Sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans tell The Verge that the company is building “Windows 8.1 with Bing,” a version that will bundle key Microsoft apps and services. While early versions of the software have leaked online, we understand that Windows 8.1 with Bing is an experimental project that aims to bring a low-cost version of Windows to consumers. ZDNet first reported some Windows 8.1 with Bing details earlier this week.
We’re told that Microsoft is aiming to position Windows 8.1 with Bing as a free or low-cost upgrade for Windows 7 users. Any upgrade offers will be focused on boosting the number of people using Windows 8.1.
Win8.x has had a hard time capturing upgrade installations, due in no small part because it’s just a strangely-conceived OS, meant to work on all devices but master of none. Until Redmond gets the product right, the price won’t much matter.