Print 114 comment(s) - last by mwarner1.. on Mar 8 at 8:31 AM

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: Dear Microsoft
By FITCamaro on 2/28/2014 12:41:27 PM , Rating: 3
I kinda laugh when I see this because of how much everyone whined when Aero came out.

RE: Dear Microsoft
By atechfan on 2/28/2014 1:03:39 PM , Rating: 4
So true. When XP came out, Win 98 users hated it because it had poor DOS compatibility and broke a lot of old software. Win 2000 users hated it because they thought adding Direct X and other consumer and gamer oriented stuff was bloat. They people loved XP when Vista came out, and everyone hated Aero because it was a system hog and needless eye candy. Now that Aero is gone, it is missed. No matter what MS does, people will complain.

RE: Dear Microsoft
By inighthawki on 2/28/2014 1:11:11 PM , Rating: 2
Actually when Aero was introduced I loved it right from the start. Everyone I knew that used it also loved it right away. We all had decent computers though, so perhaps this was only an issue on really low end systems.

When I first saw the Windows 8 theme I figuratively puked. It is by far the ugliest OS UI I've seen in my life.

RE: Dear Microsoft
By Camikazi on 2/28/2014 1:29:21 PM , Rating: 2
You weren't looking online then cause the outcry over Aero was big also I like WIndows 8 look more than Windows 7, I just don't like all the eye-candy and bling personally.

RE: Dear Microsoft
By therealnickdanger on 2/28/2014 3:08:12 PM , Rating: 3
The difference is that you could fix the problems with Aero (turn it off) but you can't fix Windows 8. On second thought you can... install Windows 7.

RE: Dear Microsoft
By SpartanJet on 2/28/14, Rating: -1
RE: Dear Microsoft
By nafhan on 2/28/2014 2:46:36 PM , Rating: 2
there is a reason like half the top apps are things that make it less ugly
Yes, and that reason has a name: choice! Your opinion of less ugly may be different from mine, and my opinion may be different from MS's. On WP8/W8, you get to go with MS's opinion, which you sound happy with.

RE: Dear Microsoft
By SpartanJet on 2/28/2014 4:42:52 PM , Rating: 1
Oh, I guess I'm imagining using programs like ModerMix and Start8 which allow you to customize JUST like in Android and for the same prices. Its crazy people moan about having to spend 5 bucks on a start menu, yet have no problem plucking down much more than that for their cheesy phone OS.

RE: Dear Microsoft
By nafhan on 2/28/2014 5:33:09 PM , Rating: 2
I don't personally know of anyone who's plunked down $5 for a new launcher on Android, but I'd guess the complainers and the people willing to pay may be completely different groups.

RE: Dear Microsoft
By SilthDraeth on 2/28/2014 7:28:29 PM , Rating: 2
Classic Shell is free and gives you a classic start menu of your choice, and can make other changes as well.

RE: Dear Microsoft
By max_payne on 2/28/2014 8:49:27 PM , Rating: 1
Yes thank God, I am not alone. That thing looks like a chick's kindergarten fantasy. It's ugly and primitive, either on PC, phones and tablets, I don't care. At least you don't have to ever see it again with a classic start menu. Anyway for those missing aero, if you are willing to shell a few bucks, there is two solutions available ; Stardock Windowsblind or the more elegant Aero Glass for Windows 8(.1). I use the later on all my (forced) Windows 8 machines. That ease the pain from the original ugly desktop.

RE: Dear Microsoft
By inighthawki on 2/28/2014 10:05:12 PM , Rating: 2
I am currently using ClassicShell with the 8Plus theme with BigMuscle's aero glass mod and this visual style:

All combined, it actually makes 8.1 look exactly like 7 (optional rounded corners too). I'm pretty pleased, although I would like MS to add glass back for two reasons:

1) Making it an official part of windows improved operability and MS will like do it with better perf/battery life

2) It is a step in the direction opposite of where they're going now which is the flat metro look on desktop. I don't want things to be metrofied, so adding aero glass is like a small token of "don't worry we won't f*ck it up further"

RE: Dear Microsoft
By inighthawki on 2/28/2014 10:08:53 PM , Rating: 2
Forgot to add: OldNewExplorer - Add back the glass frame, remove the ribbon, add the details pane, and importantly for me, retain proper driver groupings - Not sure who in their right mind thought that was a good idea.

