Are you getting SaaS-y with me?

Jody Whitlock

You may have heard the term SaaS, or Software-as-a-Service.  SaaS is a software licensing and delivery model in which software is licensed on a subscription basis and is centrally hosted, and is sometimes referred to as “On-Demand Software”.  For those who use Office365, this is a SaaS offering from Microsoft, but it’s not the last.  Coming to a theater near you, Windows SaaS!  Yep, that’s right, Microsoft plans to provide Windows 10 as a SaaS offering.

Terry Myserson, Microsoft’s Executive VP of Operating Systems is quoted as saying “This is more than a one-time upgrade: once a Windows device is upgraded to Windows 10, we will continue to keep it current for the supported lifetime of the device – at no cost. With Windows 10, the experience will evolve and get even better over time. We’ll deliver new features when they’re ready, not waiting for the next major release. We think of Windows as a Service – in fact, one could reasonably think of Windows in the next couple of years as one of the largest Internet services on the planet.”

This is a page right out of Apple’s playbook as OS X for Macintosh and iOS for iPhone/iPad/iPod has been a SaaS offering for some time.  Is this a step in the right direction for consumers?  Well actually yes, this removes the “What version of Windows am I on?” conundrum.

For support folks and developers, Terry Myserson says “And just like any Internet service, the idea of asking “What version are you on?” will cease to make sense – which is great news for our Windows developers. With universal Windows apps that work across the entire device family, developers can build one app that targets the broadest range of devices – including the PC, tablet, phone, Xbox, the Internet of Things, and more.”

In conclusion, this means that for consumers, Windows 10 will be the last version of Windows you will run, with updates being 10.1, 10.5, etc.  This also means that Microsoft has committed to providing these updates free of charge, but seems to also mean that you still have to purchase a core license if you build a new PC, then subsequent updates are no cost.  If you are upgrading (see my previous post) then as long as you meet the requirements you will not pay for Windows 10!