Windows 10 is fast approaching. You may have already seen offers to get the free upgrade appear in your system tray. Microsoft wants you to upgrade and in most cases that upgrade will be free.
Or will it be? Because of rumblings that Windows 10 will transition into "Windows as a Service", some have guessed that you will eventually forced to subscribe if you want important updates and patches. Microsoft was quick to respond, saying that Windows 10 users will still get free updates and support for the lifetime of the device.
That seems reassuring, but the doubters are quick to point out that Microsoft has not defined what that "supported lifetime of the device" actually means. Obviously it can't mean for as long as you choose to keep your computer/tablet/phone and it may not mean the usual 5 year of full updates followed by 5 years of security patches only. These folks say that if Microsoft intends that, they would have said so, and they have not (yet, anyway).
Neither Google nor Apple are likely to go to a subscription service, but Microsoft may need to. Apple sells hardware and Google sells ads and mines data; Microsoft mostly needs to sell software.
Aside from that concern, there may be other reasons to decline the free offer. Microsoft may be giving you Windows 10, but they are also taking things away. See the "Microsoft explains what you’ll lose by upgrading to Windows 10" link below.