While Microsoft makes the transition from a Ballmer-ified company into a new one under the guide of Satya Nadella, one of the things that are being investigated is brining back Windows to its former glory. With Windows 8 and 8.1 achieving slower growth rates than Windows 7 or XP in the first year on the market, the company needs to find a way to push up the volume of users and draw them away from older platforms like XP and Vista.
One of the ideas on the table is to make Windows 8, the regular edition, free to use and download so long as you agree to adverts being displayed to you in Modern UI apps and to be forced to use Bing for internet searches in Modern UI apps.
The development of a free edition of Windows 8 was leaked by Wzor.net and it displayed a portion of a new End-user licence agreement (EULA). The EULA talks about the fair use of “Windows 8 with Bing” and it appears that not only is Microsoft ready to experiment with this kind of revenue generation through advertising, but it’s also going to make this freely available to the public because the EULA is re-organised into a more concise set of questions and answers that users may have upon installing the software.
The thought of getting windows free is simply to radical for our minds right now…can we expect a free Windows 8 soon?
In fact, that would be just like the situation with Google Chrome OS. Chrome OS is partly ad-supported through the built-in browser and Google makes a good amount of profit on it. Windows 8 with Bing would be similar, but more user-friendly and familiar more people.
I hope that Microsoft is beginning to see the real threat to their market share. It isn’t Apple, it’s Google. Google has always been a threat to their search functions, their advertising revenue, mobile market share, streaming services and affordable computing and Ballmer may have believed that Apple was the one they should have been targeting.
Making Windows 8 free would be a big step towards fighting off the advances of Chrome OS and it would also give users who were thinking about Linux or piracy a second, legitimate option. If I could install other browsers, use my own search engines and ignore Modern UI completely, I’d be perfectly happy with this arrangement.