Microsoft is aiming to help OEMs reduce device costs by offering cheaper versions of Windows, which will ship with Bing as IE’s default search engine.
The OEMs will not be allowed to change the home page for IE, but end users will be able to switch to another search engine at any point they want. Clearly, the idea is to encourage people to use Bing, but without falling foul of global competition and antitrust laws. Something Microsoft has had issues with in the past.
It has not been made clear how much the discount is, but then Microsoft doesn’t make it clear how much it charges OEMs anyway, so those numbers will remain forever out of our reach.
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This announcement complements some of Microsoft’s other recent decisions with Windows. The firm recently announced that Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 8.1 would be free on all devices with a screen size below nine-inches. The idea is to drive OEMs into adopting Windows, especially on phones and tablets, where it is struggling against iOS and Android.
Microsoft also mentions in a blog post that smaller devices also get one year of free access to Office365, it’s cloud-based version of the Office suite.
The end result of this should be that low-cost hardware solutions can now run Windows. This could mean that Google’s Chromebooks get a more robust set of competitors than it currently does. And Microsoft is very keen to get people using its cloud services and away from Google’s similar offerings.
Via: The Next Web