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Free (Gratis) Version of Windows Could Be a Reality Soon

timothy posted about 9 months ago | from the insert-coin-to-continue dept.

Windows 392

An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft is exploring whether to release a free version of Windows to increase the number of computers using the latest operating system. Currently the company seems to be testing a new version of the OS called 'Windows 8.1 with Bing', which will include Microsoft's key modern apps and services."

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Kinda funny (5, Insightful)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 9 months ago | (#46373135)

I remember when Bill Gates said that if software were being pirated, he would prefer that it was HIS software being pirated. He wanted to hook them now, so that he could charge them later.

I guess there aren't enough pirates being hooked, so now they have to give it away gratis.

Re:Kinda funny (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46373167)

he would prefer that it was HIS software being pirated

It's not gratis - you have to use Bing. This is about "just fucking killing Google", not about replacing pirated versions.

This thread will be full of Microsofties telling you to use Windows Bing version for all your porn surfing needs. It's their one remaining niche, aparently.

Re:Kinda funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46373195)

This thread will be full of Microsofties telling you to use Windows Bing version for all your porn surfing needs. It's their one remaining niche, apparently.

Well, that is the only thing that Bing is actually useful for - the rest of it is garbage.

Re:Kinda funny (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46373235)

I use Bing for most of my searches -- I work for Microsoft.

But I use Google for porn. Just in case they're tracking me.

Re:Kinda funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46373281)

If they're still tracking you after what you've been browsing for, they MUST be into you... right?!

Re:Kinda funny (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46373305)

With all of the horrible changes Google has been making to its services, Bing is actually the better search engine now. I used to be able to find the most obscure shit easily with Google, but those days are gone. Now it returns results for loads of stuff I'm not looking for and automatically tries to "correct" any kind of advanced search terms.

Bing didn't become better than Google, Google became worse than Bing.

Re:Kinda funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46373311)

Well, that is the only thing that Bing is actually useful for

If you have to use Bing to find porn on the internet, you don't know how to internet.

Re:Kinda funny (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about 9 months ago | (#46373455)

So, um, how do you search for porn on bing exactly? Just enter "porn" into bing.com?

Re:Kinda funny (4, Funny)

funwithBSD (245349) | about 9 months ago | (#46373643)

Give me a bing, Vasili. One bing only, please.

Re:Kinda funny (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46373259)

I didn't believe all the hype about Bing. "Nothing can beat Google," I thought. But one day, I decided to give Bing a try. The result? Bing alerted me that my cancer could be cured with three simple steps, and sure enough, my cancer vanished by following those exact steps! Wow! Thanks, Bing! You saved my life! I'm not a rabid, frothing Binger and use Bing for all my searching needs!

Don't believe me? Bing it on, you worthless piece of human garbage! Wow! You Bingless hippies must live in caves! Get out of my sight; you're utterly worthless! [bingiton.com]

Re:Kinda funny (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46373215)

I remember when Bill Gates said that if software were being pirated, he would prefer that it was HIS software being pirated. He wanted to hook them now, so that he could charge them later.

I guess there aren't enough pirates being hooked, so now they have to give it away gratis.

What exactly makes you think this is a different strategy?

Re:Kinda funny (2)

flyneye (84093) | about 9 months ago | (#46373283)

Never trust a whore who says she doesnt want any money, what she means is; she wants MORE money - Wm. Burroughs
Gates didnt go to school for C.S., he went to law school...

Re:Kinda funny (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46373355)

Er, no, he didn't go to law school. He went to Harvard without picking a major and then dropped out. While there he published a paper on some relatively well-known problem in combinatorics, I believe, which certainly seems to suggest that he was not taking a typical "pre-law" undergrad course-load, either.

Re:Kinda funny (4, Insightful)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 9 months ago | (#46373405)

Oh, there are more then enough pirates today, simply because there was a period for last couple of years when it was so hard to get win7. It got pirated to heaven and back during this period. Take a look at TPB, you'll find 7 in all possible flavors you could ever desire.

Win8 on the other hand, I'd pay not to get with my new computer, which is what many today are doing by paying up to win8 pro license so they can upgrade the machine to windows 7.

So it makes sense to give basic 8 away for free. No one who can help it is buying it anyway.

Re:Kinda funny (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 9 months ago | (#46373665)

It wont auto update.

