If you haven’t heard the news recently, apparently for Microsoft’s next operating system they will be offering it as a free upgrade for anyone that uses Windows 7 and up. Not only that, recently it was announces that people who have illegitimate copies of the operating system can upgrade to a legitimate copy as well for free. Yes, that is not a typo.
It made me wonder what the business model behind this was as that seems like an extremely bold step to take. It’s almost like a movie or music company offering everyone who owns an illegal copy of its products to get legitimate versions for free. The only thing I could really think about is that they are aggressively trying to get everyone to use the same platform where they could then maybe use things like user data to make money. At the same time, maybe they have a plan to try and compete in the mobile space more and this gives them the chance to get bigger market share. With all the money reserves this company has too it’s probably not going to hurt them much.
I am still a little concerned about this upgrade in general as usually new operating systems don’t have a clean roll out in the beginning where many of your programs can of a sudden be incompatible. Either way, giving people who steal your products the opportunity to get a genuine copy of it for free is extremely interesting.