Microsoft looks to increase pricing of Windows 10 Pro Workstation, Windows 10 downgrade to 7/8.1

Arif Bacchus

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Noted by well known Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft may be looking to increase the pricing of Windows 10 Pro for Workstation, and Windows 10 downgrade licenses. The price changes mainly impact enterprise users, but might also leave an impact on the average PC user opting for faster processors.

According to Foley’s sources, the first of the changes is Microsoft plan to license Windows 10 based on processor family. This is reportedly particularly true for server grade Intel Xeon and AMD Opteron processors, where prices may increase to $230 per operating system. Although this is mainly aimed at enterprise buyers, consumers who opt for the high-end processors may also see the price changes as well.

Also impacting Windows customers are pricing changes to the downgrade rights from Windows 10 Pro to 8.1 Pro or Windows 7 Pro. In an obvious push to get customers to embrace Windows 10, the changes can go into effect by the end of this month. An OEM tells Foley that the price increase might be as high as $270 per license when compared to the current prices, although the deadline for downgrade will be extended until October 31, 2018. It should be noted that the changes will not apply to those with volume license agreements.

Microsoft was relatively quiet about the specifics of the price changes to Windows 10 and provided the following statement to ZDNet.

“In OEM licensed versions of Windows 10 Pro, end users will continue to have downgrade rights to the two prior versions of Windows Pro products. End users can downgrade from Windows 10 Pro to Windows 8.1 Pro or from Windows 10 Pro to Windows 7 Professional.”

“Windows 10 downgrade rights are available until the end of the extended support for Windows 8.1 Pro or Windows 7 Professional respectively. End users can go to this page for additional information.”

Lastly, leaked excerpts from Microsoft’s Engineering Guide have shown that Microsoft may end up making Windows 10 Pro for Workstation mandatory for all devices using an Intel Xeon or AMD Opteron processors. Windows 10 Pro for Workstation is scheduled to be released later this year, and will also be available as an upgrade from Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro, but pricing has not yet been released by Microsoft.

Now that Windows is being sold as a service, it’s definitely interesting to see Microsoft changing the prices on OEMs and those who have opted for higher-end processors. The change in downgrade pricing is also cunning, as it will definitely help more customers embrace Windows 10 and increase the market share of the OS. Do you think these pricing changes will be good or bad for Microsoft? Let us know below.