HawkMan, on 30 December 2012 - 01:22, said:
Probably not. most likely you're seeing a shift from large expensive windows licenses to more frequent cheaper windows upgrade licenses, ala Apple (remember every Apple OS sold is an upgrade). which is also marked by the move away from boxed versions and only OEM versions and upgrades for sale.
So it probably won't be free, but it will be cheap.
As much as we seem do disagree, I have to agree with you here. All of the data is pointing to MS charging for this release. Every previous version of Windows, even the "odd ball" XP SP2, has had a SP release and they were never branded releases. Since MS is branding this release I'm confident this is being done to setup SP releases to be similar to OS X, as you mentioned, where they are cheap updates that users pay for.
For me, another reason to be angry at Windows 8, but I don't want to derail the thread.