But Storms also leaned a bit toward Miller's "bad news" idea. "To know that your device is going to be supported for all security updates for 10 years is a huge feather in [Microsoft's] hat," said Storms. "It reinforces the idea what going with Microsoft is the right bet to take."
In other words, Microsoft doesn't want to mess with that thinking before it has to.
Look on the bright side
While some will squawk about the support change, Miller noted the upside. "They're giving customers the OS for free," he said.
But he also pointed out that the opaque phrase, and Microsoft's refusal so far to elaborate, is dangerous. "This starts people asking other questions," Miller said. "They're afraid that Microsoft will charge them for updates at some point in the future. Microsoft has beaten that down, but flexible language like this doesn't reassure people."
At some point, Microsoft will have to divulge the meaning of "supported lifetime of the device."
"There will have to be some clarification," said Miller. "There has to be. I expect there will be some kind of clarification on a Web page with a lot of legal language that delineates the rules."
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.