Privacy Blog

"Friends don’t let friends get spied on.' – Richard Stallman, President of the Free Software Foundation and longtime advocate of privacy in technology.

With the Next Version of Microsoft Windows, Say Goodbye To Your Windows PC As You Know It

Huge changes are coming from Microsoft. A new rumor is going around that claims Microsoft is switching from SELLING Windows to RENTING it instead. Some users think it will be an improvement while others believe it will be a major step backwards to computing in the way it was done in the 1970s when very expensive mainframes did all the computing and all data input and output by humans was done by using remote “dumb terminals.”

Microsoft is getting ready to replace Windows 10 with the Microsoft Managed Desktop. This will be a “desktop-as-a-service” (DaaS) offering. Instead of owning your own copy of Windows, you’ll “rent” Windows by the month. Microsoft already does this with Microsoft Office 365. Other companies, notably Adobe, also have software rental models, replacing the old concept of purchased software.

Microsoft Managed Desktop is a new take. You will no longer be in charge of your Windows PC. Instead, it will be automatically provisioned and patched for you by Microsoft. The “desktop-as-a-service” reportedly will allow a subscriber to lease a Windows 10 device that is automatically provisioned and kept up to date for a set monthly fee. An Internet connection will obviously be required although perhaps it only needs to be connected occasionally, not all the time.

Maybe you’ll be OK with that. However, given Microsoft’s history of numerous buggy updates and thousands of viruses developed over the years by hackers that take advantage of weaknesses in the Window operating system, I’m not sure I would trust Microsoft to keep my PC clean and tidy and free of viruses. Then there is the privacy issue: will Microsoft add spyware the way that Facebook does?

So far, there is no indication that this will be the only way Microsoft will offer Windows. It is possible that the company will offer two simultaneous version: Microsoft Managed Desktop and also a somewhat traditional form of Windows.

An article by Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols in ComputerWorld at states:

“Microsoft has been getting away from the old-style desktop model for years now. Just look at Office. Microsoft would much rather have you rent Office via Office 365 than buy Microsoft Office and use it for years. Microsoft Managed Desktop is the first move to replacing ‘your’ desktop with a rented desktop. By 2021, I expect the Managed Desktop to be to traditional Windows what Office 365 is to Office today: the wave of the future. Or maybe tsunami, depending on your perspective. I’m not happy with this development. I’m old enough to remember the PC revolution. We went from depending on mainframes and Unix boxes for computing power to having the real power on our desktops. It was liberating. Now Microsoft, which helped lead that revolution, is trying to return us to that old, centralized control model.”

Would you rather “own” your operating system or just lease it?

Categories: Online Privacy & Security, Software

1 reply

  1. No FLAMING way will it happen on my machines!
    Unix, here I come!


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