I was reading the story Andrew Grush wrote about the future of Windows upgrades and he brought up some good points.
When thinking of updates, upgrades and update numbers though you also have to take into consideration what Microsoft has in plan with Windows. This could go a couple of ways.
1) Microsoft could keep the name Windows 8 until the next pay version comes along…Windows 9. We’ll just keep getting updates, some will be just under the hood updates and some will make changes to the OS in a visual way. Windows 9 will be the major update of all updates, maybe the blending of the new start menu (formally known as Metro) and Windows Desktop?
2) Microsoft may make Windows more like Office 365 or Xbox Live and make it a subscription. If they go in this direction they could get rid of the number all together and everyone just has Windows and gets updates. If this is true, Microsoft may not want people to worry about what version they have, just that as they subscribe they have the latest version and not to worry about it, no having to buy a new version every time it comes out.
Which way is better? Part of me would hate to have to pay a monthly or yearly fee to use Windows, but that would also be up to how much the fee is. If its $60-100 a year and I can put Windows on 2-3 computers I might be up for that, especially if they update it with new features regularly.
It depends on how much Windows changes over the years. If Microsoft is going to make major changes every year it might make sense to have a subscriptions instead of having to shell out money every year for a new version of Windows. If they’re going to keep going the way they are and every 3 years bring out a major release I’d rather pay for the major release every 3 years.
I don’t think things will stay the same. I don’t think Windows 8 will have service packs, I think updates will just show up. This makes sense since Microsoft seems to want to update Windows faster than they have in the past.
I think we’ll have our regular Patch Tuesday’s for security and bug fixes, but we’ll also have regular feature patches or performance patches.