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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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Consumer Version
By Flunk on 2/28/2014 11:21:11 AM , Rating: 4
I still think the Home version of Windows should be $50 at retailers and $40 digital delivery. With current PC prices and the competitions prices (Linux/Android/ChromeOS are all free) they need to be more competitive.

Also they need to fix their stupid activation rules. I recently replaced the motherboard in my computer and it was a living hell to get it re-activated. They made me feel like a criminal for paying for their software.

RE: Consumer Version
By Just Tom on 2/28/2014 2:10:21 PM , Rating: 3
I've never had a problem re-activating a system. Call the number and they give me a code. There is no way around not demanding re-activation when a motherboard is swapped, since that is effectively a new computer.

Did they change the process or did you run across a bad phone rep?

RE: Consumer Version
By marvdmartian on 2/28/2014 2:22:13 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. All I do is wait until it's after working hours stateside, so I get "Bob" in India, who asks me if I'm absolutely certain I didn't load the OS on more than one computer (not that he cares!). I tell him NO, and he gives me the new activation code. Usually takes 2-3 minutes.

RE: Consumer Version
By Newspapercrane on 2/28/2014 4:55:56 PM , Rating: 2
I've done it with windows 8 a number of times. When I do it it's completely automated. The robot asks me how many computers this version of windows is installed on... and just say 1.

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