Re: Windows Threshold
I've been assuming Microsoft will make it free for Windows 8 users. They indicated at Build that Windows 8 users would get the Start menu in a future update. Since the Start menu is now evidently part of Windows 9, they sort of have to give it away in order to avoid going back on their word. The more interesting possibility is that they'll make it free for Windows 7 users too. I think it would be the right call. Apple has basically already done the same thing, and Microsoft really needs to avoid repeating the ongoing Windows XP fiasco when Windows 7 reaches its EOL deadline.
I think Microsoft realizes it can't make money from OSes the way it used to. I've heard a few references to a possible Windows as a Service offering, for example, which would be a step in a new direction, and one that a few analysts have told me is inevitable.