Microsoft might introduce free version of Windows 8.1 (free for everyone, not just Windows 8 users)

windows8.1

Microsoft is introducing two new versions of Windows 8.1 to the market. The first is a standalone version of Windows Enterprise (no Software Assurance agreements required), and was made available on March 1st. The second one is called “Windows 8.1 with Bing,” and it is speculated that it may be a low-cost or even free version of the OS.

windows8.1bing

It’s unclear at the moment what exactly Windows 8.1 with Bing is, but the considering that Windows 8.1 already comes with Bing integration, the speculation that this is a cheaper or free version of Windows 8.1 isn’t too farfetched — especially in today’s world of ad-funded software and services. If Microsoft can effectively migrate users from Windows 7 or even Windows XP through this new version, it might just be what the struggling OS has been needing.

Let’s just hope it doesn’t mean you can’t use anything else but Bing. I’m sure regulators will have a field day with that, if it happens.

[via Ars Technica, image via WZor.Net]

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10 comments

  1. Seamus McSeamus

    [@vandamme] There was a story on the news this morning about how all the banks are in a rush to upgrade their ATMs, because 95% of them are running XP. My first reaction was “why are they waiting until the last minute?”. The EOL date for XP has been know for nearly 2 years! The way the story was edited (I hope that’s all it was), it appeared as if this was something they just found out about! It’s good to know the banks are so security conscious.

  2. vandamme

    [@Seamus McSeamus] You crack me up Seamus. How about the people who bought 8 AND also bought a new copy of 7 besides? Maybe MS should start selling XP again, so they can “upgrade” people to that, after they bought 8 and 7! “There’s a sucker born every minute”, said P.T. Barnum.

  3. J.L.

    [@vandamme] Too late for most of those, but I’ll have to comment on security. It’s impossible to completely eliminate the need of antiviruses with the market share of intellectually lacking people who demands admin rights that Windows has. On the other hand one does not need any extra security software on Windows, or virtually any other up-to-date OS, after applying the right knowledge.

  4. vandamme

    MS is racing to the bottom.

    Now, if they reduce the bloatware, eliminate the lockout of other OS’s, fix the security so you don’t need an antivirus, have a selection of several different desktops, make it open source, get rid of the registry, and give it away, they could compete with Linux.