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[Q] How exactly is Windows free??

OP nvyaniv

3rd April 2014, 08:43 AM   |  #1  
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Hi guys,

I just read that they announced in the dev conference that windows will be free for 9" and less..

I am not able to confirm if this is for WP or x86 full blown Windows.?

If it includes Full Windows, where do the 8" tablets like dell venue 8 pro stand?

Also I keep hearing it as widows with bing or internet of things.. isn't this basically an arm version or WP again?? or is it a re-branded RT version?

Whats the point of it??

Or are they basically trying to say WP is free for manufacturers while full Windows is still chargeable??
3rd April 2014, 10:10 AM   |  #2  
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Phones <9", no? In any case, phones were explicitly mentioned as free. Even before now, it was leaked that a couple of regional carriers in India got WP for free, which means the multinational vendors obviously had the same (or better) deal.

And even before that, it was blatantly obvious that with Nokia's monopoly of the WP market, which is now part of MS, no vendor would bother playing unless the entry cost was zero (or better). Note that WP has now abolished physical spec requirements, allowing vendors to repurpose their Android models for WP with minimal effort.

BTW, "full" Windows is a moving target, so don't take it as gospel. From the grapevine, future Win will bifurcate into two base SKUs, one with desktop and one without (nee Windows RT). Reportedly these will be platform-agnostic, ie x86 will also sport a sans-desktop version, and what was previously RT will simply be the ARM port but without the branding. "Free" Win can conceivably be only for the sans-desktop version, ie for consumption-only devices, while productivity devices (10"+) will still sport the MS tax.

But that's in the future (read: Win9). Yes, for this year, free Win will mean the "full" x86 Win that is being shoehorned into mini-tabs. This isn't out of generosity, but because it's all MS has at the moment to push mobiles with.

All this is subject to change. How much of Win will be free will likely depend on adoption rate of 8.x this year. If it continues to crater, then MS can step up the freebies to offset. If adoption picks up, MS can tighten the gift bag.

The point? Selling Windows on mobiles, what else? MS first effort, in pushing premium hardware like Surface and expensive 2n1's, has flopped like a fish. The second try is predicated on low price, starting with the ill-fated $300 8" tabs. That didn't fly either, so now comes the last-ditch effort of "free."

We'll see how well OEMs bite. New product intros coming in late summer & fall should be good indicators. HP's response in particular will be noteworthy.
3rd April 2014, 11:24 AM   |  #3  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e.mote

Phones <9", no? In any case, phones were explicitly mentioned as free. Even before now, it was leaked that a couple of regional carriers in India got WP for free, which means the multinational vendors obviously had the same (or better) deal.

And even before that, it was blatantly obvious that with Nokia's monopoly of the WP market, which is now part of MS, no vendor would bother playing unless the entry cost was zero (or better). Note that WP has now abolished physical spec requirements, allowing vendors to repurpose their Android models for WP with minimal effort.

BTW, "full" Windows is a moving target, so don't take it as gospel. From the grapevine, future Win will bifurcate into two base SKUs, one with desktop and one without (nee Windows RT). Reportedly these will be platform-agnostic, ie x86 will also sport a sans-desktop version, and what was previously RT will simply be the ARM port but without the branding. "Free" Win can conceivably be only for the sans-desktop version, ie for consumption-only devices, while productivity devices (10"+) will still sport the MS tax.

But that's in the future (read: Win9). Yes, for this year, free Win will mean the "full" x86 Win that is being shoehorned into mini-tabs. This isn't out of generosity, but because it's all MS has at the moment to push mobiles with.

All this is subject to change. How much of Win will be free will likely depend on adoption rate of 8.x this year. If it continues to crater, then MS can step up the freebies to offset. If adoption picks up, MS can tighten the gift bag.

The point? Selling Windows on mobiles, what else? MS first effort, in pushing premium hardware like Surface and expensive 2n1's, has flopped like a fish. The second try is predicated on low price, starting with the ill-fated $300 8" tabs. That didn't fly either, so now comes the last-ditch effort of "free."

