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IMG_4915Will Microsoft offer a subscription-based version of Windows for consumers, offering annual pricing on its flagship operating system? The company has consistently avoided that topic, with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella declining to directly address the question at the Windows 10 consumer preview event last month.

But a newly surfaced trademark filing seems, on the surface, like a sign of the company’s subscription plans for Windows.

The company has applied for a trademark on the term “Windows 365,” according to U.S. Patent & Trademark Office records spotted by Manan Kakkar and reported by Neowin.

Given that Office 365 is the subscription-based version of the company’s productivity software, Microsoft is either planning to launch subscription-based Windows, going out of its way to cover its butt legally, or setting itself up for some major naming confusion, if Windows 365 turns out to be something else.

Responding to GeekWire’s inquiry, a Microsoft representative declined to comment on the filing, or the possibility of subscription-based Windows.

screenshot_11However, during the Windows 10 event, operating systems chief Terry Myerson touted the value of “Windows as a service” — comments that seemed to hint at subscription-based pricing. “Windows 10 changes the rules of the game and redefines the relationship between us and our customers,” he said at the time.

However, the company instead announced plans to offer free upgrades to Windows 10 for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users for the first year. Microsoft hasn’t yet said what happens to people who want to upgrade after that, but based on this filing, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Windows 365 is the answer.

Here’s the full text of the trademark filing, for anyone who wants to read the tea leaves.

Word Mark WINDOWS 365

Goods and Services. IC 009. US 021 023 026 036 038. G & S: Computer software; computer operating system software; network operating software; computer programs; wireless communications devices; mobile phones, cellular telephones, personal digital assistants, and hand-held computers; parts and accessories for the aforementioned goods

IC 038. US 100 101 104. G & S: Telecommunications services; Providing access to non-downloadable computer software; streaming services; video on demand services; electronic mail and messaging services; instant messaging services; transmission of messages; information, advice and consultancy services

IC 039. US 100 105. G & S: Electronic storage of files and documents; Electronic storage of files, documents and databases; storage of electronic media, namely, images, text and audio data; information, advice and consultancy services relating to the aforesaid services provided online, via local or global communications networks, including the Internet, intranets, extranets, television, mobile communication, cellular and satellite networks or other communications or telecommunications network

IC 041. US 100 101 107. G & S: Providing education, training and entertainment services; Providing information over computer networks and global communication networks in the fields of entertainment, music, and interactive games; education services, namely on-line tutorials in the field of computers and computer software; Education services, namely, providing training, tutorials, classes and seminars in the field of computers, computer software and computer networks and the development and operation of cloud computing networks; information, advice and consultancy services relating to the aforesaid services provided online, via local or global communications networks, including the Internet, intranets, extranets, television, mobile communication, cellular and satellite networks or other communications or telecommunications network

IC 042. US 100 101. G & S: Computer services; computer programming; maintenance and repair of computer software; IT security, protection and restoration services; IT technical support services; operating software as a service (OSAAS); platform as a service (PAAS); software as a service (SAAS); infrastructure as a service (IaaS); desktop as a service (DAAS); cloud services; consulting services; cloud computing; hosting services; application service provider (ASP); non-downloadable software; providing temporary use of non-downloadable software; customization of computer hardware and software; computer hardware and software consulting services; consulting in the field of information technology; consulting in the field of cloud computing networks and applications; design and development of networks and network software and applications; leasing computer facilities; licensing of intellectual property; information, advice and consultancy services relating to the aforesaid services provided online, via local or global communications networks, including the Internet, intranets, extranets, television, mobile communication, cellular and satellite networks or other communications or telecommunications network

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