In this day and age it is not worth it if you do anything financial related without updated on a Windows system. It is wiser to stick with XP until April than to do just that.

Re:Kinda funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46373685)

What won't auto update?

Re:Kinda funny (-1, Troll)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 9 months ago | (#46373693)

What won't auto update?

Windows 7 has a signed boatloader unlike XP. The autokms hacks install their own loader. Windows update just changes the keys for the loader and viola now it is unregistered again etc.

So basically if you pirate Win 7 you have to turn off Windows update.

All the .dlls are signed and have a DRM trust relationship to make sure they are not tampered and this is all the way down to the bootloader which uses your OEM key with another another key to generate the third key to sign the loader and everything.

It is quite effective as it has not been broken yet.

Re:Kinda funny (4, Informative)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 9 months ago | (#46373713)

Strange how all those people pirating win 7 get their updates just fine according to the comment section of TPB on the most popular windows 7 torrent I just searched for to fact check this statement.

Could be they're all lying and it's a grand conspiracy. I'm going to go with more likely scenario - that pirate crowd have long cracked the protection and are enjoying their DRM free stuff as usual while the rest of us have to live with it.

Re:Kinda funny (1)

basecastula (2556196) | about 9 months ago | (#46373419)

A free version of windows would definitely help the nonprofit computer "repair" people out there. It sucks that in order for me to help people with reinstalls, one would have to use a paid copy of Windows or use a pirated/university iso. I mean , you can't just install linux as the ONLY OS for grandma and expect them to never call you back.

Burn XP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46373491)

Burn it!

Mod it!

Free IT from Bill!

Yea baby! Bring on the 'Suits.' :-D

Re:Kinda funny (1)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about 9 months ago | (#46373623)

I would agree because when Windows is the OS being pirated, having the scammers' machines filled with viruses and adware is sweet revenge.

Re:Kinda funny (4, Funny)

jd2112 (1535857) | about 9 months ago | (#46373723)

I remember when Bill Gates said that if software were being pirated, he would prefer that it was HIS software being pirated. He wanted to hook them now, so that he could charge them later.

I guess there aren't enough pirates being hooked, so now they have to give it away gratis.

I suspect that they will have trouble even giving Windows 8.x away.

Free as in... (4, Informative)

Danzigism (881294) | about 9 months ago | (#46373145)

beer?

Re:Free as in... (5, Funny)

PNutts (199112) | about 9 months ago | (#46373169)

beer?

No, free as in bend over.

Re:Free as in... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46373393)

Aye, most likely. Bend over for advertisers. Is there anything "free" in their Windows 8.x "store" that isn't Adware?

Now who is going to crack their ad service to send the "free" users a message? "Bend over, grab your ankles and click here for a free train ride!" "Congratulations! You how won the right to be the next poster child for Goatse!"

Captcha: shyness

Re:Free as in... (1)

steelfood (895457) | about 9 months ago | (#46373557)

Butt-chugged beer?

Re:Free as in... (-1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 9 months ago | (#46373659)

Yeah it is like saying I go to the local popular gay bar for free drinks!

When the bartender seems me I bend over in the stall near the hole with my ass up to it. But hey the drink afterwards is free?!

Re:Free as in... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46373607)

I never quite understood this phrase. Where is this free beer that you speak of?

Way to miss the point windows 7 users want a deskt (-1, Redundant)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 9 months ago | (#46373153)

Way to miss the point windows 7 users want a desktop with out all of the touch BS

It's an old method ... (4, Funny)

cold fjord (826450) | about 9 months ago | (#46373155)

The first hit is free.

What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46373163)

Usually there are a "FREE" version already (forget a moment the facts of licenses, is what says marketing) for development countries called Starter version. But nobody likes it since it only can open 2 apps at once.Very limited.

Oh well they can go the Android version and explode the use with ads all day, like happens in my Polaroid Android Tablet. I barely surf Internet with it since it hansg a lot downloading ads.

Re: What? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46373263)

Polaroid android tablet? Like the one for $60 at Big Lots? What were you expecting?

Is Win 8.1 that bad? (5, Insightful)

Advocatus Diaboli (1627651) | about 9 months ago | (#46373165)

Given the history of MS trying to squeeze every last cent out of their captive audience, a free version of Win 8.1 (even one bundled with bing') sounds like desperation.

