Windows as a Service gets name-checked, again, by Microsoft

There have been rumors floating around for some time that Microsoft, in the future, could offer Windows as a Service. The idea seems entirely plausible as they already offer Office in this capacity, so it would not be a stretch to do the same with Windows. 

In a job posting that went live today, Microsoft made a reference to Windows as a Service, but other than the name, not much else is known about the platform. Microsoft's OneCore also gets referenced as well, but we are not sure if the WaaS and OneCore are related in the capacity in which they are mentioned in this job description.

Microsoft already offers up a product that dabbles along these lines; what was previously code named Mohoro turned out to be Azure RemoteApp, which is a Desktop as a Service product for Microsoft. It could be possible that these two are the same, but clearly the naming is quite a bit different.

Windows as a Service is an interesting idea, but the execution will be critical for Microsoft because from a consumer standpoint, it fulfills a significant gap -- when was the last time you bought a copy of Windows? For the majority of users, they likely obtained their license when they bought new hardware. But the story is a bit different for the enterprise who may prefer on-demand licensing as they scale up and down in employees to keep their costs in check with their usage.

There are a lot of unknowns about Windows as a Service and how Microsoft will, if ever, offer the product in this capacity. Moreso, we don't know what exactly this job posting is referencing, but there is no beating around the bush: Windows as a Service exists in some capacity.

Source: Microsoft Careers via h0x0d

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I think WaaS will be for Enterprise. They can use Hyper-V to start the simple client and allow user connect to WaaS server for their virtual desktop.

Consumer is not always connected and their PC need an OS to run anyway.

Or, agree to someone else, it might be just a new name for Windows VM on Azure.

There's more than meets the eye in this job post.

First and foremost. They mention two key technologies that you might overlooked: Windows OneCore client and the mention of the Silicon Graphics and Media Group (SiGMa).

What that means is that this person's gonna be responsible mainly for GUI experience as a whole, what these companies call Customer Experience (CX) which involved a greater scope than the traditional User Experience (UX) group.

This guy will have to work with Intel and Qualcomm (Snapdragon) and with partner to measure (that's what telemetry actually mean) the CX using hosted Windows experiences in the cloud, most probably Windows RT level systems without a built in desktop, but rather hosted on the cloud. How? By using the Windows OneCore Server and creating a OneCore client which, of course, is a bona fide Hyper V, with links to both Win32/COM+ (via WinRT 2.0) and Metro itself.

Tough job, if you ask me.

BTW. I think we have all mixed up the true meaning of OneCore. Based on this post, it seems that OneCore is more of uniting Win32, HyperV and Metro than uniting the different Windows versions. I think what Satya Nadella had in mind when he said "cloud-first, mobile-first" was to offer OneCore as an Azure Server and have all other groups create clients to display legacy apps, modernized apps and Cloud Metro apps in common.

I assume this is mostly focused at using Windows on non-Windows hardware, e.g., an iPad or android tab. Virtualizing and streaming your desktop to your PC doesn't make a lot of sense. That doesn't mean that the business of Windows wouldn't change. They've already offered SA to smaller businesses through Windows Intune, which bundles OS plus management, so making a version of SA for consumers isn't that far off.

Interesting, perhaps Microsoft is thinking in these terms:
- Microsoft Windows with Bing - Installed by OEM on desktops and laptops
- Windows as Service - would then be all the add-on's that included in Pro and Enterprise versions.

Or we could all be off base, and Windows as Service could be a replacement of their server OS platform.

Dear Microsoft

Windows as a service is part of Microsoft's anti-computing strategy. People will not be trusting that company anymore if they have to pay annually for Windows O.S.

I hate Windows 365 subscription service and Microsoft should understand that just because Office 365 is selling well doesn't mean they can do Windows 365 and go back to the Netscape days.

With Windows 365, retailers would be selling Linux based computers and soon, people and eventually businesses may stop using computers.

Office 365 is okay, not Windows 365.

justsilly said,
Dear Microsoft

Windows as a service is part of Microsoft's anti-computing strategy. People will not be trusting that company anymore if they have to pay annually for Windows O.S.

I hate Windows 365 subscription service and Microsoft should understand that just because Office 365 is selling well doesn't mean they can do Windows 365 and go back to the Netscape days.

With Windows 365, retailers would be selling Linux based computers and soon, people and eventually businesses may stop using computers.

Office 365 is okay, not Windows 365.

