The end to Microsoft’s roughly three-year update schedule for Windows appears to be night – Microsoft Executive Jerry Nixon has confirmed that Windows 10 will be last version of Windows – the world’s most popular operating system.
This, however, doesn’t mean an end is imminent for Windows – it rather signals a massive change in the manner which Microsoft sell and update their iconic operating system.
Prior to Nixon’s confirmation Windows has, as an operating system, been re-launched roughly every three to four years under a new guise: XP, Vista, 7, and most recently, 8. Microsoft’s strategy has seen consumers either purchase the a massive upgrade to Windows to use their computers with the most modern resources, or purchase an entirely new machine which is optimised to run the latest version.
In layman’s terms, the operating system would receive massive visual and structural changes in-between product launches, which consumers – one way or another – would have to purchase to access to the last version of Windows.
Microsoft’s announcement signals a big change for Windows: following the release of Windows 10, no further paid updates will be released. Rather, Windows will be updated incrementally through actual software updates which, rather than supply the latest anti-virus algorithms, might feature subtle or overt system changes in terms of structure or appearance.
The end result will likely be a platform which, rather than a product suffix such as Vista, might see future consumers embrace the ecosystem as simply Windows.
The easiest parallel to Windows’ new trajectory is the open-source Chrome operating system; users all over the world continually use different versions and generally remain ignorant of updates unless a visual change to the system takes place. However, all Chrome users are generally seen to be using the same platform where one update does not preclude compatibility with a prior version.
Future versions of Windows, in this regard, will work similarly: there will be little concern for backward compatibility and all future Windows PCs, regardless of their makeup, will be communicable with each other while consumers will not need to pay to access any updates. Principally, Windows 10 will see the popular operating system become less of a product, and more of a service.
What do you think of Microsoft’s new philosophy with Windows? Let us know in the comments below!
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