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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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You can't even give it away
By mike66 on 2/28/2014 11:04:32 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Windows 8.1 that will come bundled with Bing services strewn throughout

Who the hell uses Bing anyway (should be named "Bling")
and who but an idiot would upgrade their owned windows 7 (with MCE) for a limited version of windows 8.1.

My comments are written on a laptop using windows 8.1 which has boot to desktop turned on and I never use or care about the metro-sexual interface or Apps. Oh yes I hate your new explorer features as well. MS you have no ideas in windows 8 or .1 that are useful.




RE: You can't even give it away
By Omega215D on 2/28/14, Rating: 0
RE: You can't even give it away
By otherwise on 2/28/2014 11:26:39 AM , Rating: 2
There is a site that microsoft set up to do blind Bing vs. Google comparison of search results. The site is http://www.bingiton.com/.

I took the challenge a while ago with 10 search terms I use at work, all technical and/or industry specific. Google won 10/10.


RE: You can't even give it away
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 2/28/2014 11:32:23 AM , Rating: 4
Just did that "test", and I picked Google 4 out of 5 times.


RE: You can't even give it away
By AMDftw on 2/28/2014 11:53:20 AM , Rating: 4
5 out of 5 for me. Google wins.


RE: You can't even give it away
By Mitch101 on 2/28/2014 12:11:37 PM , Rating: 4
Draw for me 3 of 5 on the bing side. I can see the link I would choose within the top 3 of both.

You want to talk about disasters how about the new google maps interface. Way to ruin a good thing. Google if its not broken don't fix it. Its like a horrible copy of Here.com

I also view bing as an application more than just search. Finding cheap airline flights and whether the price is going up or down Bing wins hands down.

Google certainly stole the forever scroll on images from bing except google images messes up a lot when you click on an image it open in an area of the screen where you have to scroll way up to get to it thats if and when it chooses to stay open.

Who doenst like searching for videos on Bing. Hands down the best for finding videos.


RE: You can't even give it away
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 2/28/2014 12:13:48 PM , Rating: 2
Umm, "videos". For research, right? ;-)


RE: You can't even give it away
By Mitch101 on 2/28/2014 12:19:00 PM , Rating: 4
LOL Caught me one handed. ;)


RE: You can't even give it away
By Souka on 2/28/2014 12:39:19 PM , Rating: 2
Hmmm....

I did 5 searches using the bingiton website and noticed something odd with the results.

The Google side of the page looked very dull, plain, low contrast fonts and grainy. Whereas the Bing side was neat, bold, and sharp.

I took my same searches, went directly to google.com, and did the searches. The results were formatted and fonts looked better compared to bingit on.

Hmm... go figure... the bingiton makes the google search look like crap.

Google should put out its own version... call it googleiton.com :)


RE: You can't even give it away
By retrospooty on 2/28/2014 12:58:10 PM , Rating: 4
"Google should put out its own version... call it googleiton.com "

That just isn't needed. Bing has an inferior product, next to no market share, and no chance of ever being a threat unless something dramatically changes with Bing's engine. Why even acknowledge them.


RE: You can't even give it away
By Reclaimer77 on 3/1/2014 9:59:28 AM , Rating: 2
What a shock, Google wins for everyone here BUT Mitch. How convenient!

quote:
You want to talk about disasters how about the new google maps interface.


Way to stay on topic bud!

quote:
Google certainly stole the forever scroll on images from bing


Are you running against Apple'tards for most annoying and obnoxious fanbois ever? Accusing everyone of "stealing" from you is a staple of theirs. Microsoft hardly invented this concept, come on.

quote:
Who doenst like searching for videos on Bing. Hands down the best for finding videos.


Most every video of any consequence is going to be on YouTube anyway. I use YouTube to search for videos. Why would I fire up Bing to find videos?


By inighthawki on 3/1/2014 4:09:19 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Most every video of any consequence is going to be on YouTube anyway. I use YouTube to search for videos. Why would I fire up Bing to find videos?

