Some say there is no free lunch in this world, and you have to pay one way or another. And while this statement holds weight, market dynamics and the competition is forcing Microsoft to look beyond its traditional business model.
The traditional business model of selling Windows licenses to end users or OEMs.
Not too long ago reports and screenshots of Windows 8.1 Update 1 with Bing surfaced, which was rather perplexing since Microsoft has already made Bing Smart Search a core part of the Windows 8.1 experience. But now some new details have popped up.
According to the ever reliable Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet, this mysterious version of Windows 8.1 is actually a bold new experiment for Redmond.
While this version has little in terms of differences from the other flavors of the operating system, it could be a way for the company to offer Bing related incentive to OEMs or end users. In other words, if this works out, Microsoft could make Windows free in the future.
Yes, you read that right — a full version of Windows given away for free and monetized by Bing ads and other such incentives. Who would have predicted this a decade back?
Anyway, take all this with a heap of salt.
This is just an experiment for now, and could be changed, revised, or completely dismissed. Fact is that not all users are keen of having to deal with ads and promotional offers right inside their operating system, and would rather pay for the license.
If you are one of these then take to the comment box to let your thoughts be known! Do so even if you are not, and would like to see Microsoft take this route.