Satya Nadella: Windows is the "socket" for subscriptions like Microsoft 365 and Xbox Game...

nanoguy

Posts: 1,209   +20
Staff member
The big picture: Windows is no longer what motivates Microsoft's vision for the software-driven world. Instead, it's become a simple vehicle for selling subscriptions to the company's services, including a subscription for running Windows itself in the cloud. As the PC market's continued growth is not guaranteed, the focus is now on extracting the most out of the existing user base.

Over the past several years, Windows has faded into the background at Microsoft, with cash cows like Office 365, Azure, and Xbox rising to the top of the priority list. With the PC becoming a mature market with little room for growth, the Redmond giant gradually turned its focus to making its software and services available on as many platforms as possible to overcome this limitation.

When the pandemic forced many to work and study from home, Microsoft scrapped its plans for a cloud-first, lightweight Windows 10X operating system. Instead, the company baked it into the full-fat Windows and added some sprinkles of Microsoft Teams on it for everyone's videoconferencing needs. Thus Windows 11 was born as a revamped Windows experience adapted to the new realities of hybrid work.

Before Windows 11 launched, the PC market experienced a slight uplift after years of waning sales. With this new operating system, there was potential for a renewed focus on the core Windows experience and making the PC exciting again. However, Microsoft's Windows 11 push was never about bringing those things back into focus but instead weaving Windows and Office 365 more tightly together.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella confirmed as much during an investor call when asked about his take on the strength of the PC market and the role Windows plays in it. Nadella noted that "on the commercial side, I think it's well understood that Windows is the socket for Microsoft 365." In other words, the value of Windows is tied directly to its ability to act as a vehicle for selling more subscriptions to Microsoft services.

With Windows 10 and now Windows 11 released as free upgrades, Microsoft only cares about getting users to buy into services like Office 365 or Xbox Game Pass. For business customers, the company is even pushing Windows as a service with Windows 365. For consumers, considerable focus has been placed on making Edge their go-to for all things web-related. That effort has moved the needle in terms of overall usage to some extent, but not enough to challenge Google's Chrome in a meaningful way.

At the same time, Nadella believes the PC is alive and well, with no sign of that changing in the foreseeable future.

"The PC remains a very important category in people's lives, as we've discovered during the pandemic, and if anything, the intensity of usage has increased," the CEO notes. "There will be cyclical demand that we'll go through, but the number of use cases is definitely, I think, structurally increased."

In terms of pure numbers, Microsoft claims more than 100 million PCs have shipped over the past two years and that consumers and enterprises are gradually warming up to Windows 11. There seems to be some disagreement between market analysts, but Microsoft did try to lead by example with an internal rollout of Windows 11 to over 190,000 devices. As for Office 365, the company touts 58.4 million consumer subscribers and 348 million commercial-paid seats.

Otherwise, Microsoft's business saw substantial revenue in the first three months of 2022, with healthy growth across all product categories. Revenue was $49.4 billion, up 18 percent from Q1 2021. Profit was $16.7 billion, up 8 percent from last year. Also worth noting is that Microsoft's cybersecurity business now generates $15 billion, outpacing all other products in terms of growth.

Permalink to story.

 

NeoMorpheus

Posts: 1,136   +2,268
Personally, I only have a PC for gaming and the second that SteamOS 3 is out and allows me to game without needing to reach a keyboard and just use the controller, Windows is out.

Actually, because of not being able to control my pc just with the gamepad is the main reason why I havent touched my gaming pc in a while and only using my Xbox.

Edit to clarify why I want that setup, my gaming PC is on my living room, attached to my TV and the whole purpose of it is gaming and on that place, I simply dont want, neither do any gaming with games that requires keyboard/mouse controls.
 
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Dd663

Actually, because of not being able to control my pc just with the gamepad is the main reason why I havent touched my gaming pc in a while and only using my Xbox.
You can do this already. Of course, it won't be as pleasant an experience as using a mouse and keyboard, since that's what the OS was designed around. I bought a cheap Steam app called Controller Companion that allows me to use a gamepad to control the mouse and even input text. Also, there's Steam Big Picture, which is where your computer does its best to pretend it's a console. I think you can rig that up so that Steam Big Picture starts with your computer.
 

hahahanoobs

Posts: 4,446   +2,416
Personally, I only have a PC for gaming and the second that SteamOS 3 is out and allows me to game without needing to reach a keyboard and just use the controller, Windows is out.