Re:Is Win 8.1 that bad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46373193)

Given the history of MS trying to squeeze every last cent out of their captive audience, a free version of Win 8.1 (even one bundled with bing') sounds like desperation.

TFA: "Windows 8.1 with Bing," a version that will bundle key Microsoft apps and services.

Translation: You know how we're replacing code with "apps"? Standalone executables with bits of HTML/Javashit that phone home? We're gonna monetize the shit out of our users. And if they won't pay us, we'll put our adware into the OS.

Seriously, what was Metro/Live Tiles other than a poorly-rehashed version of the push technologies that were all abandoned in the '90s? Or Win95's "Active Desktop"? Or Vista's (so intrinsically insecure they had to be pulled from the OS completely) "gadgets"? Same crapplets, different day.

Re:Is Win 8.1 that bad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46373211)

and sitting here I thought seeing Mickey and Taz staring at me on my desktop after bootup was the worst thing to happen to Windows...

I heartily concur with your assessment. (4, Funny)

chilvence (1210312) | about 9 months ago | (#46373379)

Javascript "Apps" are the reason I just had to replace my perfectly serviceable 10 year old Athlon XP machine before it physically broke down from exhaustion. Every machine I have had before I have had the pleasure of using until it caught fire from overuse. The smell of burning capacitors is still fresh in my nostrils after all these years. Fuck Apps. Fuck them in the anus with a cactus. And for that matter, fuck my spell checker for insisting that it should be written as "JavaScript".

Re:Is Win 8.1 that bad? (2)

aliquis (678370) | about 9 months ago | (#46373217)

Considering you've always been able to get a Linux distribution for free ..

So.. where's my insightful rather than troll like this guy?

Re:Is Win 8.1 that bad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46373241)

I got a free version of Vista Ultimate at a MS booth at a trade show.

Re:Is Win 8.1 that bad? (3, Insightful)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 9 months ago | (#46373253)

YES!

Re:Is Win 8.1 that bad? (3, Interesting)

Tough Love (215404) | about 9 months ago | (#46373273)

And what if even the free version is a failure? Can't give it away...

Re:Is Win 8.1 that bad? (2)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | about 9 months ago | (#46373599)

a free version of Win 8.1 (even one bundled with bing') sounds like desperation

Doesn't resemble MS to give stuff for free. So until we see the real deal, stay cautious. It's likely the offer will be something like "Free, but...".

Why bother? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46373171)

You couldn't pay me to use Windows 8 (unless it was a lot of money), so why the fuck do you think I would want it for free with crapware installed on it?

T-minus Eight Days and Counting (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46373187)

Hey, Clock Monkey! Citizens Everywhere Will Damage Their Biological Rhythm for Society's Good; Will You Be One of Them? Jump, Boy, Jump!

We're getting computers upgraded at work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46373191)

Yes, it was time to move from XP. I *could* have had Windows 8, but hell no.

So... I could have gotten Win8 for free already ... and I wouldn't have it!

So nice of MS to contribute to ReactOS.. oh wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46373197)

Imagine if both Russia and China dedicated resources to ReactOS, then Microsoft could FOADIAF

Re:So nice of MS to contribute to ReactOS.. oh wai (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46373363)

Imagine if both Russia and China dedicated resources to nuclear weaponry, thenthe US could FOADIAF... literally. BOOM.

No but seriously given the current balance of power it's clear that the East are far less aggressive than the US ever was, and - for all their rhetoric - are more interested in production and trade.

Ugly Stuff (4, Insightful)

rtb61 (674572) | about 9 months ago | (#46373207)

Windows with Bing, super invasive, super troll advertising, super restrictions on what applications you can install and super restrictions on where you can source content. You just know M$ will go wildly over the top in that regard, so xbox in a computer with compulsory M$ bling 'er' bing. Except you have paid full price for the hardware and by taking free you are actually shifting ownership and control of that device from yourself to M$.

Re:Ugly Stuff (1, Informative)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 9 months ago | (#46373227)

... and Google is some sort of saint?

Re:Ugly Stuff (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 9 months ago | (#46373285)

Unfortunately in comparison even an advertising company like google is like some sort of saint.

Re:Ugly Stuff (2)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 9 months ago | (#46373289)

Shit?!

I prefer Windows on this one after Google due to it's creepiness ... but the GUI... cries.

