It seems that Microsoft could launch a free version of Windows 8.1 in order to boost the number of people using the operating system, reports The Verge. The report quotes sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans as saying that Microsoft is working on Windows 8.1 with Bing which will bundle key Microsoft apps and services.
The report also goes on to say that Microsoft hopes to keep Windows 8.1 with Bing as a free or low-cost upgrade for Windows 7 users. The report comes days after Bloomberg reported that Microsoft was cut prices by 70 percent for Windows 8.1 on devices which are below $250.
The report said that, “Manufacturers will be charged $15 to license Windows 8.1 and preinstall it on devices that retail for less than $250, instead of the usual fee of $50, said the people, who asked not to be named because the details aren’t public.”
Microsoft’s move is seen as an attempt to counter newer cheaper rivals in the form of Google’s Chromebooks and strong competition from Apple, added the report. It should be noted that Apple’s latest software upgrade OS X Mavericks was free for users and Apple also announced that iWorks suite which includes the Page, KeyNote and Numbers app would be free for iOS and OS X devices which were bought after September 2013.
Microsoft’s Windows 8 has not seen the kind of adoption that Windows 7 did. The company said that it sold more than 200 million licenses of Windows 8 it went on sale in October 2012, which is a slower rate of adoption than the previous OS.
Source – The Verge