Actually, because of not being able to control my pc just with the gamepad is the main reason why I havent touched my gaming pc in a while and only using my Xbox.
lol
Only has a PC for gaming...
But won't use it unless it works like a console.
You can't make this stuff up!
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 3,364   +5,591
It'll be a cold day in hell before I pay a subscription service to use MS's buggy, incomplete disaster of an OS, one that hasnt seen a congruent design since windows 7. The constant push to subscriptions services has only driven me and others to pirate as much of their garbage as possible. Office 365 is a HARD sell in the face of google docs, onedrive is a buggy mess and more expensive then google drive, and the only reason businesses still use windows is the backwards compatibility with old software, something MS seems hell bent on breaking.

The only windows I would ever pay for is one stripped of all the adware, spyware, and useless features, tuned for gaming performance. That will never happen, and the more MS pushes the better gaming on linux gets, its no secret that steam on linux happened over windows 8's UWP fiasco, and the more recent moves with 11 to push MS even harder has helped push the development of proton and the return of steamOS.
 

yRaz

Posts: 4,413   +5,144
You guys probably already know what I'm going to say but I'm going to say it anyway because I like the sound of my own key strokes.

blah blah blah, Linux. Blah blah blah, Microsoft really wants to push customers away.

on a more serious note, forcing software and advertising on an operating system that people PAY FOR while collecting and selling user data to make MORE MONEY is seriously going to make push people into linux.

Most distros are on a Windows XP level of functionality at this point, which means you're going to have to download binaries just like you use to have to download DLL's to get programs working, but we're basically there.

While it is growing slowly, the desktop PC user Linux market share has consistently been growing for the last several years. Microsoft has been intentionally making Windows harder to use to make more money and sell more of their own products. Windows 7 was almost perfect, Windows 10 at the beginning, was solid enough for people to not complain or have a desire to quit. However, we are now reaching a point where people will start being willing to deal with the inconveniences of using Linux because of what MS is doing to windows. As more people switch, more of those inconveniences will get fixed and it will become more appealing to a wider audience. So on and so fourth.

You're going to see me say something I may never say again so listen closely. One, and IMO, probably the only reason iOS still is held in such high esteem is that early Android SUCKED. Android existed before iOS but they could never get it right. If it wasn't for Apple actually trying to figure out how to make a usable mobile operating system we wouldn't be where we are today. And it took them until the ~iPhone 6 until we saw something remotely similar to what we have today as far as smartphones go.

My point being, open source and freeware take longer to develop than something with Billions of dollars behind it. What will happen with Linux is much like what will happen with Android. Developers create a fix for their specific problem and then it gets released in a kernel level update later down the road for free. Essentially, if Developers for "apps" want to make money they have to fix bugs in the opensource OS to sell them on said OS. If that OS doesn't have enough of a market share then the developer wont invest in resources to develop for it.

The more Linux grows, the more developers are likely to develop for and invest in it. The more they invest in it the wider the audience grows.
 
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NeoMorpheus

Posts: 1,136   +2,268
You can do this already. Of course, it won't be as pleasant an experience as using a mouse and keyboard, since that's what the OS was designed around. I bought a cheap Steam app called Controller Companion that allows me to use a gamepad to control the mouse and even input text. Also, there's Steam Big Picture, which is where your computer does its best to pretend it's a console. I think you can rig that up so that Steam Big Picture starts with your computer.
SteamOS bellow version 3 seems to be abandoned.

I know that I can set up either a windows or linux install using big picture mode, but I feel like V3 will be better supported and provide a better experience out of the box.

I already played with all those variations, plus playnite, Gog Galaxy, Big Box and others. In the end, wasnt close to my xbox experience, so again, my hope is that thanks to the steam deck success, steamos 3 would provide a way better experience.
 

Hardware Geek

Posts: 442   +518
Forcing people to upgrade from perfectly good hardware is just another reason not to keep using windows. I refuse to buy a new laptop with inferior specs because Microsoft artificially limits the processor models windows will run on. It's been a while since I've tried to find a suitable alternative but with all the Linux options that are now easy to install and use, along with the ability to boot to a live environment from a USB stick to test out different builds before installing one, it's time fore to give Linux another shot. I can always dual boot into windows if I absolutely need to use it for something, but at this point I can do everything I need to do on a computer without paying for the privilege of using broken alpha versions of windows, and Microsoft's increasingly alarming data mining, there would have to be an extremely good reason to use Windows at this point, and I don't see a good reason to keep using it.
 