Re:Ugly Stuff (3, Insightful)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 9 months ago | (#46373411)

I'd argue the opposite. Classic microsoft was "just pay us and we don't care what you do with it".

Contrasted with Google's "we'll data mine everything you ever do until we know that you're gay before you do" and apple's manic desire to control how their OS looks and interacts with the user, I'd argue that in this particular aspect, microsoft is (was?) definitely the best of those three consumer OS giants.

Re:Ugly Stuff (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46373691)

I'm sure Tim Cook would rather know you're gay than Google. Just sayin...because that's how Tim rolls y'know.

captcha: sexually

Re:Ugly Stuff (2)

hydrofix (1253498) | about 9 months ago | (#46373473)

I am just waiting for people to get hands on it, cripple all the Microsoft spyware/adware functions, crack the usage restrictions and publish it all on Internets as an application that you just install on your cost-free adware Windows. I mean, many people already use Windows only to run Win-only apps inside a virtual machine, so paying for the license feels like a total rip-off. This is excellent if Microsoft is rolling out a cost-free version, joke will be on them.

Just take the DRM out... (4, Interesting)

ArcadeNut (85398) | about 9 months ago | (#46373219)

Keep charging for Windows, but remove the Product Activation and "Genuine Advantage" crap. Then let the pirates go wild. People will Pirate it thinking they are getting something for Nothing, and those that still pay for Windows, will be gravy for you.

Re:Just take the DRM out... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 9 months ago | (#46373521)

Quite the opposite is likely. You'll probably get Windows for "free", but hand over pretty much anything including your shoe size in exchange.

Timeo MS et dona ferentes.

Re:Just take the DRM out... (4, Insightful)

funwithBSD (245349) | about 9 months ago | (#46373649)

If the service is free, then you are the "product".

Windows 8 isnt Terrible Enough? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46373223)

So, Windows 8 isn't bad enough? Now they want to make it worse by turning it into an ad supported monstrosity?

I'd be impressed with the level of idiocy if it wasn't so pathetic.

How about selling something consumers want? (4, Insightful)

JDG1980 (2438906) | about 9 months ago | (#46373229)

Funny, but I never remember hearing about Microsoft having to give away Windows XP or Windows 7. (Sure, there was stuff like educational licenses, but those were for specific and clear marketing purposes.) If Microsoft has to literally give away Windows 8 to get people to use it, isn't that a blatant admission of failure? Why do they feel the need to keep digging themselves deeper into this hole?

Re:How about selling something consumers want? (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 9 months ago | (#46373277)

.. but but Microsoft said they sold 200,000,000 copies and last year said IT IS AS SUCCESSFUL AS WINDOWS 7!?

How could this possible be??

Re:How about selling something consumers want? (4, Funny)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 9 months ago | (#46373421)

It was successful as windows 7. Not "as successful as..." Literally. People bought to 8's pro license and used it to install 7.

The word play is hilarious because it's true.

Re:How about selling something consumers want? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46373407)

First of all, pirates were and are taking Windows XP for free, to this day. They even resell to consumers who then make support calls to Microsoft and hit up Microsoft servers for updates, so they actually cost Microsoft money. If Microsoft can give something away for free so that pirating is a pointless non-issue, and they can make money off of it, that's a net gain.

But even beyond that, anybody still using XP today, even if they paid full price at the time they got it, is a lifetime net loss for Microsoft, between support calls and Windows Update support and all the rest of it. They got a bunch of money, then slowly gave it back in support costs. They need to sell new copies of Windows at a steady pace until the customer stops using Windows entirely in order for a customer to be a net benefit to them. You chart it out and you get a sharkfin wave, with a sharp rise on each license purchase, and then a curved slope toward the negative.

Compare Android. Google "has to literally give away Android to get people to use it", but it's not a failure. You keep using Android, and Google keeps making money. It's the opposite pattern. And though Android apps get pirated, Android itself doesn't really have that as a significant concern. The equivalent to piracy would be distributing something that doesn't allow Google to make money off of these Android devices -- some people try, most people don't bother because they don't care.

Microsoft wants that pattern. If they can get even one more popular release like XP and Windows 7 (and charging $0 might be a way to do that) and have this business model behind it, they're in a much better place and no longer have to really care if people upgrade devices.