Bing videos is famous for searching for porn ;)


RE: You can't even give it away
By Samus on 3/1/2014 2:11:36 AM , Rating: 2
I also just did it, 4/5 wins for Google.


RE: You can't even give it away
By SpartanJet on 2/28/2014 12:01:44 PM , Rating: 1
4 out of 5 Bing for me.


RE: You can't even give it away
By Wererat on 2/28/2014 4:02:08 PM , Rating: 2
For me, it's split; but you can make any side 'win' at will because the search result formatting is very distinctly different between Bing/Google. If you can't tell which result belongs to which engine, you're not trying. It's not a blind test.

My impressions:

For most purposes, including scientific/technical info, they both win. Almost invariably, the thing I wanted is at or near the top.
For product capability searches (e.g., "does phone X support AptX?") Bing usually deprioritizes some of the vendor chaff, so I prefer that.
If I'm actually looking for vendors that sell product X, Google triumphs.

Really, the slight variances in result prioritization are minute, and people pick the engine that they're used to (which, of course, is why Bing can't 'overtake' Google).


RE: You can't even give it away
By Mint on 3/1/2014 11:08:16 AM , Rating: 2
I like everything about Bing (esp homepage/videos/images) except their technical results, and unfortunately for MS, that means you, I, and many other have no choice but to stick with Google.

It'll take a while for MS to catch up with results for less mainstream topics.


By Shadowmaster625 on 3/3/2014 9:01:28 AM , Rating: 2
3 googles and 2 draws for me. Bing got 0. At least they are honest....


RE: You can't even give it away
By ranran on 2/28/2014 11:35:59 AM , Rating: 2
sorry, I'll have to disagree. Whenever I search in Bing, it's just......awful. When setting up new systems, I sometimes forget to change IE's default search to Google. I notice it right away when I search for something from the titlebar and all these sites not particularly relevant come up - "oops, forget to change default search" is my immediate thought....


RE: You can't even give it away
By retrospooty on 2/28/14, Rating: 0
RE: You can't even give it away
By kmmatney on 3/1/2014 10:57:57 AM , Rating: 2
Great post. Completely and 100% agree, and the same thing happens to me. Most of the time, in this situation I'm searching for a driver or a specific program, and the Bing results are utter crap. Switch to Google - suddenly I find everything I need.


RE: You can't even give it away
By JediJeb on 3/2/14, Rating: 0
RE: You can't even give it away
By CaedenV on 2/28/2014 5:07:46 PM , Rating: 2
I find that Bing does a much better job when I am looking for a local business, or something in current events. Google still seems to have a large edge when I am trying to more of a topical search... the more technical, the more Bing seems to get lost and confused.

Still, I have been using Bing as my default at work lately and I am pretty happy with it... especially now that it has earned me a few years of sky/onedrive.


RE: You can't even give it away
By kmmatney on 3/1/2014 10:40:25 AM , Rating: 2
I guess I'm so used to Google, that I know exactly what to type in, and can filter my searches quickly. With Bing, I always get a bunch of crap on my searches. I've tried to use Bing, as recently as a few days ago, but I can never find what I need. Most of my searches deal with science or programming - Google is much better.


RE: You can't even give it away
By wordsworm on 2/28/2014 11:41:01 AM , Rating: 1
Maybe they're not new ideas, but booting in 10 seconds is a great old one. Making it capable of running on low powered devices is great, too. XP started on 64mb and ballooned to 500+ for the minimum. I think that Windows 8 is the first OS MS has ever made that had less requirements than the one before. Great ideas. Maybe not new ones, but very welcome. Why so many people don't appreciate those things is beyond me. Bling? I can disable it. I can control my PC. Not a big deal.


RE: You can't even give it away
By retrospooty on 2/28/2014 11:43:14 AM , Rating: 3
"Why so many people don't appreciate those things is beyond me"

I don't think anyone hates those things... Its the UI. It's so gutwrenchingly awful that people hate the OS as a whole. Simple as that.


RE: You can't even give it away
By FITCamaro on 2/28/2014 12:40:19 PM , Rating: 2
It's a great UI for touch screens. It's only a bad UI with a keyboard and mouse.


