I predicted this 18 months ago....but today at a tech conference in China, Microsoft has announced that its new Windows 10 Operating System will be free to anyone using Windows 7 or later. Previous articles mentioned that Windows 10 was floating the idea of a subscription service, but 18 months ago, Apple announced that they were doing away with the pay-for-operating-system structure, and Microsoft is wise to follow suit.
Last quarter Microsoft’s revenue from consumer licensing accounted for only 16 percent of the company revenue, down from 23 percent the previous year. With Apple and Google Chromebooks slowly eating into Microsoft’s market share, a non-paying customer is better than no customer at all.
As I mused earlier, the business world, for the most part, runs on Microsoft Office. It's a smart move for Apple; it would be equally so for Microsoft.