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Microsoft is rethinking how to charge users for Windows 10

Windows 10
Windows 10 brings big changes

Paying for Windows has always been relatively straightforward, but with Apple and Google introducing new monetization models for operating systems it looks like Microsoft is being forced to follow suit.

Windows 10 garnered a healthy amount of buzz when Microsoft unveiled it in September, as it looks like a return to form for the OS, but what it won't be a return to is Microsoft's old business model.

"We've got to monetize it differently," Microsoft Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner said at the Credit Suisse Technology Conference in early December, according to

"And there are services involved," he continued. "There are additional opportunities for us to bring additional services to the product and do it in a creative way. And through the course of the summer and spring we'll be announcing what that business model looks like."

There are no details beyond that, but it seems likely that Microsoft will either offer Windows up for free and hope app and software sales and subscriptions make up the difference, or make Windows - or some versions of Windows - into a subscription service with recurring fees. And it sounds like we'll know by next summer either way.