Here's What Free Upgrades Could Do for Windows 9's Uptake

CommanderFrank

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Computerworld has an interesting article on the distribution of Microsoft’s next operating system, Threshold/Windows 9, in that it should be offered as a free upgrade in lieu of a standalone sales opportunity. Microsoft is eager to erase the bad image of Windows 8 and the looming problem of Windows 7 migration and offing Windows 9 as a free upgrade may just be their ticket to vindication.

And it would be foolish to assume Windows 7 PCs, even those owned by consumers, would upgrade to Windows 9 at the same rate as those running Windows 8/8.1. For one thing, Windows 7 runs on nearly four times as many systems as does the newer OSes. But even a "discounted" percentage that does upgrade within the same time frame would be an enormous number of machines.
 

sfsuphysics

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Still waiting for MS to start going to a subscription based OS, where you don't every buy an OS you lease it from year to year.
 

Megalith

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By making Windows 9, aka "Threshold," free, Microsoft will be able to push more than half of all Windows 8 users to the upgrade within a matter of months, an analysis of user share data shows.

Nicolas-Cages-Hobbies-Lead-Him-to-Bankruptcy-and-Have-Problem-with-IRS.png
 

trparky

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If they offered Windows 9 Pro for free as an upgrade to my existing Windows 8.1 Pro installation, I would take them up on their offer.
 

madmat

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It'll only work if it's worth a damn. You could get 8 free or close enough to it to count and it still flopped. Why? Because it was horrible and no-one wanted to migrate to it. Make 9 a worthy replacement for 7, make it insanely cheap or free and see the response.

When 7 came out you could pre-order the upgrade for $49 and as it was/is a great OS it sold like gangbusters. That tells you right there that a good product is going to sell, a shit product can't be given away.
 

MrPatate

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I hate upgrades, fresh install is always better. If they could release Win9 with a promotion for upgrade ans complete install it would be great. Just bring your old Win7/8 boxe with the serial and get the new one for cheaper. That I would be interested.
 

Dekoth-E-

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I hate upgrades, fresh install is always better. If they could release Win9 with a promotion for upgrade ans complete install it would be great. Just bring your old Win7/8 boxe with the serial and get the new one for cheaper. That I would be interested.

You do realize that you can do a clean install with an upgrade key right? Typically the upgrade just asks for your old key to be input before proceeding.

That said, If Win 9 is worth it honestly I don't care how much it costs I'll migrate. I bought Vista at $200, I bought Win 7 at $200, I bought Win 8 at $15 and it never made it off my Virtual machine. Cheap doesn't make me install it outside the virtual environment, Being a good OS does. I like Win 8 under the hood, I just refuse to deal with the UI. Win 9 gives me the options to deal with that and it can be $200 again for all I care.
 

Dekoth-E-

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:eek: mind blown... I feel like a noob now :(

Nah don't, honestly unless you habitually do upgrades for others it isn't something you are likely to discover. If you can tell from the prices I typically pay for windows in an above post, I'm not in the habit of buying the upgrade anyhow, Full version's don't give me shit when I install on 2 computers. ;)
 

Tengis

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Because it was horrible and no-one wanted to migrate to it.
People like you are the ones that make people not want to migrate. You cry wolf about all these terrible things when in actual reality it works better and is more efficient then Windows 7. I can navigate to anything in Windows 8 with less clicks then I can in Windows 7.

The power of stupid people in great numbers...
 

Dekoth-E-

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People like you are the ones that make people not want to migrate. You cry wolf about all these terrible things when in actual reality it works better and is more efficient then Windows 7. I can navigate to anything in Windows 8 with less clicks then I can in Windows 7.

The power of stupid people in great numbers...

That is a straight up false statement. Not going to get into another win 8 argument here but Win 8 doesn't do anything in less clicks than Win 7. It actually does quite a few things in MORE clicks. However for argument purposes they are the same in this regard. The point being, don't try and call someone out for false information while posting false information.
 

nilepez

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I don't know about 7, but I ready late last year or early this year that MS was likely to give 9 to 8 users for free. I do hope they offer it for free to 8 users, since I have 2 licenses, and I know I'm going to build a new machine this year or next.
 

Jagger100

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You do realize that you can do a clean install with an upgrade key right? Typically the upgrade just asks for your old key to be input before proceeding.
Did the WIndows 8.1 Upgrade come that way? All I saw was a patch upgrade.
 

Kongar

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Win 8 is fine, but there are enough annoyances and silly things with the interface that drive people away. If win 9 fixes those things and stops shoving the digital storefront / cloud services into everyone's faces - then it will sell just fine even at a few hundred dollars per license.

If it's still got the flu kinds and the obnoxiousness of win 8 - they won't be able to move it even if it's free.
 

