Microsoft is reportedly working on a free version of Windows 8.1 bundled with its proprietary services, to boost user base.
Reports have surfaced that Microsoft is currently playing with the idea of releasing on a Windows 8.1 bundled with Bing, and the brands well-known services and applications for free.
According to report by the technology site The Verge, the version of the operating system is dubbed as “Windows.8.1 with Bing.” This project is aimed at giving consumers access to a version of Windows that will be budget-friendly enough for consumers.
Sources familiar to the matter have disclosed that the company plans to offer the experimental version of the OS for users of Windows 7 either for free or a low cost. This is essentially a come-and-use-me ploy of the Redmond, Washington based company to lure in more users to upgrade to its software. The Bing-centric version of Windows 8.1 might also be offered to computer manufacturers, in a move seen many to try and catch up with Chromebooks.
It can be considered a wise move for Microsoft. Aside from trying to fish for more users, it is also looking for a way to monetize its services on the cloud and applications. The low sticker price may also one way to tickle the consumers to spend to get a response better than the lukewarm reception of the market when Windows 8 was rolled out.
With all the executive shuffling happening at Microsoft, this can be a sign that Satya Nadella is preparing to transition to a new business model. The shift might not be that easy but it is needed in order to keep up with the times. Microsoft has to bring the price tag of its platform to zero as every technology giant is doing. For example, Google is not burdening people to use its Android system. Even Apple has started offering the OS X free of charge since its last update.
Since the Windows 8.1 with Bing is still an experimental item, we are not sure if Microsoft will roll it out to everyone but for sure there will be a more affordable version coupled with some free applications that can get a good chunk of the lower end of the tech business. In case the company truly plans to shift to another way of doing business, then we can expect a big change that consumers will either like or not.
There have been earlier reports that hinted about this latest move of Microsoft. Two weeks ago Bloomberg reported that the company plans to slash the price of Windows license from $50 to $15. Reports say that this will apply for manufacturers that will install the OS on devices that are priced sub-$250. It will also help Microsoft get onto more tablets and have a share of the $80 billion market.
At the moment, there are not a lot of Windows options for the lower-end market. There is the $250-ASUS X102BA on promo from $400. There is also the Venue 8 Pro tablet from Dell selling for $250. Comparing it to Chrome and Android, consumers have a good number of choices to make most of their hard-earned dollars.
The update to version 8.1 is expected to be released sometime in April.