Microsoft is set to launch a low-cost version of Windows 8.1 called “Windows 8.1 with Bing” that will be bundled in low-cost devices.
Earlier this week, there were rumors that Microsoft was considering offering a free version of Windows titled “Windows 8.1 with Bing”. In this version, Microsoft will be bundling its own software services and then distributing the core OS for a low cost or free, similar to the way Google distributes the Chromium OS.
Thanks to a Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (Windows ADK) for Windows 8.1 (Spring 2014) that was leaked online it’s now known that “Windows 8.1 with Bing” will feature Microsoft’s Bing as the default search engine. The default browser will be Internet Explorer with Bing as the search engine. Users will have the ability to change the search engine to Google or install Chrome, but OEMs would not be able to change these settings. Other than the inclusion of Bing as the default search client, no other browser settings have been tweaked.
By offerings “Windows 8.1 with Bing” for a low licensing fee, Microsoft is letting OEMs bundle it in their low-cost devices. It is a win-win scenario for Microsoft, as its OS will be installed in more devices, which in turn will drive more users to Microsoft’s services. “Windows 8.1 with Bing” will be based on the feature set that was available in Windows 8.1 Core and will receive the Windows 8.1 Update, which is scheduled for the month of April. It will also be offered in 32 and 64-bit variants.
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