Microsoft is reportedly planning to introduce changes on how Windows 10 is offered to device manufacturers and consumers. According to a new report from Thurrott, internal documents from Microsoft revealed that Windows 10 will have at least five SKUs (Stock Keeping Unit) with new pricing on different hardware configuration.
The new SKUs include Entry available for $25, Value will cost $45, Core will be offered for $65.45, Core+ for $86.66, and the Advanced SKU will run for $101.
The Entry and Value SKUs will be available for devices, such as laptops, 2-in-1, and tablets running low-end processors like Intel Atom and Celeron with 4GB of memory. The Advanced SKU will be available for more capable processors like Intel Core i7, Core i9, or AMD Ryzen and Threadripper with 4K displays and a lot of memory.
Windows 10 new lineup
Here’s the breakdown of the new Windows 10 lineup:
- Entry: Intel Atom/Celeron/Pentium ≤ 4GB RAM & ≤ 32GB SSD AND ≤ 14.1-inch screen size (NB), ≤ 11.6-inch (2in1, Tablet), ≥ 17-inch All-in-One.
- Value: Intel Atom/Celeron/Pentium ≤ 4GB RAM & ≤ 64GB SSD & ≤ 14.1-inch screen size (EM ≤ 4GB RAM and ≤ 64GB SSD or ≤ 500GB HDD).
- Core: Cannot be used on devices that meet the Core+ and Advanced SKU Hardware Specifications.
- Core +: High end CPU and > 4GB RAM (All Form Factors) ≥ 8GB RAM & ≥ 1080p screen resolution (NB, 2-in-1, All-in-One) > 8GB RAM & ≥ 2TB HDD or SSD storage (Desktop).
- Advanced: Intel Core i9 (any configuration) or Core i7 ≥ 6 Cores (any RAM) or AMD Threadripper (any configuration) or Intel Core i7 > 16GB (any Cores) or AMD FX/ Ryzen 7 > 16GB (any Cores) or ≥ 4K screen resolution (any processor, includes 4K UHD-3840 resolution.
It’s important to note that these changes and prices are not aspects that regular consumers will have to worry about (though, it might affect pricing of new devices). Instead, these are changes that PC manufacturers will have to consider when building their devices.
Windows 10 Home new editions
Another interesting part of this story is that Microsoft is also planning to expand the editions of Windows 10 Home, which will also include “Windows 10 Home in S Mode, “and “Windows 10 Home Advanced.” While it’s not yet clear, it appears that Home Advanced will be a new variant targeted for more capable computers, such as gaming rigs that usually require the Pro version, and it might include some additional features.
In addition, Microsoft is planning to discontinue Windows 10 S, in favor of “S Mode,” which will be available on Windows 10 Pro as well as on Home.
According to the report, these licensing rules will become available to partners starting April 2, 2018, and the Windows 10 Home Advanced pricing will go into effect starting May 1, 2018.