I do think that Microsoft will of course offer Windows as a one time purchase for those who prefer to pay once, but I think features for Windows 365 will be updated MUCH faster,

Microsoft isn't that stupid, they of course offer one time purchases, I do think though this will be more aimed at Chromebook level prices while giving TONES of storage and Office and probably offer bundles as well

12Danny123 said,

Windows 365 will be updated MUCH faster,

Most people don't care of windows being regularly updated. This is mostly the "security freaks" (the average guy don't have a clue of what is a "vulnerability"). Unless there's a feeling of added value, with each upgrade (better performance, better UI, or new features) people are not too interested by constant upgrades .

justsilly said,
Dear Microsoft

I hate Windows 365 subscription service

But... You don't even know what it is. Microsoft hasn't released any details. Just some name leaks and a ton of wild speculation. Maybe you should wait for MS to announce something before you hate it just because of a leaked name?

Josh Pactor said,

Maybe you should wait for MS to announce something before you hate it just because of a leaked name?

I think most people hate the idea to have to pay on a regular subscription basis to use a software (especially if that software was available before without any subscription).
This is a bit annoying, now most games seems to require an online etc...
But in the case of windows 365 that would be worse, as you can't use your pc without it; unless you switch to linux.

Is Microsoft going crazy?????
-
If Microsoft offer Windows as a Service, and move into the cloud, I go to Linux.
I strictly decline things not under my desk.
===============================

Nowhere does it say that they're doing away with the regular options. Just like Office, TFS, etc, you can still get it just like before.

Netflix = 7.99 /m
Hulu = 7.99 /m
Office365 = $99.00 /Y
Windows = $69.99 /Y (Guess)
Antivirus = $20.00 /Y

Whatever else I use = $???

Guess at some point, my federal refund will be shunted toward software/service subscriptions....

Well if you're a heavy user, expect to pay more. You don't absolutely need all of those things. If money is really an issue and you don't feel that those services fit your needs, you can try Linux.

Enron said,
Well if you're a heavy user, expect to pay more. You don't absolutely need all of those things. If money is really an issue and you don't feel that those services fit your needs, you can try Linux.

Nickel and diming people out of the market will hurt them long term. Take cable for instance. Eventually, it will evolve into the new "cord cutting".

Edited by AR556, Aug 15 2014, 12:49pm :

AR556 said,

Nickel and diming people out of the market will hurt them long term. Take cable for instance. Eventually, it will evolve into the new "cord cutting".

So far their subscription services have been a better deal than not going with them. Office 365 = 5 copies of Office Professional, which would cost over $1000 easily. Also includes 1 TB of OneDrive space. Xbox Live Gold pays itself off in a couple of months with free games. If they made Windows subscription a great deal, I'd go to it. Otherwise I'll stay with retail copies. Vote with your wallet.

Nobody understands enterprise environment better than Microsoft. I guess, MS is giving opportunity to subscribe Windows on your Desktops and simultaneously selling Windows on your laptops or now Tablets. To be fair, in a touch device, Windows is the best OS in Market with more number of tablet optimized apps. I would love to see future presented by Microsoft in consumer market and enterprise market.

If the price is good, and you get more than one install like with Office, then I'm interested. I have 2 PCs and my x86 tablet, if I can keep those on the newest version of Windows for a good price I'll have to look into it. Keep in mind that MS is going to keep this quicker update cycle going now that it started, it's easier to charge you $99 -$200 for a upgrade to Windows when that comes once every 3 years but when there's a new version 12 to 18 months now then you need to work out new pricing models.

People said the same for office 365 (it wont work people hate subs) but its turned out to be extremely popular, especially with the extras you get for home users (1tb OneDrive and skype). WaaS could very well become a popular option assuming its a good price and the benefits are clear.

How will Major businesses react to this. Can they afford to constantly keep on upgrading their PCs to each new version every year? Will the subscription pricing be justified?

Too many questions.

Edited by d5aqoëp, Aug 15 2014, 6:19am :

d5aqoëp said,
How will Major businesses react to this. Can they afford to constantly keep on upgrading their PCs to each new version every year? Will the subscription pricing be justified?

Too many questions.

Really? Dude, sorry but where have you been for the past, I don't know, 10+ years? Businesses have software assurance, it's a subscription plan for them that gets them the newest version of Windows. You should read up on it, it's nothing new for businesses, they have that and Volume licensing type deals that are a subset of SA.

George P said,

Really? Dude, sorry but where have you been for the past, I don't know, 10+ years? Businesses have software assurance, it's a subscription plan for them that gets them the newest version of Windows. You should read up on it, it's nothing new for businesses, they have that and Volume licensing type deals that are a subset of SA.

