Microsoft’s Windows 10 is arguably one of the most successful versions of the Windows Operating system. Part of this success can be comfortably attributed to the fact that for the first time, Windows was offered as a free upgrade for all the users. Microsoft has clarified that Windows 10 will be the last Windows OS and henceforth Windows will be marketed in the form of Windows as a Service (popularly referred to as WaaS).
The latest Windows 10 upgrade, however, sheds some light on the Windows as a Service model with a rather mysterious .exe file with the name “UpdateSubscription.” The file is suspected to be the part of other preview builds as well but it is in Build 14376 that it was spotted first. A further click on the properties of the file reveals that it is indeed Windows Upgrade to Subscription tool and the date stamp corroborates with other administrative tools.
Now this file might fuel the conspiracy theorists who have been suspecting and speculating Microsoft’s free update since the release. They have been implying that at a certain point of time the Windows 10 Free will be converted into a subscription service. When ZDNet contacted officials from Microsoft the response was as follows “The Windows Upgrade to Subscription tool, found in the latest Windows Insider builds, helps to manage certain volume licensing upgrades from Windows 10 Pro Anniversary Update to Windows 10 Enterprise. This binary file is not associated with the free consumer upgrade offering nor is it applicable to consumer Windows editions”
Although the response categorically didn’t confirm the inclusion of subscription program neither did they deny it. The mysterious file in question also seems to be concerned with the enterprise licensing and points at a registry value called “AllowWindowsSubscription.”
Enterprise users have literally been the main source of revenue for Microsoft and it is very likely that the subscription model is aimed at such users. Still better, Microsoft might package a handful of services and tools for every sector of Enterprise sector and allow them to subscribe for the same. Now this will also come as a blessing for the smaller businesses who can subscribe for the features, a-la-carte instead of investing in a full-fledged Enterprise version. As ZDNet aptly pointed out, Microsoft had introduced a similar option for its intune product which required the Enterprise users to pay over the top charges of $6 Month every month. Microsoft Online Subscription, abbreviated as MOSP is a subscription-based Microsoft Volume Licensing program meant for organizations with more than five users.
Microsoft is yet to announce about the Subscription upgrade and this is something that will help the smaller companies cut down on their Windows spending without compromising on the access to the Enterprise tools they need.