We'll see how well OEMs bite. New product intros coming in late summer & fall should be good indicators. HP's response in particular will be noteworthy.

so if I understood you correctly this is what you saying will mostly happen..

1) WP >> FREE

2) Windows for media consumption ( which will mostly be only Metro apps ) >> FREE

3) Full Windows capable of running Professional apps ( Metro + Dektop ) >> PAID
3rd April 2014, 01:01 PM   |  #4  
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1) WP is already free. That was how MS managed to corral all those new "OEM partners" at MWC earlier this year. It probably has been for a while.

2) x86 Win is officially free starting now, but my guess is that it was already free starting with the mini-tab crop. Note that this applies only to OEMs. It isn't free for end-users as a standalone piece of software. Speaking of which, with current emphasis on clouds and services, retail standalone version will likely cease to exist going forward. OS images will still be around for business & enterprise customers.

3) For now, there is still only one base version of Windows (incl legacy aka "desktop"). Whether MS detaches the legacy component into a separate "paid" SKU is still a matter of conjecture (that's what the rumor sez anyway.) OOH, the pressure to find new revenue stream is high; OTOH, pushing legacy into "paid" will incur the ire of the vast Windows userbase. It will probably happen at some point, but not immediately with Win9 next year.

To be clear, the only difference between "free" and "paid" is slightly cheaper Win toys, since the cost (or lack of) is subsumed into the overall device cost. It's not a dramatic difference.

MS has many different options to monetize, now that SaaS is in play. But the first order of business is still to get people to buy into 8.x. My guess is that there'll be a second update in the fall--probably with the Start Menu--to goose holiday sales.
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4th April 2014, 03:02 AM   |  #5  
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You're missing a CRITICAL part: Free to OEMs. You can't get a free copy of Win8.2 for your DVP8 and then put it on your homebuilt desktop or some such thing.
On the other hand, the desktop doesn't appear to be going anywhere on DVP8, and if Dell wanted to release a new DVP8.1, they would now be able to get the OEM copies of Windows for it free of charge. They would still have to pay for the copies to install on DVP11s or some such...

Not sure why this is confusing. The announcement was straightforward enough.
4th April 2014, 05:31 AM   |  #6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodDayToDie

You're missing a CRITICAL part: Free to OEMs. You can't get a free copy of Win8.2 for your DVP8 and then put it on your homebuilt desktop or some such thing.
On the other hand, the desktop doesn't appear to be going anywhere on DVP8, and if Dell wanted to release a new DVP8.1, they would now be able to get the OEM copies of Windows for it free of charge. They would still have to pay for the copies to install on DVP11s or some such...

Not sure why this is confusing. The announcement was straightforward enough.

I realise its for the OEMs but technically wont it mean DVP users and similar 8" tablet owners will be getting windows updates for life ( W9 W10 etc)??? since they are getting windows copies for free???

and my doubt was how non power users will simply opt for tabelts and run their normal apps by extending it multple monitors and stuff via miracast of hdmi out or some other setup...
Isnt MS loosing money cause of this??
4th April 2014, 08:13 AM   |  #7  
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What part of OEM is confusing? End users are not OEMs. They *may* end up getting free upgrades (although in time their hardware will of course become obsolete, but so far both 8.1 and 8.1u1 have been free upgrades) but that's not promised here. This is just to ensure that OEMs don't switch to stop shipping small Windows devices on account of the price (Android being the obvious competitor).

As for "MS loosing[sic] money" that's kind of a weird question to answer. Obviously, it doesn't directly cost them anything to provide software licenses. However, it does have an opportunity cost which is basically "how much money could they have made by charging for the copies instead?" and if they opportunity costs are high enough, they could fail to recoup their investment in developing the next version. With that said, though, remember that small, touch-centric Win8.x devices are the ideal use case for Windows Store apps... of which which MS gets a cut from every sale. So they could end up making more money this way, because there will be more small Win8 evices sold than there otherwise would be and therefore more people buying Store apps. Time will tell.
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