Microsoft was forced to change its strategy.
It published the planning to offer Windows 10, the successor of Windows 8.1, for free to current users.
Reuters: Microsoft to give away Windows 10, unveils hologram glasses
It is noteworthy that the "current users" include Windows 7. Many users believed that the new interface provided by Windows 8 would be the mainstream in the near future. They have been betrayed, as a result. Windows 10 will adopt many features similar to Windows 7, rather than Windows 8.
My past entry: Windows 10 coming, not 9
Google has provided Android and Chrome OS for free for a long time. It made many hardware makers easy to develop the laptops and tablets with low cost. Apple does not permit the use of iOS and Mac OS to other companies. But it also offers updating iOS for free to users of iPhone and iPad.
On the other hand, Microsoft had sold many packages of each new Windows OS every time it releases the new versions. Users and PC providers had to buy the license fee. Recently, Microsoft began to offer Windows for free exclusively to developing countries. It seems to aim to gain the new market. However, the strategy of free offering of Windows 10 is different from this.
One of the aim of Microsoft it to eliminate Windows 8 so soon. It has very bad reputation, similar to Windows Vista. Microsoft cannot leave this situation so long. Many users are hesitating to replace Windows 7 to 8. They may be senior users of Microsoft. If direct updating from Windows 7 to 10 were not available, they would abandon Windows.
It is quite bitter for Microsoft not to earn money with OS updating. Now, large market share of Microsoft Office is the only advantage of it.
By the way, Microsoft released a new product called "Microsoft HoloLens." It enables us to see the 3D graphics. I am not sure if is is attractive. Oculus precedes in this kind of architecture. I think that 3D glasses provide us fantastic visions, but get rid of the liberty of any other behaviors while wearing it. We cannot have a dinner while watching a 3D movie. For this reason, computer gaming or other usages on which we have to concentrate will be primary targets for it.