Kongar

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Flu kinds? wtf autocorrect. Lol

Seriously I don't understand why we don't have an edit button here :/
 

pxc

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Microsoft makes ~$17 billion a year from Windows licensing, even now with Windows 8.1 as its flagship product. Windows 9 isn't going to be a free upgrade.
 

Insula Gilliganis

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This has been discussed ever since Mavericks was released free..

From TechRepublic, Feb 12, 2014..

Cost is not the only factor. In fact, in the aforementioned Tech Pro Research report, users sticking with Windows XP noted other important factors, including “It works, so there’s no need to change” and “Crucial software depends on Windows XP.” Even if Microsoft gave away Windows 7 or Windows 8, it seems that roughly 80% of users surveyed would continue to use Windows XP.

From ZDNet, Jan 13, 2014..

"Today, when looking at the aggregate OS market (phone/tablet/PC), Microsoft is the only vendor that explicitly charges for the OS software. We believe this could prove untenable in coming years, forcing Microsoft to give away the OS and attempt to monetize Windows usage/support via various methods depending on the end-customer. We believe this is the single biggest challenge Microsoft's new CEO will face in coming years."

At the very least, Windows average selling prices will tank. There's no other outcome. To fend off Chromebooks and now Android, Microsoft will have to give concessions to hardware makers so they can offer sub $300 devices. Reback argued that Microsoft's OS license fees will fall to $10 to $30 for each device down from $40 today. Those concessions, however, are just the beginning.

Reback continues.. "Over the medium to longer term, we believe Microsoft will be forced to follow Apple and Google and give away the OS, especially in the consumer market, and use services like Bing, Skype, Office 365, etc. as its primary monetization engine. That said, we expect Enterprises to continue to pay for support via various enterprise agreements."
 

fightingfi

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whatever MS does with 9 if it sux its time to move to Linux and be done with it ;)
 

Quix

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Microsoft makes ~$17 billion a year from Windows licensing, even now with Windows 8.1 as its flagship product. Windows 9 isn't going to be a free upgrade.

Ah, yes. But almost all of that is licensing the OS on new hardware. The upgrade revenue is a much smaller peice of the pie. A piece that might even be offset by not having to support multiple versions of the OS at the same time. Apple has been doing it for ages.
 

pxc

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Ah, yes. But almost all of that is licensing the OS on new hardware.
Not really. MS doesn't break down the figures by product for commercial licensing, but it's approximately 3x larger than other device licensing. Corporate Windows PC sales outnumber other channels (direct consumer, retail, etc) by a margin of about 4:1.

I wouldn't say that "almost all" of MS's Windows licensing revenues comes from new hardware. It's more likely that a majority of it comes from corporate Windows volume licenses. It wouldn't matter in either case; MS is still making money off Windows 7, and likely will through the first few years of Win9's release. There is no incentive for MS to kill almost an entire quarter's profits to make Win9 free, when it has a stable income stream from both Windows 8.x and Windows 7 (and Android lol).
 

Koolthulu

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I don't think making it free would do as much for the adoption rate as people would think. Very few businesses are going to upgrade to a new OS within the first year or two. And Joe Average isn't going to buy and attempt to install a whole new OS on his computer. MS practically gave away Windows 8 and look at how it took to overtake Vista.
 

dandirk

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His point I think was a large part of the 17 billion was oem and corporate sales.

Offering free upgrades to consumers would effect those sales number much less...
 

ktk

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It'll only work if it's worth a damn. You could get 8 free or close enough to it to count and it still flopped. Why? Because it was horrible and no-one wanted to migrate to it. Make 9 a worthy replacement for 7, make it insanely cheap or free and see the response.

When 7 came out you could pre-order the upgrade for $49 and as it was/is a great OS it sold like gangbusters. That tells you right there that a good product is going to sell, a shit product can't be given away.

WORD :D
 

kbrickley

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Make it good and people will buy it ... Microsoft doesn't make as much side money from their OS like Google (selling ads) and Apple (selling hardware) ... if they want better market penetration they could price the consumer version cheaply (under $50) and the enterprise version where they traditionally price it (since business isn't really cost driven on OS or they would all use Linux) ... Windows 8 is the first MS OS I have skipped since before Windows '95 ... I would buy 9 in a heartbeat if it offers sufficient gaming support and features to make it a reasonable upgrade from 7 ;)
 

heatlesssun

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There's going to probably be some free versions of Windows 9 or limited time free update period or a very lost cost upgrade price. There are a number of Windows devices, particularly tablets, that have free Windows 8.1 on them now and a lot of free Windows devices are coming out this fall and Holiday season. Those devices probably need a free update path like Android and iOS devices. No matter how good Windows 9 is, I can't see how Microsoft avoids a big issue with low cost Windows devices that have at cost OS upgrades. To further complicate matters there would also be a PR issue it cheap Windows tablets got free upgrades but expensive ones like the Surface Pro didn't.