But with more frequent updates to Windows version numbers, can businesses keep up ? I mean changing to Windows 9 then to 10,11 every year? I remember Microsoft's new strategy was to provide yearly increments Windows.

d5aqoëp said,

But with more frequent updates to Windows version numbers, can businesses keep up ? I mean changing to Windows 9 then to 10,11 every year? I remember Microsoft's new strategy was to provide yearly increments Windows.

They wouldn't have to update every year. They could do it every other or every 3 or whatever. Chances are they will retain support no matter what.

From a sys admin/IT view, it could be both a blessing and a curse. You like to have full control of the environment; if MS flipped a switch like they did from Win7 to Win8, it would be a complete disaster. It is safer from an IT point of view to have a single image with proper security updates. On the other hand, deployment and compatibility would be simple and automated.

Personally, I wouldn't want a business environment out of my exact control. It is easier to upgrade in chunks.

d5aqoëp said,

But with more frequent updates to Windows version numbers, can businesses keep up ? I mean changing to Windows 9 then to 10,11 every year? I remember Microsoft's new strategy was to provide yearly increments Windows.

SA gives business the newest version if they want it and also downgrade rights to current/older versions that they can stay on plus all the support they need. It's a full subscription deal for them.

I can definitely see changing to a constantly updated subscription service. It would be better than having to upgrade to a new system every few years. Provided they left an option for a stand-alone like they did Office 2013 alongside 365, it would be a useful system. Probably also help on the number of people stuck with older software.

I think many would be fine with their Windows 7/8 installs. There are simply too many subscriptions to keep a track of.

If Apple continues to offer OSX for free, people will actually buy Macs and switch over to OSX full time.

This can be a very tricky situation. Microsoft needs to tread carefully.

_Alexander said,

OSX is not free - you can only install it on overprices proprietary hardware.

Read my post again. Once people buy iMacs, they get future operating systems free.

Apple recovers cost from app store sales %. More the OSX marketshare, more likely people will buy off apps from OSX app store. More profit. Simple yet effective strategy.

If Microsoft is charging for monthly or yearly subscription, people will definitely feel the pinch.

Pulagatha said,
The overpriced excuse for not liking Apple is getting old.

old but true. you could argue its like comparing apples with oranges though

d5aqoëp said,

Read my post again. Once people buy iMacs, they get future operating systems free.

Apple recovers cost from app store sales %. More the OSX marketshare, more likely people will buy off apps from OSX app store. More profit. Simple yet effective strategy.

If Microsoft is charging for monthly or yearly subscription, people will definitely feel the pinch.

Actually not true as they have been charging for updated versions of OS X (I'm not referring to the point releases like 10.8.1, 10.8.2, ect). 10.9 has been an exception to this pattern.

Now then they don't charge a ton like Microsoft does but they do charge none the less.

d5aqoëp said,
I think many would be fine with their Windows 7/8 installs. There are simply too many subscriptions to keep a track of.

If Apple continues to offer OSX for free, people will actually buy Macs and switch over to OSX full time.

This can be a very tricky situation. Microsoft needs to tread carefully.


Microsoft provides more support than Apple does. But you're comparing two different things. Apple bundles OSX with their hardware. There's where you pay for it.

Dot Matrix said,

Apple bundles OSX with their hardware. There's where you pay for it.

But recent change in strategy means Apple will provide free new OS X versions to all Mac owners. They started it from Mavericks. Let's see if they continue the trend with Yosemite.

Redz0ne said,

old but true. you could argue its like comparing apples with oranges though

Redz0ne... Apple is just using an old technology trick even Microsoft used in an earlier era.

Almost all innovative products start at a high margin price to recoup for the original investment. PCs used to be $2,500. HD TV: $3,000. Teslas: $150k. Even LED lights were at 100 to 200 bucks at first. Then economies of scale kicked in and you got $700 laptops, $400 HD TVs and now $33k Teslas.

Working the other way around, bankrupts you. Just remember the Chevy Volt, the Commodore SX-64, the Atari ST, etc.

In Apple's mind, if you want low cost, you go for an iPad mini. Medium: iPad Air. High go for the MacBook Air. Premium: iMac, MacBook Pro. Ultra Premium. Mac Pro.

BTW. Top Gear (BBC automobile program) mentioned that in the UK the BMW Series 3 sells more cars than the (supposedly) least expensive Ford Focus. Counter-intuitive? You bet.

d5aqoëp said,

But recent change in strategy means Apple will provide free new OS X versions to all Mac owners. They started it from Mavericks. Let's see if they continue the trend with Yosemite.

And? Apple still produces the hardware in which you run it on. Microsoft doesn't.