MrJelly

Posts: 14   +14
It'll be a cold day in hell before I pay a subscription service to use MS's buggy, incomplete disaster of an OS, one that hasnt seen a congruent design since windows 7. The constant push to subscriptions services has only driven me and others to pirate as much of their garbage as possible. Office 365 is a HARD sell in the face of google docs, onedrive is a buggy mess and more expensive then google drive, and the only reason businesses still use windows is the backwards compatibility with old software, something MS seems hell bent on breaking.

The only windows I would ever pay for is one stripped of all the adware, spyware, and useless features, tuned for gaming performance. That will never happen, and the more MS pushes the better gaming on linux gets, its no secret that steam on linux happened over windows 8's UWP fiasco, and the more recent moves with 11 to push MS even harder has helped push the development of proton and the return of steamOS.

Dude. Windows is still the best general gaming OS there is with unrivalled backwards compatibility (not to mention the crazy things you can do with emulators and virtual machines even Linux can't do). Even if you bought a Windows Pro license 12,5 years ago, you are still getting new releases for free. You can get used license for few bucks if you need it. You can ignore MS subscriptions on Windows, which you can't on Xbox (or Playstation). If you just need Office, buy a physical license. If you need cloud storage, get a 1-year physical license of O365, which is always somewhere on sale with at least 50% off and you get 1TB OneDrive with it, all for half the price of basic 1TB Google Drive. SteamOS and Proton are nice when the games work, but good luck when they don't. And desktop Linux is a sad mess locked in an endless circle of broken releases.
 

MrJelly

Posts: 14   +14
You guys probably already know what I'm going to say but I'm going to say it anyway because I like the sound of my own key strokes.

blah blah blah, Linux. Blah blah blah, Microsoft really wants to push customers away.

on a more serious note, forcing software and advertising on an operating system that people PAY FOR while collecting and selling user data to make MORE MONEY is seriously going to make push people into linux.

Most distros are on a Windows XP level of functionality at this point, which means you're going to have to download binaries just like you use to have to download DLL's to get programs working, but we're basically there.

While it is growing slowly, the desktop PC user Linux market share has consistently been growing for the last several years. Microsoft has been intentionally making Windows harder to use to make more money and sell more of their own products. Windows 7 was almost perfect, Windows 10 at the beginning, was solid enough for people to not complain or have a desire to quit. However, we are now reaching a point where people will start being willing to deal with the inconveniences of using Linux because of what MS is doing to windows. As more people switch, more of those inconveniences will get fixed and it will become more appealing to a wider audience. So on and so fourth.

You're going to see me say something I may never say again so listen closely. One, and IMO, probably the only reason iOS still is held in such high esteem is that early Android SUCKED. Android existed before iOS but they could never get it right. If it wasn't for Apple actually trying to figure out how to make a usable mobile operating system we wouldn't be where we are today. And it took them until the ~iPhone 6 until we saw something remotely similar to what we have today as far as smartphones go.

My point being, open source and freeware take longer to develop than something with Billions of dollars behind it. What will happen with Linux is much like what will happen with Android. Developers create a fix for their specific problem and then it gets released in a kernel level update later down the road for free. Essentially, if Developers for "apps" want to make money they have to fix bugs in the opensource OS to sell them on said OS. If that OS doesn't have enough of a market share then the developer wont invest in resources to develop for it.

The more Linux grows, the more developers are likely to develop for and invest in it. The more they invest in it the wider the audience grows.
I was a desktop Linux advocate years ago. But the distros are doing the same mistakes over and over. Mature components are constantly replaced by unpolished new stuff. UIs are in constant flux depending on the whims of developers and maintainers. There are still problems with broken boot or drivers after installation like there were 15 years ago. Yes, it all looks nicer and fancier, but the "year of Linux desktop" is not an inch closer. SteamOS is going the way of Android - specialized release controlled by one company. Luckily this time there are benefits for the general Linux community (Proton, kernel patches, bug fixes), but they are mostly related to gaming, not the general desktop experience.
 

