Microsoft is reportedly ready to launch a Windows 10 subscription service that will see that customers pay a monthly fee to rent the entire PC, not just the operating system. Currently called Microsoft Managed Desktop, the company would do just that: Manage the device at the operating system level and get out of the update process.
The idea stems from the corporate environment. Microsoft already provides Windows 1
However, if Microsoft only rented the entire device, all update updates and updates will be tested and verified stable for that particular hardware set, eliminating unpredictability. That's not the case right now, given the large number of PCs with different hardware components, and Windows 10 tries to support all configurations without fail.
Microsoft's partners already provide something similar to Microsoft Managed Desktop under its modern workplace as service banner. For example, CompNow offers a complete package consisting of a device of your choice, Office 365, Enterprise Mobility and Security, Managed IT Services and Helpdesk, and a flexible monthly payment guarantee.
HP also provides a device as a service package, although it does not fall under the modern desktop banner. For a monthly fee per seat, companies can choose a specific device and receive technical support, quick repair or replacement, proactive management capabilities, analysis, global life cycle management and more. VMware and Citrix do something similar.
That said, Microsoft Managed Desktop is not exactly something new, but if sources are correct, Microsoft is giving up to provide its own hardware-based service. Right now, the company serves a software package consisting of Windows 10, Office 365 and Enterprise Mobility + Security for a monthly fee.
Microsoft also leases hardware. Introduced in July 2016, Surface provides a Service Surface device for a monthly fee through the company's Cloud Solution Providers. Even on a regular level, Microsoft offers a Surface Plus program, allowing anyone to get a Surface device for a monthly payment. There is a version of this plan for businesses as well.
Adding Microsoft's arsenal is Windows Autopilot, a distribution of Windows 10 devices with relatively no IT involvement. According to Microsoft, Windows Autopilot provides setup and pre-configuration tools so users can get started alone. Even more, it is not necessary to restore Windows 10 if the device is delivered to another user.
With everything in place, Microsoft is looking ready to deliver the expected Microsoft Managed Desktop service. When and how it is offered, it is unknown for now: Will Microsoft rent these devices directly to customers, or will hardware partners provide these devices with additional features? A Microsoft spokeswoman did not want to comment.