RE: You can't even give it away
By retrospooty on 2/28/2014 3:34:06 PM , Rating: 1
"It's a great UI for touch screens. It's only a bad UI with a keyboard and mouse."

Yup... But MS's phone and tablet sales are anemic... The vast majority use kb/mouse, thus the masses of unhappy users.


RE: You can't even give it away
By Mint on 3/1/2014 11:13:37 AM , Rating: 2
This article is about offering Win 8.1 free, and will undoubtedly target tablets first and foremost.

For a convertible device, which is the only tablet I would ever buy aside from my phone, Win 8.1 is unmatched.


RE: You can't even give it away
By wordsworm on 3/1/2014 11:20:56 AM , Rating: 2
What is popular and what is best aren't always the same thing.

PC sales are also anemic right now, which is where MS is tied. But they are in this fight for the long haul. They make money on Android, if you haven't noticed. I believe Apple does, too.

The companies need to make a phone with no OS on it so that you can install your own. If that ever happens, it will be a game changer.


By retrospooty on 3/1/2014 2:44:01 PM , Rating: 2
OK, agreed, but I am not seeing what that has to do with the fact that Win8 puts a touchscreen UI for kb/mouse users. That is the issue.


By EricMartello on 3/1/2014 3:32:01 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
PC sales are also anemic right now, which is where MS is tied. But they are in this fight for the long haul. They make money on Android, if you haven't noticed. I believe Apple does, too.


PC sales are reverting back to where they were pre-tablet. The spike in PC sales was due to them being the only option...but a lot of people do not use the full capabilities of a desktop (or even a laptop) when all they want to do is post bathroom selfies on instagram and write dumb sh1t on twitter. A phone or tablet suits this purpose and can be had "for free" when purchased with a cell service contract. Even with PC sales declining they will not evaporate. The market is always going to be there and it's still quite large.


RE: You can't even give it away
By Argon18 on 2/28/14, Rating: 0
RE: You can't even give it away
By retrospooty on 2/28/2014 3:31:51 PM , Rating: 2
"The UI is your only interface to the OS. Outside of geek web sites like this, nobody cares what happens under the hood."

True, but even most geeks despise Win8.

"Microsoft is on a real turd streak as of late"

I agree with you on that... Too much pushing their own internal agenda, and not enough making products and features that people want. They do have a long history of screwing hte pooch, getting millions of complaints and fixing it 1 to 2 product cycles down the road. I am betting Win9 is released with swaggar like WIn 7 "How do you like me now?"


RE: You can't even give it away
By wordsworm on 3/1/2014 10:16:21 AM , Rating: 1
Oh, I don't really care. I've learned to deal with it like I learned to deal with previous versions. I can customize several schemes for organization at any of the levels that I want. In the past I had to wait and hover, wait and hover, wait and hover, or double click. With Windows 8, you can essentially customize the launch button, which makes some things easier.

Under the hood things like booting in 10 seconds and running on lower powered machines means nothing to a lot of the folks who put it down. Other things like its actually sound security is really the best out-of-the-box I've ever seen from them.

When the power went out for a second last week, I hit the on button and restored myself in 10 seconds. Turning it off and turning it on has never been like that with any previous version of Windows. And for me that is really huge. I don't know why people get hung up over it because of stupid things like the launch button. I've hated having it back and wish I hadn't taken the 'upgrade' to .1.

Speed and hardware management are not trivial things to put into an OS.

You guys are nuts to care so much about a ribbon.


RE: You can't even give it away
By hughlle on 2/28/2014 11:59:14 AM , Rating: 2
It's all great that it works on low powered devices, jsut a shame that a lot of these low powered devices are also old devices with hardware not supported under win 8. I installed win 8 on a couple of older pc's a short while back. There were no driversavailable, and one of the results was nothing higher than an 800x600 resolution. I reverted back to windows 7 where the machines were quite content.


RE: You can't even give it away
By Camikazi on 2/28/2014 1:33:08 PM , Rating: 2
Windows 7 drivers work rather well in Windows 8 you know.


