Microsoft COO Kevin Turner spoke at a Credit Suisse technology conference last week about how the software giant will begin to monetize Windows going forward. He didn't really go into the details, but hinted that the firm will present a new business model in early 2015. There are rumors that Microsoft may be considering a subscription-based model for Windows, but other sources claim the core operating system may become free and that Microsoft may let you pay money for stuff like active directory support or other high-end features.
Turner stated the following:
And finding new ways to monetize the lifetime of that customer on those devices, again, I would tell you we’re learning, we’re growing, and we’re smarter and wiser every day. And we still have some more learning and growing to do in that space. But, stay tuned. The business model stuff will be out in the early — probably the early part of 2015.
Beyond that specific comment, Turner also stated that they will not be using the platform as a loss-leader. This means that the company plans to generate revenue from the platform and will not give it away to simply maintain market share.