Whatever the validity of Microsoft's grandiose claims for the next version of Windows, one major feature could have big implications for MSFT stock.
Microsoft unveiled Windows 10 on Tuesday at a special event in San Francisco.
"Windows 10 represents the first step in a whole new generation of Windows," gushed Terry Myerson, executive vice president of Microsoft's operating systems group. The new version will be such a massive leap over the current Windows 8, he explained, that Microsoft felt compelled to skip past Windows 9.
Customers ultimately will decide whether Windows 10 is a flop like Windows 8 and Vista or an enduring success like Windows XP and Windows 7; the new version goes on sale sometime next year.
To be sure, consumer reaction will affect the sales of Windows 10, which will have a direct impact on Microsoft stock.
But many suspect that a possible change to the way the software is sold - something Microsoft declined to discuss on Tuesday - could have a much more lasting impact on MSFT stock...
MSFT's Windows 10 Catch
Microsoft is very likely to introduce a subscription pricing model when it officially launches Windows 10, fundamentally changing how customers purchase its flagship product.
Most people buy a copy Windows indirectly when they buy a new PC. The software is pre-installed, with the PC manufacturer having already paid the licensing fee to Microsoft. It's what's called a "perpetual license" - good for the life of the PC.
The only time such a customer would pay for Windows is if he bought a new version of Windows as an upgrade.
Under a subscription model, a copy of Windows would still be pre-installed on a new PC, but the customer would have to pay Microsoft a monthly or annual fee to keep it active.
The fee would be modest, with the possibility that certain advanced features would cost a little more.
That might sound like a rip-off at first, but it can benefit the customer as well as Microsoft...
How a Subscription Can Be Good for MSFT Stock - And You
About the Author
David Zeiler, Associate Editor for Money Morning at Money Map Press, has been a journalist for more than 35 years, including 18 spent at The Baltimore Sun. He has worked as a writer, editor, and page designer at different times in his career. He's interviewed a number of well-known personalities - ranging from punk rock icon Joey Ramone to Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniak.
Over the course of his journalistic career, Dave has covered many diverse subjects. Since arriving at Money Morning in 2011, he has focused primarily on technology. He's an expert on both Apple and cryptocurrencies. He started writing about Apple for The Sun in the mid-1990s, and had an Apple blog on The Sun's web site from 2007-2009. Dave's been writing about Bitcoin since 2011 - long before most people had even heard of it. He even mined it for a short time.
Dave has a BA in English and Mass Communications from Loyola University Maryland.