs. I mean that'd be fine).
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#10
cyneater
Subscription based no thanks.
Steam should have steam OS ready and waiting.

Windows 8 was great as many people either went to linux or Mac os.

Although the tech preview of windows 10 looks okay. At least the metro sexual interface isn't forced on you. And there is a start button.

Can you just pay X and have it for the life of the product? Rather than a subscription.

Also if you upgrade your graphics card will you need to reactivate?
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#11
Parn
No subscription for Windows, plsssssssssss.

Most of my work are already done on Linux. I only keep Windows for .NET development and Games. If Windows becomes subscription based, it also means my company Visual Studio licenses and my own Game licenses will expire along with Windows if I don't keep up with the annual/monthly payments.
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#12
Legacy-ZA
Yes, I have told people the same thing, they will give you a "free" upgrade, force you to the OS with DirectX 12 and then proceed to rape you with subscription fees for the rest of time after that.

Big mistake M$, big big mistake... If there is one thing people should have learned by now; NO ONE LIKES TO BE FORCED.
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#13
lZKoce
I'd just wait and see as the PR release says "could", not will do it right now.

I've been using Office 365 Home Premium for 2 years and I cancelled my automatic renewal this year. I can see this work to be fair. To secure my family I need 5 windows licences, which by stand alone DVD- money is a lot for me. If they bundle a subscription for 5 licences a year I can see it work. By the time I reach the cost I would have paid for 5 licenced DVD's at once when a new Windows shows up, there will be the next Windows coming up if using subscription for 2-3 years.
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#14
Disparia
Very nice, have 4 boxes here that would like to skip Windows 8/8.1 entirely.
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#15
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
R-T-B
It won't of course, but I'm not opposed as long as all they do is stop updates
What are you meaning by "stop updates"? To do that, you would have to have a means for every hacker on Earth to drop dead as soon as they even the thought of hacking enters their mind. And even if W10 ends up being the last one, and even if every hacker on Earth died a horrible death, there would still be updates, as new features are added or more efficient ways to do hings. We'll get those big ones every couple years I bet. Before it would have been called a new OS. Now they are going to fool us by not calling those major changes new OS, but updates.

General Q for anyone: I am interpreting the first year upgrade being listed as "free forever" meaning if we upgrade in that first year, we will never pay this silly upgrade on THAT licesced W10? I would just like more Explicit definitiveness of this term by Microsoft.
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#17
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
Silas Woodruff
I'll leave this here, hope it helps http://www.pcgamer.com/microsoft-windows-10-will-not-be-sold-as-a-subscription/

Edit: In the little % chances that windows will be subscription based it will most likely end like paid mods, lots of people will complain and they will go back to how it was before with their other OS, pay once and forever.
Look at the date on that article: Jan 20, 2015. This information from @btarunr is new, and from MS themselves. PC Gamer got this one wrong.
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#18
Silas Woodruff
rtwjunkie
Look at the date on that article: Jan 20, 2015. This information from @btarunr is new, and from MS themselves. PC Gamer got this one wrong.
Well guess all to do now is wait and see how everyone reacts to subscription based OS.
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#19
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
Silas Woodruff
Well guess all to do now is wait and see how everyone reacts to subscription based OS.
Yep, and it isn't gonna be pretty. I'm holding out hope that the "free forever upgrade" means not ever paying a subscription for that particular OS.
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#20
micropage7
to stop piracy with annual fees?, i dont think so
i prefer they tag it lower for basic
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#21
Easy Rhino
Linux Advocate
Paying for a home OS is just silly.
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#22
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
The last paragraphs are FUD, AFAIK there's no offical word on what the subsription model will look like, or even if that is what it will become. And at any rate, Windows 7 have support until 2019, 8.1 until 2023. Don't like the pricing plan? Don't upgrade, the world will be a very different world in eight years and who knows what we'll think of subscriptions then.
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#23
Legacy-ZA
Just look what "DLC" did to computer gaming, You still got the game, but gutted... Then the cut content is re-sold to you later as "DLC" with the usual PR spin offs to justify what they are doing.

This is clearly to shift all the maintenance / security / compatibility / server and bandwidth costs to the consumer and not Microsoft.
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#24
scorpion_amd13
Subscription fees will never work for home users. People generally tend to like owning the things they use and while quite a few people would be willing to pay a subscription fee for World of Warcraft or Xbox Live, that is an entirely different matter since they're not operating systems, while Windows is. Personally, I'd rather stick to Windows 7 for a while longer (until they come to their senses, Valve releases a viable Steam OS replacement, or hell freezes over, whichever comes first) than pay a subscription for a newer version of Windows. Let's just hope that the subscription fee thingy is only meant for the Enterprise variant, although judging by the "free forever for the first year (terms and conditions may apply)" approach they seem to be taking for the home user oriented versions, I greatly fear that it's just the old "bait and switch" tactic all over again.

Microsoft needs to realize that people aren't going to pay a subscription to just listen to their own songs, watch their own movies and play their own games or browse the internet. It would be like taxing people for the air they breathe. If you want people to pay you, you have to offer something in return, of perceived equal or greater value. Which is why so many people stayed with Windows XP instead of migrating to that nightmare called Windows Vista, and also why a lot chose to stick to Windows 7 instead of moving to Windows 8/8.1.

Also, if somebody could get the message across to Microsoft that pricing the licenses for home users so that they'd be more palatable would actually increase their sales tenfold, now THAT would be true progress.
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#25
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
Legacy-ZA
Just look what "DLC" did to computer gaming, You still got the game, but gutted... Then the cut content is re-sold to you later as "DLC" with the usual PR spin offs to justify what they are doing.
That might be true for day 1-DLC's and for some devs, but generally speaking DLC's are basically expansions IMO. At least the ones worth caring about.
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