Beyond all that, I expect this version will not be available to enterprises due to its license agreement, which comprise the vast majority of Windows revenues.

Re:How about selling something consumers want? (2)

hydrofix (1253498) | about 9 months ago | (#46373531)

What Google has going for them with Android is the ecosystem. I guess they make some proper money from their share of Play store purchases and in-app advertisement revenues. Thinking of it, I am pretty surprised Microsoft did not come up with this earlier. Their product is dying and they should be building a similar ecosystem like Google, not clinging to the past where people pay quadzillions for the platform software.

A way to wipe out Android? (0)

aNonnyMouseCowered (2693969) | about 9 months ago | (#46373231)

Given Microsoft's name recognition among the masses this has the potential to wipe out Android and other free beer operating systems or at least seriously reduce their footprint. Are there any anti-trust implications here, given that Google is doing the same with Android? This would probably have little to zero impact on Apple or the users of "fringe" Linux distros (read: non-Ubuntu).

Re:A way to wipe out Android? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46373261)

Bullshit.

Given Microsoft's inability to walk into a room without tripping over their dick, this is most likely to be a cosmic clusterfuck that gives the general public a very bad impression of free(beer) software.

Re:A way to wipe out Android? (2)

Virtucon (127420) | about 9 months ago | (#46373371)

I don't think they're dicks are that big.

Re:A way to wipe out Android? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46373729)

Funny story - during the talks to buy out the device division of Nokia the executives from Nokia heard a large man screaming and glass breaking. It turned out that Steve Ballmer had fallen face first into a glass coffee table and shattered it with his head.

Re:A way to wipe out Android? (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 9 months ago | (#46373347)

How would this hurt Google at all? It looks aimed at desktop and notebook users. I guess it could threaten Chrome book, but considering the massive footprint of Windows, I doubt it will have any impact. The consumers of this would be people who have PCs running older versions of Windows in the hops of enticing them into the Metro verse.

Re:A way to wipe out Android? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46373719)

It's amusing you think Android, or even Chrome, is threatened by this desperate move from Microsoft. This is yet another reaction by the pummeling their receiving daily from Google. Since they cannot innovate or pivot at the speed of Google they're forced to make these desperation moves.

Bing it on! (5, Funny)

Thraxy (1782662) | about 9 months ago | (#46373239)

Man it's like a dream come true. Windows 8 interface AND Bing! Maybe they can bundle it onto free software downloads, like they do with the Conduit/Bingbar browser hijack. Then we won't even have to download it ourselves. Man that's top notch service!

Re:Bing it on! (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 9 months ago | (#46373527)

Throw in a few of those lovely software bundles you get for FREE with every laptop and you're set for the ultimate collection of crapware. Hell, it could even be so bad that you can put it on display, calling it art.

Still Overpriced (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46373243)

FFFFFUK STEVE GATES

I could use it (2, Insightful)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 9 months ago | (#46373249)

If I had aero and the option to disable Metro or at least have it as a desktop where the desktop treats a metro app like any win32 app then ok.

I need Windows to run apps. Sorry slashdotters I really did try to live a linux only life. I need MS VS, MS expressions web, ventrillo, star wars the old republic, and yes sadly office as my resume won't be formatted correctly with any other package.

Windows 7 is old and aging and is not mobile friendly compared to Windows 8, iOS, and Android with its api's sucking battery life from apps utilizing win32. But I find hte disney colors of even the Windows 8 desktop madening!

I really did try Windows 8.1. I find it so damn ugly compared to Windows 7 where I have a sigh of relife. I thought I was old and afraid of change like those on neowin.net say we are.

I guess I can use it for occasional use like Windows Server 2012 where I setup it once and run just one app at a time and then go back to my desk and use MMC to do the real work.

But until I have my colors back and life (talking about Office 2013 too) it seems MS is extremist where they want all white, gray, and no color, and all minimalism = anti skuemorphism in that very strict interpretation.

Re:I could use it (2)

theManInTheYellowHat (451261) | about 9 months ago | (#46373389)

If your resume cannot be formated in anything other than MS Office, your resume might need some more work that formatting.

Re:I could use it (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 9 months ago | (#46373529)

If your resume cannot be formated in anything other than MS Office, your resume might need some more work that formatting.

Oddly. It was redone and it is improved over the older.

