Microsoft brings Windows as a Service to smaller businesses

Windows 10

Microsoft has announced pricing for its Windows 10 Enterprise E3 offering, which will be pitched at $7 (around £5.30, AU$9.20) per seat per month.

The new enterprise offering, which is the lower-end one – Windows 10 Enterprise E5 will boast more features, but pricing for that hasn't been mentioned yet – will be delivered via the company's Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program.

Redmond's idea is to open up Windows 10 Enterprise and make it more accessible and manageable for smaller businesses, with a cheap monthly subscription to a cloud-based service.

E5 extras

Microsoft announced the two new versions of the enterprise flavour of its desktop OS last week. To sum them up, Windows 10 Enterprise E3 is the existing Windows 10 Enterprise renamed, with the E5 version including extras such as Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (this fuller package is expected to be released later this summer, doubtless costing more, of course).

In a blog post, Redmond noted: "CSP partners will be able to provide a subscription to Windows 10 Enterprise Edition as part of a managed service offering, which is ideal for businesses who do not have dedicated IT resources or limited IT staff, and want their licensing and IT needs managed by a trusted and experienced partner."

Microsoft further stressed the security benefits of a move to Windows 10, particularly for businesses with sensitive data, along with easy deployment – it's possible to upgrade from Windows 10 Pro to Windows 10 Enterprise E3 without even rebooting – and a simplified licensing model.

Windows 10 is now on over 350 million devices worldwide.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).