Microsoft launches Windows as a subscription service

Microsoft today has announced its plans to deliver on a promise that it made during its Worldwide Partner Conference in July. During the event Microsoft announce the Windows 10 Enterprise E3 for the Cloud Solution Provider program – or CSP, for short.

Microsoft is making Windows 10 available on a monthly subscription for enterprise users with the launch of Windows as a Service via its Cloud Solution Provider network.

What it means is that businesses will be able to subscribe to the Windows 10 Enterprise E3 version at a cost of $7 per user, per month.

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“Windows 10 Enterprise E3 was designed for businesses that handle sensitive customer data (such as credit card or social security numbers), operate in regulated industries, or create and monetize intellectual property,” Microsoft said in its announcement. “These businesses need enterprise-grade security and management capabilities found in the Windows 10 Enterprise edition, such as Device Guard, Credential Guard and Managed User Experience.”

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Microsoft announced that ALSO, Tech Data and Synnex are the launch partners and will have Windows 10 Enterprise E3 available to offer to their resellers starting today (Sept. 1). They can now deliver the full range of Microsoft enterprise offerings, including Azure, Dynamics, Office 365 and Windows as a complete, cloud-delivered and managed service via a single customer user profile.

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Existing enterprise and business customers are not required to switch from standard Windows install to the monthly subscription; it’s merely an option for them. They just may find it more flexible for their needs.

Microsoft has a second subscription model, called E5, planned for Oct. 1. This will be offered by the same partners and offer the same benefits as E3, but it also comes with Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection and “advanced IT administration management functionality.”

While Microsoft has admitted Windows 10 won’t reach one billion devices by mid-2018, the new Windows 10 partner subscription service may still yet accelerate the deployment, which hit 350 million devices in July. Meanwhile, Microsoft is also fighting a lawsuit against the US department of Justice and Apple and Google among others have its back.

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