Windows 10 no 'loss leader' for Microsoft, but making money may rely on services

Details of the Windows 10 business model will be announced early in 2015

Microsoft won't talk about what Windows 10 will cost until next year. But it's looking unlikely that it will be completely free, either for users or for PC makers building larger devices, after Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner said that Windows 10 won't be a priced to keep users in the Microsoft ecosystem.

"We haven't announced the Windows 10 pricing framework yet. But the one thing I can tell you that we've not had any conversations on is Windows 10 being a loss leader for us," he said at the Credit Suisse technology conference.

The way Microsoft makes money from PCs is changing. Windows hasn't been the biggest earner for Microsoft for some time: Turner said it was in third place behind the Office and enterprise businesses.

He also gave indications that Microsoft would look to extend the kind of deals it's done with makers of smaller devices who get Windows for free but are encouraged to bundle deals like Office 365 subscriptions that bring income for Microsoft. Notebook makers can already get a cheaper licence for Windows 8.1 if they make Bing the default search engine. But Turner seemed to suggest Microsoft would extend that even further.

"We've got to monetize it differently," he explained. "There are services involved. There are additional opportunities for us to bring additional services to the product in a creative way."

Unlike analysts, who have suggested that low-priced PCs may undermine the Windows 10 market, Turner was notably enthusiastic. "It's wonderful to see these 9-inch and below devices explode, because that was an area where candidly, I was blocked out and I had no share of what was being built. The $199 laptop, the HP Stream, is an amazing device."

Turner confirmed that Windows 10 will ship "by late summer and early fall" of 2015. And, he said, Microsoft will reveal what the Windows 10 business model will be "in the early part of 2015."

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags MicrosoftWindowssoftwareoperating systems

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mary Branscombe

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Crucial Ballistix Elite 32GB Kit (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 UDIMM

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Plox Star Wars Death Star Levitating Bluetooth Speaker

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?