RE: You can't even give it away
By hughlle on 2/28/2014 2:00:12 PM , Rating: 2
Hence why i installed it. And it would not play ball whatsoever. So i went back to 7 and used vista drivers which it was quite happy to let me use.


RE: You can't even give it away
By mwarner1 on 3/8/2014 8:31:59 AM , Rating: 2
Update your hardware, you slack-jawed goon :)


RE: You can't even give it away
By nafhan on 2/28/2014 12:05:25 PM , Rating: 2
For me: Windows 7 works fine, Windows 8 wouldn't solve any problems I have, and it would create some new (minor) issues. Even for free, that's a negative value proposition.


RE: You can't even give it away
By Argon18 on 2/28/14, Rating: -1
RE: You can't even give it away
By mike66 on 2/28/2014 11:11:34 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
booting in 10 seconds is a great old one.

I can do that with windows 7 as that is mostly because of UEFI, when I upgraded my PC bios to UEFI I got the 10 second boot.


RE: You can't even give it away
By chripuck on 2/28/2014 11:46:22 AM , Rating: 2
I develop software for a living and upgraded to Win 8.1 from Win 7 for the multi-monitor support alone. As you noted, it's dead simple to turn off the tablet functionality (which I wonder why Microsoft didn't do in the first place) so it was a no brainer.

I also use Bing, mainly for the Bing rewards, which I just used to get 100 GB of OneDrive for free until 2021. I also have this nifty little thing called a Bookmark, which lets me quickly switch to Google for searching if Bing doesn't give me what I want.


RE: You can't even give it away
By Wolfpup on 2/28/2014 12:04:21 PM , Rating: 5
Yeah, I find 8's multimonitor support better too. Yet another little improvement.

And I use Bing for the same reason LOL. I find it just fine usually, I find it totally competent. And while a decade ago I thought of Microsoft as the bad guy and Google the good guy, I sure don't anymore.


RE: You can't even give it away
By Argon18 on 2/28/14, Rating: -1
RE: You can't even give it away
By KiwiTT on 2/28/2014 12:49:26 PM , Rating: 2
I have no problems with Multi-monitor support in Windows 7. I just extend my desktop to two screens. It is enough for me.


RE: You can't even give it away
By inighthawki on 2/28/2014 1:13:48 PM , Rating: 3
I think he is referring to things like the extended taskbar support.


By Reclaimer77 on 3/1/2014 10:02:20 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
I also use Bing, mainly for the Bing rewards, which I just used to get 100 GB of OneDrive for free until 2021.


Translation: Microsoft offered me a bribe to use Bing, and I went for it.


RE: You can't even give it away
By Wolfpup on 2/28/2014 11:49:20 AM , Rating: 2
I like a lot of 8's changes. I do use some Metro stuff-basically stuff that works better as a sandboxed 'app' than a normal program the spews stuff all over the place. And explorer generally is better than in 7 IMO. Lots of nice improvements all over the place that make using 7 a little annoying when I have to on some of my older systems.


RE: You can't even give it away
By SpartanJet on 2/28/2014 11:55:43 AM , Rating: 4
I stopped using ANY google ad supported services and now use 100% Microsoft services and I couldn't be happier. I feel like im not supporting an Ad company and not having Ad+ shoved down my throat or having to constantly confirm googles insistence that I use my real name for things is a double bonus. So long Ad company, hello Microsoft.


RE: You can't even give it away
By nafhan on 2/28/2014 12:45:24 PM , Rating: 1
And now you're supporting a software + ad company instead of an ad + software company... If you're concerned about your privacy, you haven't done much of anything to improve the situation (the opinion on whether you've made things slightly worse or slightly better will vary based on who you ask).

As far as the "real name" controversy... was anything major, other than Youtube comments, really effected by that?


