Everything people have said about subscriptions is based upon zero information and much speculation.
Not quite true, although it is
entirely speculation (and highly unlikely) at this point.
Steve Ballmer repeatedly said he felt non-security related updates to Windows should not remain free indefinitely.
And at one time (at least) in the past, he openly opined that any software that ran on Windows should be paying Microsoft a licensing fee - because Windows was what made it possible for such software to exist in the first place. He said something to the extent that developers were getting a free ride off Microsoft's intellectual property. And he didn't think that was right. (He also called Linux "a cancer.")
Fortunately, Microsoft didn't do anything with any of Steve's musings. But there's nothing to say they couldn't. Some development tools and frameworks already do just that. You license X number of runtimes or libraries or whatever for distribution when you buy the tool. Want to sell more copies of your software? Buy more licenses to distribute what you developed. It's nothing new. Back in the days of mainframes, compilers were for the licensee's exclusive in-house use. And these were usually licensed on an annual basis. You had to pay a fee each year for support & maintenance if you wanted to continue using them. And if you wrote a program using one - and wanted to sell it commercially - you owed whoever wrote the compiler a fee, which usually had to be negotiated on a case by case basis.
PCs changed all that. Software started to be thought of as sold
once the old dinosaur code devs reluctantly realized private individuals didn't have the money or patience to put up with arcane software licensing rules and restrictions. Then along came Borland to kick the bottom out from under the pricing conventions...
Now it looks like we're getting back to the bad old days. Today, people and businesses want to create just one thing
, hang a taxi meter on it, and retire off a lifetime of royalties. It's already happening in the media world where the current industry position is that all IP must be owned by someone
. No such thing as "fair use" or "public domain" as far as they're concerned.
So why should software and operating systems be treated any differently? Because they didn't used