As I reported to you earlier today, Microsoft is said to be working on a new Windows 8.1 version that could be offered free of charge, although it’s not yet clear how exactly the company would try to monetize this build.While it’s believed that the so-called Windows 8.1 with Bing would be offered at no cost but would instead come with ads and Bing incentives, a new report now reveals the actual purpose of such an SKU.
The Verge is reporting via unnamed sources that Windows 8.1 with Bing, which would indeed come with a freeware license, would be specifically aimed to be a free or low-cost upgrade for Windows 7 users, as the Redmond-based software giant wants as many users as possible to switch to its modern operating system.
At the same time, Microsoft could also offer Windows 8.1 with Bing to PC makers as part of a licensing fee cut that would bring more affordable devices to the market and boost the consumer appeal of the operating system.
Microsoft hasn’t yet commented on the possibility to get Windows 8.1 to the market with a freeware license, but such a decision would clearly come in handy to many people out there, especially for occasional users who do not want to pay for a license.
Of course, such a product could also help Microsoft compete against the likes of Linux, which is already available free of charge for everyone and said to become a powerful alternative, especially for those running Windows XP and are now forced to make the move to another platform due to the approaching end of support.
What’s more, Microsoft is also planning to tweak the modern platform in such a way that it would allow PC makers to deploy it on low-spec PCs and tablets, again with the sole purpose of bringing more devices running it to the market.
Windows 8.1 Update 1 could be specifically designed to do this, with some people close to the matter explaining that the upcoming release might only require 1 GB of RAM and 16 GB of storage space on either tablets or PCs.
Windows 8.1 Update 1 is slated to make its public debut in April as part of the Patch Tuesday cycle, while Microsoft will showcase it for the first time in front of the public at the BUILD 2014 developer conference kicking off on April 2 in San Francisco.