Windows 365 trademark hints at subscription-based updates

Offering Windows 10 as a free upgrade for most Windows 7 and 8.1 owners seems like a generous move, but Microsoft might simply just be carving the path for a new way users will be getting updates in the future. Redmond has just recently filed a trademark for the "Windows 365" name and, judging by its similarities with Office 365, it could very well be a clue to Microsoft's plans to make Windows updates a subscription-based fare in the future, instead of a one time fee per version.

There has been talk before about Microsoft adopting an annual upgrade cycle, similar to what Apple has been doing with the the Mac OS X. If so, then charging a hefty one-time fee per new version would perhaps be business suicide. Switching to an annual subscription would make more sense. Many other software companies have adopted that business model and, in fact, Microsoft does the same with Office 365.

Some have speculated that Windows 10 would be the release that would flip that switch. But when Microsoft announced the free nature of the update, all hopes were dashed. At least for now. This siting of a the trademark at the USPTO would reignite speculation. By sharing the same "365" suffix, one would presume it would share the same subscription-based nature as Microsoft's productivity suite.

Now it becomes a question of when. The trademark doesn't necessarily mean Microsoft would be pushing the service any time soon and is merely just reserving the name and protecting itself from future legal headaches. If Microsoft really switches to a yearly release schedule, then we can be sure we'll see the name again in a more formal and official manner. That said, this is Microsoft we're talking about so there will likely be different editions of future Windows releases, some without a yearly fee.


VIA: Neowin