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Windows phones' free-fall may force Microsoft to push harder on Windows 10 adoption

Mark Hachman | April 25, 2016
Microsoft needs to protect its access to your wallet.

Best free productivity suite: Office Online
Office Online is essentially free, for now.

We all know how Microsoft originally made Windows 10 a free update, then began essentially forcing upgrades on users. To be fair, the company hasn’t stopped rolling out updates and new features, with the so-called Anniversary Update on the horizon.

So far, the company has taken the same “softly, softly” approach to Office 365: New Skype for Business features essentially require Office 365, as do new unsafe email warnings for Outlook. But what might Microsoft do if it feels it needs to make Office 365 stickier—put all of Office Online behind a paywall, perhaps?

Several analysts questioned Microsoft about potential profit margin declines. Nadella and other Microsoft executives indicated they’re staying the course. Eventually, though, Wall Street is going to take a harder look at how Microsoft’s strategy is playing out—and the one-year anniversary of Windows 10 could be the ideal time.

Say what you will about Windows 10 and privacy—Microsoft remains generally benign. But if investors start putting the screws in, you can’t help but wonder if there will be more pressure to pay up.


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