And all through that time, Microsoft has hounded the users to pay up for their OS as well as any application they sell. Bill Gates, in fact, is famous for having written an "Open Letter to Hobbyists" in 1976 complaining about rampant copying of his BASIC programming language for the first home computers.
With that in mind, I was surprised to learn the distribution model for the next version of Windows, which will skip 9 and go directly to 10, will be distributed free, if you upgrade from Windows 7, 8.1, or Windows Phone 8.1 within one year of the final release. (It's currently available for anyone who wants to Beta test it).
The exact mechanics of how this will work aren't clear to me. It appears to be real (not rumor), but the plan is still in development. Windows 10 will remain free for the lifetime of the device on which you upgraded during that first year. The reporter said they don't really know how they plan to get paid for the products, much less how they'll handle updates or upgrades to Service Pack 1 when that inevitably comes out. Their goal appears to get all Windows users: desktop, Surface tablet, Windows phone, or whatever, using a common OS; with the goal of a common experience across all platforms. Microsoft uses terms like:
But I couldn't help but think:
mobility of experience across an increasing number of devices trust, putting people in control of their privacy because they are the customer, not the product natural interactions via voice, pen, gestures, and gaze in an intuitive way
The list of features gets a giant "Meh" out of me with a possible exception or two. But the change from the old way of buying Windows is the unusual thing here.One OS to rule them allOne OS to find themOne OS to bring them alland in the darkness bind them.