Microsoft announced Tuesday that business customers will be able to get Windows 10 Enterprise E3 for $7 per computer per month starting this fall.
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Enterprise customers have historically been forced to pay a much higher price to get a single copy of Windows. But like its consumer offerings, Redmond is moving to a subscription option for businesses, which Microsoft says "is ideal for businesses who do not have dedicated IT resources or limited IT staff, and want their licensing and IT needs managed by a trusted and experienced partner."
The option include "the 'full IT stack' from Microsoft, including Windows 10, Office 365, Dynamics Azure, and CRM as a per user, per month offering through a single channel, which businesses can scale up or down as their needs change," the company said at its annual Worldwide Partner Conference.
The move is the latest by CEO Satya Nadella to rethink how to package and sell Windows 10. Since its launch last year, the operating system has been available as a free download to existing Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 customers. While that freebie offer will come to an end on July 29, it was a first for a company that long charged for updates.
In addition to Windows 10, Microsoft also announced on Tuesday that it's expanding its "Surface Enterprise Initiative" that will allow cloud providers that are also Surface authorized distributors to sell Surface as a Service to resellers and customers.
"Now our Cloud Solution Providers can offer Surface devices through a managed service offering to all of our resellers and customers, alongside managed cloud services, Office 365, Windows 10, and relevant ISV software," the company said.
Also at WPC, Microsoft announced a new partnership with GE that will see the conglomerate integrate its Predix platform into Microsoft's cloud-based Azure to appeal to big enterprises, as well as a deal with IBM for that company to sell its Surface products.