Will we see a Windows 8.1 free download coming soon via Windows Update? Some experts seem to think so, but why would Microsoft give away their operating system?
In a related report by The Inquisitr, one easy Windows 8.1 upgrade that everyone wants is a start menu button. Fortunately, third party apps make it easy to bring back the Windows 7 user interface within minutes.
When Windows 8 first came out Microsoft knew the newest version of their operating system was quite a big departure from previous iterations. So in order to entice hesitant Windows 7 users they offered a limited time deal to upgrade to Windows 8 for an extremely cheap price.
But nowadays people are increasingly purchasing tablets as desktop replacements and most of them run Android or iOS, not Windows 8.1. Microsoft has tried to break into this market but with limited success. Meanwhile, the threat from Chromebooks must be making Microsoft sweat just a little. Even a rumored iPad Pro has Apple poised to take on Windows 8.1 for the business crowd.
So how will Microsoft make Windows 8.1 free? Reports say it may be marketed to people still sticking with Windows 7, although it’s possible they may choose to give special deals for devices in the sub-$250 price range. There’s also talk of a free version of Windows phone.
Still, that doesn’t answer why Microsoft would give away a Windows 8.1 free download. It’s possible they may be contemplating the business model of Google, which gives away the Android OS for free as a loss leader but then makes all their money on the back end by taking a percentage of all sales through the Google Play Store. Thus, it’s possible Microsoft wants to ensure its market share and instead focus on monetizing services like Bing, OneDrive and Xbox Music in addition to the Microsoft Windows apps store.