NintPlayBox

Posts: 55   +43
With Satya Nadellain in charged Microsoft have been even more successful that ever before.

Just look at this week's Stock Market, almost every company in the technology world lost money while Microsoft reported record breaking profits thanks to Windows and Xbox
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 3,364   +5,591
Dude. Windows is still the best general gaming OS there is with unrivalled backwards compatibility (not to mention the crazy things you can do with emulators and virtual machines even Linux can't do). Even if you bought a Windows Pro license 12,5 years ago, you are still getting new releases for free. You can get used license for few bucks if you need it.
12.5 years ago windows didnt push advertisements to my desktop, aggresively change my browser to edge, or pester me with "news" and forced updates.

You can ignore MS subscriptions on Windows, which you can't on Xbox (or Playstation).
LOLWAT? Microshaft doesnt own playstation you dolt.

If you just need Office, buy a physical license.
Which is going away, if you havent been paying attention, MS is forcing people onto cloud office. Besides, 99% of office workers can do their work fine with libreoffice or one of the alternatives
If you need cloud storage, get a 1-year physical license of O365, which is always somewhere on sale with at least 50% off and you get 1TB OneDrive with it, all for half the price of basic 1TB Google Drive.
Again, that is a HARD sale when google dos is free. There is a reason o365 and one drive are bundled together, onedrive is, as I said, a buggy mess and much harder for the tech illiterate to use then Drive is, that is when onedrive isnt messing around with your filesystem.
SteamOS and Proton are nice when the games work, but good luck when they don't. And desktop Linux is a sad mess locked in an endless circle of broken releases.
Over 86% of the Steam library works properly in linux now. This isnt 2015. After the disaster that has been 11's launch, with neutered context menus and forcible lockdown of custimization and horrible UI decisions, calling linux desktop a sad mess is the pot calling the kettle black.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 2,206   +4,245
I honestly didn't comment on this right away because I was thinking about it because it doesn't makes a lot of sense to me.

To explain Nadella is probably a true believer in just turning the entire company into a cloud/SaaS provider. Azure is the division he cultivated and it's probably one of it's biggest revenue sources right now but more importantly, the most stable of them compared to gaming and OS sales.

However I really think if it was just up to him, there wouldn't be a Windows 11 at all today. If you think about selling the big 3: Azure or Infrastructure as a service, Office 365 and software as a service and Xbox cloud so Gaming as a service, none of that requires a new OS. None of that requires an OS at all: they can just as easily sell those 3 very profitable services to say, a customer using a macbook or an ipad even. If a company buys into Azure completely, then all of your work can *easily* be done on an ipad: it already has a good keyboard and touchpad, Azure takes care of all of the ERP or CRM needs for the company, as well as shared drives and other typical office infrastructure and then office 365 is also where most people should be able to actually do work with the data and such.

So at that point why would they care if you use an ipad, a tv or other appliance or a laptop or desktop system using Linux? You're still a customer in a major way by paying for all these other services (Your company is at least) so they should be agnostic.

So if I had to make an un-educated guess, that would be that leaving the operative system business as a focus was probably Nadella's ideal situation but he just couldn't get the board of directors to buy in 100% so mostly Bill Gates said 'We're keeping Windows' back when he was still on the board since this decisions are made several years in advance. That's the reason why Nadella's Microsoft 'Loves Linux' but is not allowed to do anything about it and wants to pursue this stupid "Upgrade to Windows 11!" strategy and it's doing his best to basically say "No you don't understand, I really like eating sh!t this is quite the tasty meal I'm having! This is great!" While trying to continue to push Windows 11.
 

yRaz

Posts: 4,413   +5,144
I was a desktop Linux advocate years ago. But the distros are doing the same mistakes over and over. Mature components are constantly replaced by unpolished new stuff. UIs are in constant flux depending on the whims of developers and maintainers. There are still problems with broken boot or drivers after installation like there were 15 years ago. Yes, it all looks nicer and fancier, but the "year of Linux desktop" is not an inch closer. SteamOS is going the way of Android - specialized release controlled by one company. Luckily this time there are benefits for the general Linux community (Proton, kernel patches, bug fixes), but they are mostly related to gaming, not the general desktop experience.
I disagree but I understand the sentiment. And SteamOS, that's totally going the way of early Android. But I daily drive Linux Mint and rarely have to boot into windows. I find the GUI more pleasurable than windows but aesthetic are 100% subjectable so I wont base any argument on that.
 

