Skip to main content

Microsoft VP Yusuf Mehdi mustered his best Ballmer persona announcing the Windows 10 subscription plan for businesses today on the Windows blog. Talk of energy, innovation, creativity, and the magic word we’ve all been awaiting:


Yep. Windows 10 subscriptions for businesses. I know! You called it!

The Mehdi announcement runs kind of long. Here is what you need to know without all the rah-rah.

On Windows 10 subscriptions:

  • Windows 10 Enterprise E3 in CSP (Cloud Service Provider program) will cost $7/month per seat. It will start “in fall”—no hard date given.
  • You will buy subscriptions through “CSP partners”—no specific companies were named.
  • MS promises reboot-free licensing and deployment to E3 for companies with Windows 10 Pro.
  • MS will offer “partner-managed” support packages for IT and device management for E3 customers. Partners went unnamed.

On Surface as a service:

  • Millennials, collaboration; you can lease Surface devices with your E3 software. No mention of a Surface 4, though.
  • MS will make Surface products and support available through OEM channels, as it did with Dell last year.
  • MS named IBM and Booz Allen Hamilton, an IT contractor for the government sector, as partners.

Obligatory HoloLens talk:

  • AR and VR is going to be awesome, just wait until 2020.
  • Did you know the PGA uses HoloLens for designing golf courses?
  • Excited yet? Watch this video!

Windows 10 sales pitch:

Microsoft touts the Windows 10 subscription as a cost saving measure for medium and large businesses. MS commissioned Forrester Research for a study of companies on the Windows 10 pilot program. Key findings cited:

  • One customer cited Windows 10 deployment as 50% faster than the previous new OS rollout
  • Overall a 15% improvement in IT management time
  • Mobile workers estimated a 25% bump in productivity
  • Full report is available here.

Earlier this year HardBoiled got a look at a small business Windows 10 rollout with only minor hitches.

Final thoughts

Business customers, let me know in the comments—are you excited about the new Windows 10 subscription format or what?

Adam Lovinus

Author Adam Lovinus

A tech writer and Raspberry Pi enthusiast from Orange County, California.

More posts by Adam Lovinus

What's your take?