Pigs do fly if you throw them hard enough… That’s what M$ is attempting with its next release.“With Windows 10, we think of the operating system as ‘Windows as a service’,"…In next few years, you could think of Windows as one of the largest internet services on the planet. The question of ‘what version are you running’ will cease to make sense.” Freedom isn’t just about the price. An operating system isn’t a service. One needs software on a device to make it seem intelligent, nothing more. Bundling that other OS with every kind of device on the planet doesn’t make any sense at all. What use is M$’s EULA on a mobile device in a dynamic environment with zero to thousands of other devices all sharing networked services? What use is M$’s EULA when your device can do everything but M$ insists you don’t? Does anyone care if the licence to use the OS is $0 but you have to pay M$ to do anything with it? Nope. Nothing. Nada.
Reducing the price charged to $0 for something of negative value still doesn’t make it a good deal. This is an attempt to keep bundling that other OS with devices but the world won’t buy it. The world, billions of people, have tasted freedom with Android/Linux and millions with GNU/Linux. They aren’t about to sell their souls to M$ because the price of a device drops somewhat.
That’s just the consumer. Think of the OEM and retailer. The retailer has had stocks of M$’s stuff collecting dust on retail shelves for a year. They aren’t about to restock. OEMs have been making larger margins selling */Linux on devices for years now. They are not about to stop. In fact, even if M$ pays them to load that other OS, OEMs will still increase their shipments of */Linux because selling more units beats selling fewer units.
So, this is what the End Times looks like. M$ is desperately trying to remain relevant by giving the OS away or paying OEMs to distribute it. In the process, more resources will be wasted on products that don’t sell. It will be interesting to see whether or not ISVs, who have not really been independent for decades, will want to rewrite their software one more time in hopes that Wintel does not drag them down together. There are already a few million beta-testers of M$’s ware. An ecosystem of ~100million users might be enough to justify further investment but those other billions of potential users are definitely a bigger market. Expect M$ to raise its rates for “services” to pay for it all. Expect all kinds of software to move to the web where it belongs in order to get off the Wintel treadmill. Expect */Linux to be the OS of the next decade on client and server.
If you really want service from your software use really free software, software that works for you and not for M$. I recommend Debian GNU/Linux, a product of the world freely shared without an onerous EULA from Hell. You can install thousands of packages of software with a few clicks and you can examine it, modify it, use it and share it without jumping through any more hoops. It’s been available for years for one low price, $0. I look forward to Monday’s release of financial information from M$. */Linux must have done a number on them to decide it’s better to give it away for $0 rather than to become irrelevant. IMHO, giving something away for $0 doesn’t raise the value of something negative to $0. It just makes it easier to spread, like a disease.