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New version of Windows 8.1 would be free or "very low cost"

Things aren’t going exactly as planned for Microsoft with Windows 8/8.1. The operating system hasn’t kept up the sales pace with its predecessor, Windows 7, and has come under fire for user interface decisions that have infuriated users.
Microsoft, however, is countering by appealing to customers’ wallets. Microsoft is reportedly cutting Windows 8.1 license fees by 75 percent (on budget hardware priced $250 and below) in an effort to past cost savings on to the end-user.
Now, according to separate reports from The Verge and ZDNet, Microsoft may be taking things a step further.

Microsoft is reportedly developing a version of Windows 8.1 that will come bundled with Bing services strewn throughout the operating system. For now, this variant is simply known as “Windows 8.1 with Bing.”
According to The Verge, there are two possible avenues for Microsoft to offer this free version of Windows 8.1 to customers. The first would be as an upgrade to customers that are still using Windows 7. The second option would be to allow PC makers to offer Windows 8.1 with Bing on even lower-cost hardware to customers.
Either option (or both if Microsoft so chooses) would hopefully allow Microsoft to boost Windows 8.1’s market share.

Sources: The Verge, ZDNet

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RE: You can't even give it away
By nafhan on 3/3/2014 10:08:25 AM , Rating: 2
Because it means their revenue stream is based off of sold products, not advertising. They have significantly less motivation to sell your privacy.
I guess you didn't notice but the whole point of this article is MS potentially selling an ad supported low cost/free version of one of their primary products.

MS is a for profit company running an advertising network. Pretending they have more concern for consumer privacy because they also sell software is not an argument based on fact. That's wishful thinking.

RE: You can't even give it away
By inighthawki on 3/3/2014 11:19:54 AM , Rating: 2
Except integrating Bing doesn't mean that the OS will be ad supported. We don't even know how "integrated" bing will be. It could just take 5 minutes to go uninstall a toolbar and set a new default browser.

Pretending they have more concern for consumer privacy because they also sell software is not an argument based on fact

No it's not fact, but it's somewhat common sense. If your revenue stream is not dependent on advertisements, then you (as a company) have less reason to sell off user data to improve that revenue. This is the reason why not every company in the world sells off their user's data first chance they get.

RE: You can't even give it away
By Reclaimer77 on 3/3/2014 5:11:36 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah you don't get it. Microsoft want's BOTH!

Microsoft wants money from software sales, licensing, device sales, AND they want to be every bit the targeted ad seller that Google is.

No, they DON'T have less of a "reason" to sell your data. If there's a profit in doing it, they'll do it. They're doing it now!

Given their track record, how exactly does that help you sleep better at night?

By inighthawki on 3/3/2014 11:06:02 PM , Rating: 2
Given their track record

What exactly is their track record?

RE: You can't even give it away
By nafhan on 3/4/2014 9:24:36 AM , Rating: 2
So, you'd prefer I call wishful thinking "common sense". That says as much about your argument as anything else I might say would.

"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs

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