So you’ve just gotten a new computer, or maybe you’ve upgraded your desktop or laptop parts to more capable specs; all to run this newfangled operating system that many have been calling “revolutionary” and “game-changing,” among many other complementary adjectives. (It has also been called a “fluke” and a “passing fad” by probably just as many people, but the merits of those opinions are best reserved for another article.)
Changing of the Guard
Whatever the sentiments towards it are, Windows 8 has barely gotten its feet wet and Microsoft has already announced that the next iteration of its flagship OS is set to hit the market by mid-2013. Moreover, this fast turnover won’t be just a one-time thing. Looking to go up against Apple and its annual Mac OS X upgrade scheduling, Microsoft is also planning on yearly upgrades (as opposed to updates, i.e. the so-called “Service Packs”) from here on in.
Dubbing the upcoming OS “Windows Blue,” the company is hoping that this new marketing strategy will net them more subscribers, whether those customers want to or not (a bit more on that later). To start things off, the plan is to have the initial upgrade be very financially accessible to consumers. In fact, rumors are flying around that it may even be free; the better to get the ball rolling, supposedly.
The Scam Scheme?
That’s the bait, but now comes the switch: Every upgrade thereafter won’t just be (appropriately?) priced, but they’ll also be mandatory.
At least, they will be if consumers want to keep their programs up-to-date. Insiders say that when Blue arrives, Microsoft will also introduce a new software development kit for software developers to work on. Concurrently, the company will also be halting support for apps created specifically for Windows 8. This is compounded by the fact that even now, Microsoft is placing quite a bit of emphasis on the Windows Store. Simply stated, if this is left unchecked, consumers will either have to upgrade, or get left behind. Check that: Consumers will have to upgrade yearly.
Benefit of the Doubt
All this is still speculation, though. After all, no company could possibly be that nasty; not if they want to prevent consumer riots and, in the long run, loss.
Maybe some of us are just letting our thoughts run wild. The company does have its lifecycle policy, which promises continued support for all things Microsoft-related for up to five years. It wouldn’t be much of a stretch to think that this policy extends to access to the Windows Store.
As these things go, we’ll just have to wait and see.