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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: 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.

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