  The one I had written in 2003 would randomly change table margins when I add or select something. I mean freaking random where the only experience close is like designing a website in IE 6 where you do one thing and all the elements freak out and go apeshit.

So many lazy IT departments use Taleo and wont accept .pdf's as they use older versions where the MBAs who work their feel if it aint broke do not fix it. This means I need .docs and .docx still. UGH.

Word 2010 is much better but margins occasionally double space in random spots still in every other program but Word.

isn't Windows already free? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46373275)

I still have an installation of Windows 8.1 Preview. It was free. I just didn't bother to upgrade it to RTM. I still use it occasionally.

Funny Scenario (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46373313)

What if it's impossible to undo, and millions of non-technical people give 8.1 a try ("Gull darn it's free ain't it?") and then they all hate it, but there's no way to go back to what they had without wiping everything out ("All my games and pitchers is gone!") and then there's a flood of anti-Mirco$oft news articles and blog posts and facebook posts etc etc etc.?

Re:Funny Scenario (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46373403)

You left out the biggest...

and another anti-trust lawsuit...

It might work... (5, Insightful)

Virtucon (127420) | about 9 months ago | (#46373359)

Clearly a strategy to erode the Chrome book. With Google clamping down now within Chrome, it won't be too long before they have a hefty market share and lock in with their Chrome Web Store. Recent releases of chrome now deactivate extensions from third parties that don't come from their Web Store, so they're corralling ISVs into their BS Walled Garden strategy which is bad for Chrome but great for Google. I can see Microsoft wanting to play in that arena as well, Bing based browser with the Microsoft Store that still doesn't allow you delete your apps though.

Windows 8 .1(plus) for free? (1, Redundant)

sehlat (180760) | about 9 months ago | (#46373367)

Seriously overpriced.

but there is better stuff out there already free (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46373373)

But there is better stuff out there that is already free, and not just that but its also free from their marketing, free from their bloat, free from their viruses, free from their poor performance, and free from a direct line to the nsa.
Why would anyone bother?

As my granny would say: (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46373375)

"Can't even GIVE the shit away"

I have a better idea (2)

chilvence (1210312) | about 9 months ago | (#46373429)

I'm still waiting for the version where they fucking well pay me to use it. Do you have any idea what it is like to be rudely awakened from the earnestly and lovingly designed Acorn RISC OS?

It'll be short-lived (3, Interesting)

Torin Darkflight (851576) | about 9 months ago | (#46373431)

If Microsoft does indeed go through with a truly "free" version of Windows, I anticipate that it won't be long until they panic and decide to kill it because "it's diluting their profits from Windows". That's what happened to the free (and admittedly quite limited) version of Office 2010 they put out. As restricted as Office Starter was compared to the retail version, it was still "good enough" for many people, myself included. This supposedly began eroding their profits for Office. By the time Office 2013 came around, they had decided that they didn't like the idea of having a free version of a flagship product eating into potential sales, so they axed it. I imagine a free version of Windows would meet the same short-lived fate. Yes, I agree with the general consensus that Windows 8.x is terrible compared to 7 or even Vista. BUT, just like with Office Starter, there will be many people for which a free version of Windows, restrictions and all, is "good enough" for them. This will eat into their sales of Windows even further (If that's even possible at this point considering the failure that is Windows 8), and they'll panic and decide to axe it to forcefully regain their flow of income.

With all that said, I will admit I'm curious to see how this plays out re: their method of releasing a free version of Windows. With Office Starter, it was (officially) only available pre-installed on new computers and (technically) could not be downloaded. If they release free Windows as a downloadable ISO, that might garner a little more adoption, but not much considering Win8's reputation. But, if they go the same route they took with Office Starter and make it only available on new computers, then really the only benefit would be a lower-priced PC, albeit with the added cost of having to deal with ads. Kinda like what Amazon has done with certain models of the Kindle.

Re:It'll be short-lived (1)

funwithBSD (245349) | about 9 months ago | (#46373679)

8.1 was really just too big to call it a service patch, but that was what it was.... and those should be free.

microlost does not own your hardware (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46373443)

I wouldn't put any microlost operating system on a computer that wants to take ownership of your hardware.

Re:microlost does not own your hardware (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46373461)

Do you know what an operating system is? It operates your hardware.

