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Is Windows 11 free? This is how Microsoft makes money at your expense

That we do not have to pay for something (in this case, installing the new Windows) does not mean that it is really free. And less when we talk about a large company like Microsoft. What it means is that the money comes from other sources. Next, we will see some of the traps that Microsoft manages to make money with using their “free” operating system.

OEM and business keys

The first source of revenue for the operating system is the OEM keys sold alongside new computers. When we buy a PC with Windows pre-installed we do not have to pay for the license, it is included in the price of the equipment. And it has been the manufacturer who has previously paid for the license key to be able to sell the equipment.

When the first Windows 11 computers start to arrive on the market, Microsoft will start making money from this source. And at this point it is very important to note that this new operating system has marked a new level of obsolescence programmed by require TPM 2.0 chip and prevent its installation on computers with processors older than 5 years. Quite a master plan to sell more new computers with Windows 11, and charge for licenses.

Windows 11 wants to also boost Surface sales, Microsoft’s 2-in-1 convertibles. And of course, with each sale you will receive a corresponding profit margin.

And, finally, we cannot forget another of the company’s revenue streams: Business. All of them, if they want to update their systems to start using the new Windows 11, will have to pay, yes or yes, to be able to make the leap and continue using the new OS in the company.

Windows 11, Bing and your data

Gone are the times where using Windows preserved our privacy a bit. With the launch of Windows 8, and especially Windows 10, the company began to collect a large amount of data of users for commercial purposes, such as displaying personalized advertising. And, of course, with the arrival of Windows 11 the thing was not going to be less.

From the moment of installation we have the possibility to choose what data do we want to share with Microsoft and which ones are not. The privacy options can be modified at any time from the Settings panel in case you change your mind once the OS is installed. But there are more functions that make use of our data. For example, the new Windows 11 Widgets panel.

Windows 11 widgets

This new panel is packed with personal information about our tastes and interests. Microsoft uses it to show us news and relevant information about us, but in reality everything we do with it will be assigned to our personal ID, and will be used for commercial purposes.

Something similar happens with Edge. Microsoft’s new browser opted to be a Google Chrome without Google to prevent the Internet giant from continuing to collect data about us, but in reality the only thing it has done has been to change Google for Microsoft. Same demon with different horns.

And let’s not forget Teams, Microsoft’s messaging platform that now comes installed in the form of chat by default in the operating system. This platform also forms a valuable source of data for all users.

Integrated services

Finally, we cannot forget that Windows 11 has a series of integrated services, which users can pay for as a result of using the operating system. We speak, among others, of office 365 and Xbox Game Pass, for instance. These services require payment, month by month, to be able to use Office, OneDrive and games in the cloud in order to improve the user experience and maximize the possibilities offered by the OS.

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