Evolving The Windows SKUs

Microsoft Delivers Free Windows 10 Upgrade in 190 Countries

Last week, Microsoft announced a new SKU of Windows called Windows 10 S and after pondering how this new version of the OS fits into Microsoft’s overall roadmap for the platform, it seems logical to conclude company is finally going to go all-in on UWP with Windows for desktop users. Further, Windows 10 S dilutes the Windows SKU lineup and I believe Microsoft may look to simplify its offering in the near future

With Windows 10 S, as Terry Myerson called it, you get the soul of Windows. In essence, Microsoft believes that this SKU of Windows 10 offers the best Windows experience and the company hopes this is the future of the platform as well.

To simplify, there are three basic SKUs of Windows 10, prior to the announcement last week, Windows 10 Home, Pro, and Enterprise. Yes, I know there are other offerings but for simplicity sake, let’s use these three as the primary examples as they are used by the majority of the customer base.

It would not surprise me at all to see Microsoft drop Windows 10 Home and replace it with Windows 10 S. The reason I think this is for one, upgrading Windows 10 S moves you to Pro, not home and two, Windows 10 S and Windows 10 Home overlap for the same customer base, the basic user.

While I don’t believe this will happen in the immediate future, it seems logical to believe that Microsoft will eventually drop the 10 from Windows 10 and simply call it’s operating system Windows. If they did this, the entry SKU would be Windows (what we know as Windows 10 S), Windows Pro, ability to run Win32 apps, and then Windows Enterprise.

Microsoft is trying hard to get all apps to move to the UWP framework and Windows 10 S is their latest effort to convince developers to move their apps to the store. If Windows 10 S does catch on and becomes a viable version of Windows for the masses, the likelihood of Microsoft dropping Windows 10 Home increases.

If you are wondering what would happen to someone who has Home after this transition occurs, Microsoft could easily upgrade all those SKUs to Pro without any issue via Windows Update. By doing this, they can simply remove the Home SKU from their lineup and simplify the Windows offering.

Considering that Microsoft is saying that Windows 10 is the last major version of Windows, and all signs point to this being true, then dropping the number 10 makes sense. In 5 years from now, Windows 10 will not look anything like the Windows 10 that launched in 2015.