Windows as a Service: What's it mean?

The era of perpetual licenses isn't likely to go away anytime soon

The idea that Microsoft would eventually unveil a subscription licensing model for Windows 10 -- the so-called Windows-as-a-Service (WaaS) model -- has been bandied about for a while now. This week Microsoft made that idea real, but only for enterprise customers. At its Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) in Toronto, the company announced the details of Windows 10 Enterprise E3 and Windows Enterprise E5.

Both of the new Windows 10 variations will be subscription options for Windows 10 Enterprise (which may explain why Windows in the enterprise was not part of the Windows 10 free upgrade program that ends later this month). Both Windows 10 Enterprise E3 and E5 will also bundle other Microsoft services, and include Office 365 and Enterprise Mobility + Security -- a set of tools for managing mobile apps and devices and integrating them with a range of enterprise cloud services.

Windows Enterprise E5 will also include Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection, a cloud-based, post-breach detection and remediation service that Microsoft unveiled in February (and has offered to testers from the general public since May).

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