Microsofts Windows 10 Push

Why the push?

Today I want to discuss why Microsoft is pushing people so hard to upgrade to Windows 10. Not only are they offering a new and better operating system for free, but they have added popups to notify you of the upgrade every time you start your computer. In addition they have added it to the automatic Windows updates for people and downloading it for them so they can choose to install it. Some may find this helpful and others may find this annoying. 

I will try my best to explain why I think they are doing this; some of this will be based on known fact and some of this will be my personal opinions. Microsoft has said that it wants to have one billion devices running Windows 10 in two to three years, and I think there are four main reasons as to why they want this to happen.


Windows as a Service

Microsoft has released Office 365 which is essentially subscriptions to its full Office products for use on a number of Windows and Mac computers. If you go to their store today ( you will see over 3/4ths of the page is about Office 365 or saying why you should choose 365 over the standalone version. This is Microsoft selling Office as a service on a monthly or yearly basis where you pay to use whatever the latest and greatest version of the software is. Not only is this more stable and continuous income for them, but it is also easier as it gets everyone on the same version so that they do not need to worry about supporting multiple versions of Office.

I think this is precisely what they want to do with Windows. It is unclear what the business model will look like, but they do not want to you buy a standalone version, they want you to have a subscription for the same reasons. Microsoft has previously said 10 will be the last "version" of Windows and after that "versions" will not apply as such. Once a larger portion of users are on Windows 10, It will be much easier to turn Windows into a subscription based service.


Forgetting Windows 8 (8.1) Shenanigans

As you probably know, Windows 8 was not a very big success for Microsoft. In fact, it went very poorly. NetMarketShare states that today, Windows 8 only makes up about 13% of desktop operating systems, which is roughly the same amount of market share that XP currently has. Windows 8 was only just released 3.5 years ago and it has the same market share as a 15 year old operating system? Yes, the reason being the considerable changes that Microsoft tried to make compared to Windows 7. Windows 7 was a huge hit! It built on everything that XP did right and benefited from the improvements and lessons learned from Vista. Then 8 came out and did not connect with the audience at all. The start menu disappeared, and familiarity with how the user interface worked in previous operating systems went out the window.

Microsoft is hoping that moving more people to Windows 10 will allow them to forget the pains of 8 and learn to trust them again.


Patching, development, and issue reporting

How does a problem get fixed? Well, typically a user or several users find it, then Microsoft replicates it, and then Microsoft needs to have people work on it. After that, it is a simple matter of throwing the fix into Windows Update and voila! The more people that use Windows the better the patching and issue solving is.

In a way, this same logic goes for other companies who are considering making software or hardware with Windows in mind. The more people that use that operating system, the more likely they will be to consider making it for that operating system as there are more potential users and consumers whom they can reach. So the more popular Microsoft makes Windows 10, the greater quantity and quality of software and hardware other companies will develop for it.


Legacy Support

This chart is Microsoft's Windows Lifecycle Fact Sheet which is accurate as of this writing (2/05/2016):

Client operating systems Latest update or service pack End of mainstream support End of extended support

Windows XP

Service Pack 3

April 14, 2009

April 8, 2014

Windows Vista

Service Pack 2

April 10, 2012

April 11, 2017

Windows 7

Service Pack 1

January 13, 2015

January 14, 2020

Windows 8

Windows 8.1

January 9, 2018

January 10, 2023

Windows 10, released in July 2015


October 13, 2020

October 14, 2025

What do these Extended Support dates mean? Well, the main thing it means is that Microsoft will stop offering security updates for these products on the listed dates. That means that currently Microsoft has to release security patches for Windows Vista, 7, 8.1 and 10. That is four different operating systems they are currently supporting and patching. That means they have four different teams of programmers and debuggers working hard to patch issues with each operating system. I imagine that is a lot of work! Once everyone is on 10, their job becomes MUCH much easier.

In addition, notice how in the name of Windows 10, they say "Windows 10 released in July 2015"? I imagine what this means is that they will no longer need to list new operating systems with their eventual move to Windows as a service, as it will be continually patched as long as you have a subscription to their service! This is just speculation on my part, but I imagine that is why they put that in the name.



There you go! That is why I think Microsoft is pushing so hard to get everyone upgraded to Windows 10. I am excited for Windows 10 and the future of Windows as there are some great things on the horizon.

For those who may not share my enthusiasm for Windows 10, or who need to stay on 7 for some software or hardware reason, maybe this related Windows 10 upgrade article will help in dealing with daily popups or unwanted automatic downloads: