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A few months back, I posted a whimsical post right here entitled “Windows 8.1 Bada Bing!?” (March 3, 2014). It not only reported on rumors of a low-cost/no-cost version of Windows 8.1 which turned out to be correct, but speculated that it “…could be offered as an ‘upgrade’ to Windows 7 users who might otherwise be disinclined to migrate to Windows’ upcoming Update 1 release scheduled for April 8 or thereabouts” which turned out to be wrong, wrong, wrong.
Windows spokesguy Brandon LeBlanc explains what Windows with Bing is all about: cheap bits for cheaper low-end PCs.
You can find Mr. LeBlanc’s post on the subject and see for yourself, but these two blue-lined “call-out” points plucked from its content (plus the title of the blog itself) pretty much tell the whole story:
- scale Windows to an even greater number of customers with more partners and new devices at a broader range of price points
- Windows will be available for 0 dollars to our hardware partners
Combine all this happy rhetoric with the retuning of Windows 8.1 Update’s hardware requirements to 16 GB of storage and 2 GB of RAM, and you’ve got some a more competitive recipe for low-end devices that don’t impose a hefty hardware burden on hardware builders, and likewise limit the cost of climbing aboard the Windows wagon to grab some OS bits along the way. Throw in LeBlanc’s remark that “some of these devices, in particular tablets, will also come with Office or a one-year subscription to Office 365” and the whole thing starts to make sense.
My favorite part of the release: the line where Mr. LeBlanc reminds us that “… more people … will have access to an even broader selection of new devices with all the awesomeness that Windows 8.1 provides, and get Office too…” Who knew? Look out Android: here comes Windows!