Apparently Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is taking a play out of the book of App Store game makers. The company, which is rumored to be working on a new desktop OS, perfunctorily titled Windows 9, may partly release the operating system as a “Freemium” service. Whether or not the world is ready for OS as a service may be tested in the next generation of Windows computers.

Windows 9

Rumors that the company was setting itself up to release a free version of Windows have been around for some time, but the latest model under which that could happen is downright perplexing. According to a report from BGR.com, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) could release a version Windows 9 as a server-based cloud operating system. Those interested in more advanced features would, under the speculated business model, have to pay a subscription for access.

Russian rumors explore Windows 9

The BGR piece is a based on a report from Russian group WZOR. The group is known for particular reliability when it comes to Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) rumors, but that doesn’t mean the wilder accusations should be accepted without critical thought. The group says that Microsoft is planning on getting Windows 9 to PC makers by October, giving them time to build systems with the operating system in mind.

The group also says that “Windows Cloud” will be a version of the Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) operating system with basic functionality. The operating system would require constant attachment to an internet connection in order to operate, and would require the payment of a subscription fee in order to unlock all of its features. Such a model is common in many types of software, but using it in an operating system is likely to be contentious.

Software as a service may not fit the OS

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) may want to sell Windows 9 as a service, but that may be a difficult change to force in the minds of many consumers. Paying a subscription service for access to software services, and servicing, makes sense for enterprises. Home-based Windows users will have little experience of paying a subscription for software, and it may be difficult to convince them to do so with so many alternatives available.

If the company is offering “Windows Cloud” as a separate version of its Windows operating system, it will need to tread lightly around the problems that have plagued it this generation. Multiple versions of Windows are clearly not something that consumers are willing to deal with, and the firm will have to deal with the RT mistake until Windows 8 is long gone.

If Windows 9 has to compete with a cloud based Windows Cloud, the worst features of the two may offer the irreparable damage to the next generation of Windows devices that the attempts to turn every Windows device touch-centric did to this generation.