seeprime

Posts: 677   +886
I was a desktop Linux advocate years ago. But the distros are doing the same mistakes over and over. Mature components are constantly replaced by unpolished new stuff. UIs are in constant flux depending on the whims of developers and maintainers. There are still problems with broken boot or drivers after installation like there were 15 years ago. Yes, it all looks nicer and fancier, but the "year of Linux desktop" is not an inch closer. SteamOS is going the way of Android - specialized release controlled by one company. Luckily this time there are benefits for the general Linux community (Proton, kernel patches, bug fixes), but they are mostly related to gaming, not the general desktop experience.
I agree. A few years ago Linux Mint was just about perfect. It found my networked printers and installed drivers quickly. Then last year, Linus Mint broke this and now it no longer does this. Why are great features removed in any OS for interior ones? I suspect it's simply the old "not invented here" syndrome. Change for change's sake, not for improvement. Currently, MX Linux does a nice job of running everything I want. Streaming video is still an issue with Linux, not with Windows. I'm staying on Windows 10 as long as Microsoft and 0patch provide security updates. 0patch is often faster than MSFT to provide critical updates, which I find odd.
 

OptimumSlinky

Posts: 275   +508
You can do this already. Of course, it won't be as pleasant an experience as using a mouse and keyboard, since that's what the OS was designed around. I bought a cheap Steam app called Controller Companion that allows me to use a gamepad to control the mouse and even input text. Also, there's Steam Big Picture, which is where your computer does its best to pretend it's a console. I think you can rig that up so that Steam Big Picture starts with your computer.
You can, but it's never as smooth or seamless. The Xbox OS is actually one of MSFT's best products, IMO.
 
D

Dd663

12.5 years ago windows didnt push advertisements to my desktop, aggresively change my browser to edge, or pester me with "news" and forced updates.
Er, what advertisements? I'm a daily Windows 11 user and I have yet to see a single advertisement. Unless you call a few apps that are included with Windows that can easily be uninstalled "advertisements."

Aggressively change the browser to Edge? I use Edge because it's Chrome but better, but if one wants to use a different browser, anyone remotely familiar with computers can do so with no problem whatsoever, and if you're on this website, you're in that group.

Granted, the "news" thing in Windows 11 was annoying, but I was able to follow a guide online to permanently uninstall it. Because you can do things like that on Windows.

Most people would update anyway, even the people who complain about forced updates. It seems the only grievance is the principle of the thing, rather than any harm caused in practice. I wouldn't be opposed to having the option to disable updates, but you put yourself at higher security risk that way.

Which is going away, if you havent been paying attention, MS is forcing people onto cloud office.
Do you have any evidence that perpetual licensing is going away?

LOLWAT? Microshaft doesnt own playstation you dolt.
He knows that. He meant subscriptions in general, not specifically Microsoft subscriptions on Playstation.

You can, but it's never as smooth or seamless. The Xbox OS is actually one of MSFT's best products, IMO.
Except for the giant advertisements on the home screen that can't be turned off. If something like that ever comes to Windows and can't be removed or disabled, I'm jumping ship.
 
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terzaerian

Posts: 1,264   +1,757
Do you have any evidence that perpetual licensing is going away?
Oh go sit and spin, WikipediaTrueBreak. We're not debating gravitational constants, we're talking Microsoft's business practices, and they have always talked out of both sides of their mouth, saying one thing but meaning and doing the opposite. "Evidence" is meaningless in this context when the party in question has operated in bad faith so often it's easier to count up the opposite case.
 
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Dd663

Yes, I was aware of this already. However:
  1. This isn't an official feature of Windows yet.
  2. This is hardly what I would call an advertisement. A little text popup suggesting a Microsoft product that might be helpful is leagues away from huge flashing banner ads for totally unrelated products, like you see on websites, or the giant ads in the Xbox OS.
  3. You would easily be able to disable those suggestions.
 

NeoMorpheus

Posts: 1,136   +2,268
Oh, those.

They dont really bother me much, since I only click on the ones on the top row, to continue playing.