I'm betting on some kind of a free upgrade period for most like the discount periods that Windows has had in the past. I think that's the best route to go in that it would probably spark much quicker adoption, it's not permanent and it causes the least amount of blow back and confusion.
 

Sovereign

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I don't think making it free would do as much for the adoption rate as people would think. Very few businesses are going to upgrade to a new OS within the first year or two. And Joe Average isn't going to buy and attempt to install a whole new OS on his computer. MS practically gave away Windows 8 and look at how it took to overtake Vista.

The article addressed the commercial angle. Not saying you're wrong, but it looks like you commented without reading.

CW said:
Commercial PCs would be discarded from the calculations: Businesses simply don't upgrade at the same pace as consumers.

As for consumers, no Joe Average does not buy a new computer and throw a new OS on it--that's why MS tries to pull the old OS off Dell/HP/Lenovo/etc. systems ASAP so the consumer only has the option of the new OS without jumping through hoops. S/he may buy a new computer with Windows 9 preloaded though. And for any ordinary (read: not the people here) person who dislikes Windows 8, chances are there is a hardware guru somewhere in their life who will say "Oh look, free Windows 9, hard to say no" (assuming it doesn't suck).
 

Exavior

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Windows 8 was $40 for the upgrade when it first came out, windows 7 was something similar. Would expect windows 9 to be something similar also. Giving it away free doesn't help them make money so they don't want to go that route, but selling it at cheap upgrade cost for a few months helps make people decide that I better buy it now while I can get it cheap so while they won't make as much, they might make more sells that are rushed than they would if people were just upgrading to upgrade.
 

450

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Microsoft makes ~$17 billion a year from Windows licensing, even now with Windows 8.1 as its flagship product. Windows 9 isn't going to be a free upgrade.

Yeah. I just don't see them giving up a huge revenue stream. Making it cheaper? Sure. Free, no way.
 

Exavior

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This has been discussed ever since Mavericks was released free..

From TechRepublic, Feb 12, 2014..



From ZDNet, Jan 13, 2014..

The difference is that Apple won't just gives you the OS for free. Try to get a copy of OS X to install on your own hardware, you can't. They make money off of the hardware that you are locked to. So they can up the cost of hardware some and still make money. Microsoft doesn't own the hardware so they can't make money like that.

Plus most releases of OS X are just "filler" releases with only small changes. Kind of like windows 8 to 8.1 which is Microsoft did give away for free. Apple only skipped the charge on the last two which from what I saw only had a few small changes. Next OS X upgrade that actually contains real changes will probably have a small charge again. Which looks like it might be X.10
 

Entilza

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I am more curious what will windows 9 will offer other than the return of the start bar. Are we back in '95? Otherwise I can continue happy on my way with Windows7.
 

Exavior

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I am more curious what will windows 9 will offer other than the return of the start bar. Are we back in '95? Otherwise I can continue happy on my way with Windows7.

Not if you wish to use any new programs. Once windows 9 comes out new programs will start to slowly stop being developed that will work on / support windows 7. Staying 1 version behind normally is fine, but once you start to get 2 or 3 behind you are gong to start having issues in that alone.
 

BladeVenom

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Yeah. I just don't see them giving up a huge revenue stream. Making it cheaper? Sure. Free, no way.

Android is now the most popular OS. iOS may be 2nd soon. Chromebooks market share is increasing, while Window is decreasing.

They are already making Windows free on inexpensive devices. It's the only way to hold onto the market share they still have.
 

HoffY

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:eek: mind blown... I feel like a noob now :(

Don't feel so bad... what he failed to mention is that this is NOT what MS want you to do. And in fact they go out of their way to force you to NOT do this. So to actually do a clean install you have to do a hack job to get around a few Microsoft's "lets make the paying customer annoyed"-walls! And make no mistake... even if you do this.. you may have trouble during and after the process! As always with computers, count on Murphy's Law!
 

heatlesssun

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Android is now the most popular OS. iOS may be 2nd soon. Chromebooks market share is increasing, while Window is decreasing.

The comparison you're making here between Android and iOS is the same mistake Microsoft made with Windows 8 according to many who think that mobile OSes and desktop OSes are very different and suit different needs. As for Chromebooks, for devices that pretty much have to always been online and are essentially web browsers, they aren't showing up much in the usual net traffic surveys.

They are already making Windows free on inexpensive devices. It's the only way to hold onto the market share they still have.

Obviously in order to get Windows on cheap devices like Chromebooks and low end devices Windows had to become as cheap as the competition. It will be interesting to see how this all plays as Windows 9 comes out, how that gets priced and the continuing improvements that Intel is making with low cost and power efficient x86 SoCs. Windows Phone is going to have a super tough time in the market but Windows on tablets could see some good movement particularly as tablets get more enterprise penetration.
 

TechLarry

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Never happen.

We had to pay to get out of WinME and Vista. Windows 8 will be no different.
 
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