RE: You can't even give it away
By SpartanJet on 2/28/2014 1:23:21 PM , Rating: 3
Actually now I use a company where I BUY the software and I'm not assaulted by Ads, nor am I constantly assaulted by a company trying to push their Ad+ social services on me. Outlook is far superior to Admail, and with VERY minimal effort I have 150GB of storage in Onedrive making it far superior to Addrive. Yes Bing has ads that support the service but every search engine uses ads to support it.

As far as the real names, its not just AdTube, its Admail as well. If I wanted to use my real name for things I would without their help and I dont want to join Ad+ for the millionth time.


RE: You can't even give it away
By nafhan on 2/28/2014 2:39:09 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Yes Bing has ads that support the service but every search engine uses ads to support it.
So, privacy is not a concern for you. Your other post kind of sounded like it was, sorry for misunderstanding. Having a preference for Bing vs. Google is fine, even if you don't give very strong or clear reasons.

Side note: you seem to know what products you dislike. If you use their real names, your posts would be a lot easier to read.


RE: You can't even give it away
By SpartanJet on 2/28/2014 2:53:58 PM , Rating: 2
Key: gogle=Ad. Pretty simple.

Any of course I have security worries with that Ad company. You have to be living under a rock to not notice all the news about them violating privacy. Its what that company does for profits after all unlike Microsoft which sells its products. The other company has """"""free"""""" software which you pay for with hidden costs in privacy and intrusion of adds. At least Bing has rewards making the ads more tolerable.


RE: You can't even give it away
By nafhan on 2/28/2014 3:21:24 PM , Rating: 2
Guess what? MS=Ad, too. Anyway, I'm not saying you shouldn't have privacy concerns online; I'm saying if you don't have the exact same worries about MS, you're living in a dream world. You feel like MS doing the same things as Google is OK because:
a) they sell software
b) they give you "rewards" for looking at ads

Those aren't good reasons... If this is a real concern of yours, stop using free web services whether they're from MS, Google, Yahoo, or whoever. If it's not a concern, use the one that works best for you.


RE: You can't even give it away
By SpartanJet on 2/28/2014 4:38:29 PM , Rating: 3
Actually, I dont have the same concerns about both the companies as I stated early. I trust Microsoft more than the alternatives as I know they are a product maker not an Ad server. If you can't understand (or refuse to acknowledge) the difference between the two then there is no point to the conversation. You keep using what you like and I will stick with Microsoft.


RE: You can't even give it away
By nafhan on 2/28/2014 5:36:34 PM , Rating: 2
I acknowledge and understand the difference, I just don't have any reason to believe "we sell software!" is an adequate basis for trust.


RE: You can't even give it away
By inighthawki on 3/1/2014 4:11:10 PM , 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.


RE: You can't even give it away
By nafhan on 3/3/2014 10:08:25 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
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.

quote:
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
quote:
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.


RE: You can't even give it away
By Argon18 on 2/28/14, Rating: -1
RE: You can't even give it away
By kmmatney on 3/1/2014 10:52:54 AM , Rating: 2
I've been generally happy with my $15 upgrade from Windows 7 home premium to Windows 8.1 Pro (and removing or ignoring everything Metro), but it also caused a lot of problems. I have to remote connect to several customer computers, and the secure programs or doing this always have problems with Windows 8. A lot of VPN software also won't work. I now have to use a virtual machine to accomplish things that were easily done with Windows 7 or XP. So not recommended for work if you use secure VPNs or remote connections.


RE: You can't even give it away
By p05esto on 3/1/2014 7:41:32 PM , Rating: 1
BING is amazing, and I'm not kidding at all. Go do some image searches on Google and then try Bing... you will NEVER go back to Google. The ability to sort images by color, type, category, size, etc etc is great stuff. The results are just better too. Live videos, slideshows. The regular search is good too, absolutely as good or better than Google.

Your comment sounds exactly like people that speak but have not tried. Those blind Scroogled tests you can do prove it. They lists the results side by side and you have to pick the best one... it's almost always Bing. Go try it, open your mind. At least TRY.


RE: You can't even give it away
By talonvor on 3/7/2014 4:34:09 AM , Rating: 2
Who will do it? People that are still using XP (there are millions), but want to upgrade so that they can receive system updates.


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