at a time when global PC sales are falling, what might computing giant Microsoft consider to keep sales afloat? Cheap cloud-connected systems paid for by subscriptions and ads, of course!
On various job listings on the official Windows website – including this one post now closed (opens in new tab) to a software engineer from earlier this year – the company is looking for engineers to become part of a team that “will create a new direction for Windows in a cloud-first world.”
Included in the job listing is the possibility of low-cost PC models available via subscription, with advertising to try to offset some of the costs. There was some allusion to this potential new model by CEO Satya Nadella when responding to comments by Microsoft financial analysts earnings call on October 25th. Responding to questions about Microsoft’s plan for the future, Nandella said one of the goals would be to include a focus on incorporating ads into what the company offers.
Ads are everywhere, and most of us accept this truth. We smile and endure the repetitive and often irritating sequence of jingles and skits that make the minute or so long break in our YouTube show or video so hated. if we think about Netflix and its ‘basic with ads’ level, even when we believe we are free, advertisements appear. So, unfortunately, it would make sense for Microsoft to consider low-end machines supported by subscriptions and ads.
The gut reaction here is to be absolutely furious and irritated and want to eat your keyboard because, once again, we can be bombarded with ads for things that don’t need ads. However, taking a step back here, we can see this as a good thing if Microsoft moves forward with the idea sensibly.
We live in a hyper-connected world and the idea is that people or communities that otherwise could not afford a decent PC can now have access to technology at a lower cost. Of course, this depends on what the subscription price might be (if it ever comes to fruition), but if you can get your hands on a setup and all that has to deal with some ads, it could be a good thing.