Windows 10 Enterprise users will have to pay a monthly fee if they wish to upgrade to the premium edition. Microsoft will also stop giving free Windows 10 download and upgrade on July 29.
Windows Vice President Yusuf Mehdi made the announcement on July 12. The Windows 10 Enterprise E3 will be made available this fall via the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) Monthly subscription fee is $7 per seat.
Windows 10 Home and Pro users are currently exempted from the monthly subscription charge. This means that end users and small businesses can still freely use Windows 10 for now. However, there is a possibility that all Windows 10 users will soon have to pay Microsoft, according to a Forbes report.
Meanwhile, Windows 7 and Windows 8 users only have until July 29 of this year to freely download the Windows 10 upgrade. After the free period expires, Microsoft will then sell the Windows 10 Home edition for $119 and the Pro edition for $199.
Many were surprised by Microsoft's decision to stop offering free Windows 10 upgrade. Industry observers, however, pointed out that the company has legitimate reasons for halting the free offer.
Around 300 million users have downloaded and upgraded to Windows 10 in less than a year, according to Microsoft. But those numbers are slowing down which indicates that majority of those of wish to upgrade to Windows 10 have done so.
Still, there is a likely chance that Microsoft will extend the deadline. The company wants to have at least 1 billion Windows 10 users within the next two to three years. That target is doubtful if they stop offering it for free.
Meanwhile, the company from Redmond has announced several times that Windows 10 is the "last". There have also been speculations that Microsoft may eliminate all the various editions and merge them into a single version. This gives rise to the theory that the OS will simply be known as "Windows."