RE: Dear Microsoft
By bug77 on 2/28/2014 2:22:28 PM , Rating: 2
Nobody hated windows skins because they were ugly. They were hated because they were perceived as resource hogs. Metro is the other way around: it looks like a skin from 1990 because it's limited to whatever mobile GPUs can do, even when running on $200+ desktop GPUs (you want me to dig that comparison to an AOL page again?). To add insult to injury, WinXP could mimic Win98/2000 LnF, Vista and 7 let you turn Aero off if you don't like it. But not Metro.
Call me spoiled, but coming from a Linux world, I have reflex reaction against things shoved down my throat.

RE: Dear Microsoft
By jardows on 2/28/2014 3:43:09 PM , Rating: 2
I suppose you use Slackware, and not Ubuntu?

RE: Dear Microsoft
By bug77 on 2/28/2014 4:51:46 PM , Rating: 2
Kubuntu and Fedora (KDE) atm.

RE: Dear Microsoft
By nafhan on 2/28/2014 5:09:39 PM , Rating: 2
Why Slackware? If you're referring to the Ubuntu Window manager controversy, swapping out the window manager is simple, and starting off with something other than Unity is even simpler (i.e. Kubuntu or Mint).

I personally prefer OpenSUSE.

RE: Dear Microsoft
By HoosierEngineer5 on 2/28/2014 1:22:10 PM , Rating: 2
Still whining. I can't seem to see where one window begins and one ends. I am probably holding it wrong.

RE: Dear Microsoft
By inighthawki on 2/28/2014 1:29:26 PM , Rating: 2
You're free to turn it off. Unlike in Win8, Microsoft gave people a CHOICE in Win7. Uncheck a box and appease both parties.

Also, you don't seriously think it's worse than Windows 8? 8 has a nearly unnoticeable window border which on inactive windows is barely visible at all and blends in with the gray color that many applications use as the background color. Every window in Win8 blends together like one giant block of gray.

RE: Dear Microsoft
By Argon18 on 2/28/14, Rating: -1
RE: Dear Microsoft
By inighthawki on 2/28/2014 3:24:39 PM , Rating: 5
Your counter-argument makes no sense. In fact it might be one of the stupidest things I've ever heard.

On top of the fact that you are arguing that a feature should be removed because some people will never turn it off, your IE example isn't accurate because glass can be disabled with a checkbox. The different themes are already installed. You don't need to go through some complex task to go find, download, and install software to change the default. You just click a checkbox and click "OK."

RE: Dear Microsoft
By HoosierEngineer5 on 3/1/2014 8:01:37 PM , Rating: 2
For Micorsoft Office applications, I haven't yet found the "OFF" button.

On the products that support it, this is Microsoft's best feature.

RE: Dear Microsoft
By HoosierEngineer5 on 3/1/2014 8:16:07 PM , Rating: 2
And I HATE when Windows 7 rearranges the taskbar.

RE: Dear Microsoft
By HoosierEngineer5 on 3/1/2014 8:04:31 PM , Rating: 2
I haven't yet exposed myself to Windows 8. Thanks for the warning!

RE: Dear Microsoft
By Reclaimer77 on 3/1/2014 10:06:16 AM , Rating: 2
People complained about Aero because they were on computers that shipped with 512mb of system RAM at the time. Now we have so much memory we don't know what to do with it.

Anyone who actually had a problem with the visual style, was in the extreme minority to be sure. "Everyone" was not whining about Aero.

"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson

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