Why Microsoft is Giving Away Windows 10 for free- Mobile

It would appear that Microsoft's monopoly like stranglehold and moat surrounding its Windows operating system has been largely penetrated by Apple's iOS and Google's Android . In order to combat this incursion, and be kept from becoming a footnote in the annals of tech history, Microsoft will be giving away its upcoming Windows 10 operating system as a free upgrade.
Obviously this forgoes the revenue which each former new version of its OS has reaped for Mr. Softy.
Some shareholders might be scratching their heads or calling foul. Upon analysis, this is the best move Mr Softy could make. The truth is that this is the necessary step for Microsoft for three reasons.

1) many users who upgrade to Windows 8 are less than happy about their decision to do so. For example, right now I have to reinstall the operating system on my computer in order to "re-image" it as the wireless system is not functioning properly. There a zillion other reasons why consumers wouldn't be happy with Win 8, and like me, many would balk at paying for the next OS.
I the price wasn't zero, I would simply switch over to an Apple or a Chromebook. By allowing me to upgrade to Windows 10 for free, Microsoft has an outside chance of holding onto currently dissatisfied customers .

2) The marginal cost of software distribution and development for big tech companies has never been lower,. Google gives away its software for free in order to make money on the back end via data collection, search, etc. The economics of charging for an operating system are largely unfavorable. Microsoft is responding to this looming reality, and is going to be high-lighting its Bing search engine in Windows 10- an attempt to mimic Google's business model.

Video: why Microsoft is giving away Windows 10

3) Perhaps the biggest reason is CEO Satya Nadella's mobile first philosophy. It's no secret that Microsoft has been attempting to win market share, but that boat has sailed as Apple and Google own a combined 96% of mobile operating systems worldwide.
This marketshare leads to developers creating applications for IOS and Android first, Microsoft being an afterthought.
One of the main goals of windows 10 is to allow for universal apps- applications which would take minimal amount of changes to work seamlessly over Xbox, the Windows Phone, PC's, the Sufrace etc.
Although Microsoft attempted to do the same thing with Windows 8, the OS currently has single digit market share worldwide. By offering free Window's upgrades to its hundreds of millions of users, the install base for developers suddenly looks much more attractive.
And tit for tat, as developers start creating applications for Windows, consumers suddenly give the Windows Phone a second look.

Microsoft has its work cut out for it, but giving Nadella's mobile-first philosophy, they are making the most logical strategic move which they can.


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