Windows 10 has been with us for nearly two years. Over that time, Microsoft has priced the platform well to entice more consumers and businesses. This, of course, makes sense for the company to get Windows 10 into as many machines as possible. However, Microsoft could be preparing to raise the prices for the platform.

With the soon to launch Windows 10 Pro for Workstations, Microsoft will push some costs onto consumers. Aligning the new version to systems will increase, and consumers will also pay more.

In a report by ZDNet, it is suggested the company will change the way it licenses the platform. Pricing will be based on which processor is in the PC. Currently, Microsoft decides cost by letting OEMs choose which SKUs get which version.

Under the new model, Microsoft will charge $70 for a machine with four or fewer cores. For PCs with more than four cores, the price will increase $230 for manufacturers. We could argue that OEMs could ride these losses and not transfer them to consumers.

However, the PC market is hardly thriving, so it is unlikely OEMs will ride these increases. That means consumers and organizations will pay more for Windows 10. Windows 10 Pro for Workstations will be required on machines running Intel Xeon or AMD Opteron processors. This means consumers will also be paying more for these systems.

Windows 10 Pro for Workstations

Windows 10 Pro for Workstations will be a specific SKU that will be for Advanced PCs. This SKU will be for customers with high-end, server grade computing hardware. Microsoft says the build will be focused on ‘mission critical and computer intensive workloads’. Windows 10 Pro for Workstations will feature a new NTFS file system. The SKU will also have the following features:

  • Workstation mode: Microsoft plans to optimize the OS by identifying “typical compute and graphics intensive workloads” to provide peak performance and reliability when Workstation mode is enabled.
  • Resilient file system: Microsoft’s file system successor to NTFS, dubbed ReFS, is enabled in this new version, with support for fault-tolerance, optimized for large data volumes, and auto-correcting.
  • Faster file handling: As workstation machines are typically used for large data volumes across networks, Microsoft is including the SMBDirect protocol for file sharing and high throughput, low latency, and low CPU utilization when accessing network shares.
  • Expanded hardware support: Microsoft is also planning to allow Windows 10 Pro for Workstation on machines with up to 4 CPUs and a memory limit of 6TB. Windows 10 Pro currently only supports 2 CPUs.