Microsoft quietly unveils Windows subscription pricing

Per user rather than per device

Windows 10 is likely to be available on subscription as well

Microsoft rolled out its Enterprise Cloud Suite add-on in December 2014 for Enterprise Agreement customers. It has now confirmed that the suite will cost between $7 (£4.66, AU$8.86) and $12 (£7.99, AU$15.18) per month per user.

The package includes a Windows Enterprise Edition license for a desktop or a laptop and a Windows tablet (with a display size smaller than 10.1-inch).

Other goodies included are Azure Active Directory for identity management, MDOP desktop optimization suite, Intune mobile deployment management, Office 365, OneDrive for Business as well as unlimited licenses to access Windows Enterprise via VDI or through USB drives equipped with Windows-To-Go feature.

Microsoft's Corporate Vice President, Brad Anderson, says that the move to deliver this solution was motivated not only by customer demand for a simpler enterprise licensing scheme but also by the desire to fend off competition from companies such as MobileIron, AirWatch, Box, Good Technology and others who were trying to fill the void created by Microsoft's hitherto inability to embrace a platform-agnostic workforce.

"Organizations are looking for solutions that marry management with productivity with identity," Anderson told Computerworld.

Competition, it seems, is keeping Microsoft on its toes and forcing the company to implement strategic decisions that nobody would have expected it to only a couple of years ago.

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