When Microsoft announced plans to make Windows free for smaller devices last month, it was vague on the details.

The company clarified on Friday that it is planning a new version of Windows — Windows 8.1 with Bing — to target low-cost computers and tablets. That version, as the name implies, comes with the Bing search engine as the default within the Internet Explorer browser.

Customers, of course, will be able to change the default search engine (or use an alternate browser).

“This new edition will be only be available preloaded on devices from our hardware partners,” Microsoft said in a blog post. “Some of these devices, in particular tablets, will also come with Office or a one-year subscription to Office 365.”

The free Windows option for computer makers is limited to devices (likely tablets) with screens smaller than nine inches.

Microsoft said that computer makers will start announcing PCs with the new operating system shortly, as the industry gears up for the annual Computex trade show in Taipei.

The move should help give a boost to Bing and also help Microsoft somewhat offset the cost of giving away its flagship operating system — and, in some cases, Office as well. For more on Microsoft’s move to give away Windows for phones and small devices, check out our analysis from last month.




5 comments
GregColborne
GregColborne

Bing is better then google.
Bing video is better then youtube, as it searches every music site including youtube.
Bing news shows news stories, google what?
Bing webmaster tools are better.
Bing searches bring up your own creations to the top faster.

Bing use it, it's like once you go black you never go back.

DougV
DougV

@GregColborne  I agree. Bing is the more complete package. The best thing that has happened to Google in this space is when Amazon remade it with Kindle. That was both smart on Amazon's part and you end up with a decent platform. This should do the same for the Windows world.

joepie91
joepie91

@GregColborne  


"Bing is better then google."


Doubtful. I've consistently seen worse results from Bing than from Google, even with blind tests.


"Bing video is better then youtube, as it searches every music site including youtube."


You might be misunderstanding the point of a video site. You might also not be aware of the existence of Google Video, which does the same.


"Bing news shows news stories, google what?"


Google News shows news stories. Not sure what your point here is.


"Bing webmaster tools are better."


I haven't tried it, but you can't really make that comparison in either direction; Bing Webmaster Tools serve Bing, Google Webmaster Tools serve Google. They affect different services.


"Bing searches bring up your own creations to the top faster."


That's called a filter bubble, and does not reflect how others see your creations.

larryhl
larryhl

@joepie91 I've seen consistently better results from Bing than Google using the same search strings. I now use Bing as my default search engine on all browsers. YMMV.

joepie91
joepie91

Wow, sorry for the bolding there. Comments system screwed up my formatting, and it doesn't look like it has an edit button.

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