During the early days of personal computing, the idea behind the movement, was that it should be free for all who wanted to join the information age. Steve Wozniak, also known as Woz, was adamant in his position that all his contributions to personal computing should be free. His garage partner, Steve Jobs, thought otherwise. And now, you know how prosperous Apple Inc. and other corporations involved in the information industry have become. Computing has become a huge cash cow covering the globe and growing exponentially. The latest kid on the blog is Facebook, and you already know how big this puppy has grown in a short breadth of time.
Then Apple changed the rules of the game. It started to give away their operating systems for free for all their platforms. Every time there is a new version of their software, it is immediately available on their servers free of charge. It was something I could not believe when I heard about Apple’s new policy. Just a few days ago, I updated my Apple’s Retina Display iPad version 8.1 without paying a copper.
Tim Cook, the CEO of Microsoft, was taking notice of Apple’s new free strategy. The problem was that Windows, Microsoft Office, and Cloud Services was their bread and butter. If they gave away their Windows system that would create a huge crater inside their coffers. The cash cow would feel the pain. But what was there to do? Mr. Cook had no way out, he would have to hand out Windows for free.
All eyes are on Microsoft next year. In 2011 the elves screwed up by offering a mobile-like experience to Windows customers with Windows 8, alongside pricing it rather highly, compared to Apple who decided to drop the price of OS X and make it free to all desktop users on the platform.
It looks like Microsoft will take a note from Apple’s book and make Windows 10 (also Windows 9) free for all personal computers’ consumers. Notice the last bit? Yep, Microsoft will still offer paid features and upgrades for business corporations, the one market they can count on.
The corporation market as been stuck in this time-lapse where Windows XP is still acceptable, but throughout the past half decade, we have seen a steady move to the new age-old option: Windows 7, which will probably last longer than Windows XP if Microsoft doesn’t hit a home-run with Windows 10.
Microsoft will make the initial upgrade to Windows 10 free for enterprises, but offer paid privileges like only having to update annually, better admin controls, more enterprise level help on basic functionality—allowing a company to install the system without having problems.
It is about time Microsoft dropped the price for Windows, especially when they offer Windows Phone—their mobile product which will become Windows 10 in 2015—for free to smartphone users. I’m betting the farm that in the upcoming future, all operating systems will be free for the taking: Android, Chromium, BSD, iOS, Mac OS, Blackberry, Linux, OSX, QNX, Microsoft Windows, Windows Phone, IBM z/OS and others. I wonder what is Steve Jobs thinking about this latest trend of free software—wherever he is. Good Day.