I've been hearing for years that Microsoft is moving to a subscription model for all its software products. I'm still not buying that this is the heart of any strategy.
Perhaps I can see a complete subscription model working in the Enterprise segment, but the consumer segment? I don't see it. I don't doubt that MS plans on building out services that they hope to attract subscription revenue. They have XBox Live and it's working pretty well. After that, what else is there? They have Office 365 which is competitive but I'm sure it doesn't make up for the revenue lost on traditional Office licenses. Windows? Forget it. I don't see the average consumer getting on board with a subscription tied to the computer unless the computer is subsidized to a free price point. SkyDrive? That's another crowded market with Google Drive, iCloud, Dropbox, etc. Azure? Amazon, Google, Rackspace...I don't think there's any web service that MS can offer that would be a "sneak attack."
Nope, MS is a behemoth company. As such, it's doing many different things at the same time just like Google & Apple. It has web services like Google. It has hardware like Apple. And all of them are vying to be the center of everyone's computing ecosystem to the point that the barrier of exiting is nearly insurmountable. It's that simple.
MS wants to be on the Desktop, in the cloud, on your mobile device, in your living room, and on your tablet. The question is if they can pull all their disparate teams together to provide something that excels in what Apple & Google has already done.