Re:microlost does not own your hardware (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46373733)

MS does try to take over your hardware, look at the problems XP had, like if you put a scratched cd in a drive it would cripple the drive. Or signed driver hell for unsupported or older hardware, which is still a problem today. Linux doesn't do that crap, it just works.

Free 8.1? (3, Interesting)

no-body (127863) | about 9 months ago | (#46373447)

update on top of W8 that is..

Experience so far:

Acrobat reader crashes reliably
Essential VPN in VMware images no longer works.

Consequence:
Restore W 8 from backup

Cost? Lots of time lost on this BS!

Maybe they need to give it away for free so people are less upset if they get burnt - you get what you pay for and get sucked on with ads and/or giving up your privacy.

Ah - and this BING desktop or whatever it is was never installed.

Re:Free 8.1? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46373515)

I didn't update to 8.1 because I never realized how much I hated the Start Button until I installed Win8. Eight is great, and I'm sticking with it.

IE compatabilty (1)

AndyCanfield (700565) | about 9 months ago | (#46373449)

I do in-house web sites for a living. We do NOT support Internet Explorer. Why not? Because we can't affort to install virtual computers running legal versions of Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 6 (?), Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 9. We just tell our people to use Firefox; it's availlable for free for anything.

Giving away copies for compatability testing would be a great idea.

(Neither can we affort a back room full of old MAC's, but I can test Safari on Windows XP and haven't run in to any problem yet.)

Re:IE compatabilty (2, Informative)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 9 months ago | (#46373579)

Guess I will have to hire someone else then.

It is not like there are free VM's to use [modern.ie] nor are there free virtualizers available [virtualbox.org] .

To say no to the world's most popular browser and letting your customers give a leg up to the competition whose site works just fine for their customers is inexcusably. It is not like IE 9+ is not standards compliant or anything.

I see many who claim NO IE EVER!!! .. also make websites that only work with -webkit CSS extensions and viewed best with Chrome, yet bash IE 6?!

Bill Gates stepped down for a Reason. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46373453)

He made it easy for all(DOOM), Trying to program whims is impossible.

Regards,
          Linux

There's no such thing as free with Microsoft (3, Insightful)

oscrivellodds (1124383) | about 9 months ago | (#46373487)

The real cost of a Microsoft OS is the hours you'll spend waiting for reboots due to "updates" and just trying to keep it running.

My time is worth more than that.

Tie a pork chop around it (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 9 months ago | (#46373553)

Maybe then at least dogs will play with it.

The Inferior Windows Hook (3, Insightful)

ikhider (2837593) | about 9 months ago | (#46373625)

Windows has multiple versions of their OS, from low-end, to 'pro', to 'ultimate'. Windows deliberately makes lesser versions inferior in the hope users will pay for a better version. It is a pity they do not bother to make and offer the best version. One of the many reasons proprietary OS' must be done away with.

Basically add-supported Windows 8? (1)

Chas (5144) | about 9 months ago | (#46373627)

Jesus H. Fuck! Just when I thought Windows 8 was as low as they could go!

There's no way, no how, no possible scenario where I'd opt for something like this. Even if the only other choice was "no computer".

Costs (2)

Waccoon (1186667) | about 9 months ago | (#46373651)

Time to start making money on things other than Windows and Office.

A Free copy of Windows is still way too expensive. (1)

idommp (134503) | about 9 months ago | (#46373677)

If Microsoft wants me to ever run anything windows on any of my computers EVER again they will have to pay for the priviledge. I had no choice but to deal with their monopoly for twenty years when I was employed but, now that I'm retired, I don't have to put up with them anymore. I'll build my next computer from discrete transistors if I have to before I buy another machine pre-installed with windows and all the OEM bloatware that comes with them these days.

Drug dealer business model (3, Funny)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about 9 months ago | (#46373697)

To bad it only works when your selling a drug people actually want. This one gives you a *reeeally* bad trip.

The Windows I want.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46373731)

Is 10,000,000 times not, not, never ever Windows 8, in any guise, form or fashion.

Give me XP or 7 - but NO "key", no nonsense. It installs and shuts up. It can be put in a VM and never smell a network (and not commit suicide after 30 or 120 days).

Hello Bill? ..or Steve Chair-chuck Ballmer, ... or Natella new-guy? Hello, anybody home?
I will even give $100 for a DVD with such a version. I have $0 (zero) for a key-riddled version.

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