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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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Not sure how I feel about this
By CaedenV on 2/28/2014 5:33:46 PM , Rating: 1
I don't really want Windows to be free. Granted, I don't want to pay $100-140 either... but surely there is a middle ground to be had here.

I feel like the $40 I paid for win8 was just about right (even $50 would have been fine I think). The cost barrier give motivation for MS to put a product out that is worth paying for, and then MS would have an ongoing motivation to make sure the app store has a good enough experience and offerings to make people want the apps that can be had there.
Obviously, they are not there yet... and I still don't understand why we can't have windowed apps on the desktop, or desktop apps in the MS store... both feel like no-brainer things to offer at this point. But with the way win8 has matured over the last 2 years, it is surely getting there (as quickly as a large organization can anyways).

But free... I have a little issue with that, because it is not free. The temptation would be to make it free... but if you want specific features for the OS then you buy them piecemeal in the store (as DVD playback support already is, granted for other reasons). Obviously MS would be watching your every move with Bing services... which personally I would not mind opting in for, but I don't like the idea of it being a standard feature.

Rather than free, let's just put a sane price on the OS. Something in the $25-50 range for the full version of the OS and no strings attached. Then have an opt-in for Bing services with the carrot of Bing Rewards program. And have a sensible app store that is in itself usable, and has useful things on it that are worth buying. MS has tried to be apple, and is bad at it. Now they are going to try and be Google... and they are going to be bad at it. MS simply needs to be MS and they will do just fine.




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