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back to article Bing's the thing in Microsoft's push for cheap Windows devices

Microsoft and its hardware partners are gearing up to push out a new wave of low-cost Windows devices, thanks to a new edition of Windows 8.1 that will be available to OEMs at a lower cost – or even for free. Redmond marketer Brandon LeBlanc announced the new version, dubbed "Windows 8.1 with Bing," in a blog post on Friday. But …

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Anonymous Coward

Everybody wins here. Cheaper Windows, and if you don't like Bing just change the search engine in IE.

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Who sucks more

Bing or yahoo

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Re: Who sucks more

Doesn't yahoo use bing now?

The people this will suck for however are local stores and techs.

Imagine the waves after waves of "I had office with this when I got it and now it says I have to pay for it! I want my money back!"

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Anonymous Coward

Assuming you don't use IE, just carry on as normal.

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Anonymous Coward

Can it be changed? I wouldn't be surprised if the cheap Windows has some kind of search engine lock...

Not that it matters. Windows 8/WP/Surface problem isn't the price, it's that the world has moved on, and we don't need no stinkin Microsoft anymore.

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Re: Who sucks more

Given how good Bing actually is for searching porn.... I'd say Bing sucks more lol....

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Can it be changed? Just download Google from tbe Windows App Store. Alternatively, just type DuckDuckGo in the address bar, if you find the commercial suppliers a bit intrusive.

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"can it be changed?"

Reading the article provides the answer. Yes, of course it can be changed... by the owner of the PC.

This isn't the same as the old IE lockin that got MS into trouble: OEMs have a choice, and can buy their way out of the default for a small fee.. in the 1990s there was no way to buy Windows from MS without also having IE as default browser (just as today you can't pay Google more for Android and gain the right to replace Google's maps, calendar, music or search services).

Or, to put it a different way, Windows is still the same price as it was for OEMs, but now MS give a big discount if you make Bing the default. If, as an OEM, you've already got a deal with Google to preinstall Chrome, this doesn't affect you.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Who sucks more

Yahoo (the entire portal ecosystem, not just the search engine) is getting suckier with every passing day. Marissa Mayer had royally screwed up Yahoo Mail since the start of her reign. Listen up, woman, emails are emails, not 'conversations'. If we wanted the Gmail experience we would have used Gmail, not its clone.

Google, despite its imperfections, is still miles ahead of Bing. You know you're desperate when you give users daily rewards for using the search engine (Bing medals).

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Headmaster

Microsoft, Bing, Windows 8.1

Is this a competition to stick the most synonyms for "shit" you can in the same sentence?

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Re: Microsoft, Bing, Windows 8.1

Bob, you should consider doing some kind of charity work. Channel all that energy you expend hating Microsoft, and use it for good...

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Devil

Re: Microsoft, Bing, Windows 8.1

Having distaste for Microsoft takes no energy- it's a natural ground state.

Using their products however...

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Re: Microsoft, Bing, Windows 8.1

It's not like he'd spend the time he takes complaining about Microsoft to make an open source project better

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Facepalm

Re: Microsoft, Bing, Windows 8.1

@Blarkon Like this one?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Microsoft, Bing, Windows 8.1

@Bob Vistakin - I think you forget that MS is one of the largest contributors to Linux. Also, given that the F/OSS world seems to be inept, MS is stepping in to help them fix their SSL security issues.

Whatever misinformation causes people to choose Linux, MS is there to help them recover when they do.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Microsoft, Bing, Windows 8.1

"Whatever misinformation causes people to choose Linux, MS is there to help them recover when they do"

Whenever misinformation is spread about Linux, MS is there - fixed

.

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Re: Microsoft, Bing, Windows 8.1

> @Bob Vistakin - I think you forget that MS is one of the largest contributors to Linux.

@The Vogan/AC: you really should try to keep more up to date rather than cherry picking obsolete information. Microsoft _did_ 'contribute' to Linux a couple of years ago. Your 'is' is entirely misinformation. The 'contribution' was entirely out of self-interest.

"""After making headlines with its unexpectedly voluminous contributions to the Linux kernel in 2012, Microsoft has all but disappeared from the Linux development scene, according the latest report from the Linux Foundation."""

"""Redmond's contributions logged in the 2012 report were almost entirely devoted to adding support for Microsoft technologies to the Linux kernel. Specifically, Microsoft maintains the kernel drivers for its Hyper-V virtualization hypervisor"""

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/09/16/linux_foundation_kernel_report_2013/

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Facepalm

Re: Microsoft, Bing, Windows 8.1

Microsoft makes a -$5 dollar contribution to every Android handset sold in extortion fees - does that count?

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Shame it won't be popular in China (something about security issues - don't know what they mean at all really) Win8 that is.

Along with chip security (chips with undeclared access stuff)

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Anonymous Coward

"something about security issues "

The security issue is that it is so secure, they can't easily pirate it like they did Windows XP.

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Probably locked!

You only have one choice. Bing (Bong?) or nothing at all. Now how can I repurpose the device to have some other operating system, and a proper search engine.

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Windows 8.1

Now with even more shite!

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Anti-trust?

Surely offering cross-tied discounting is sailing pretty close to the wind for being prosecuted for anti-trust?

I wonder whether OEMs will fall for it? A conmputer slathered with bing is surely less appealing than one that is Google ready - even if the punters can switch to Google.

Chances are though there is some very hard (for Joe Average) to defeat nannyware that keeps you pointed ant bing.

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Re: Anti-trust?

Antitrust oversight is over now so MS can get back to business as usual without all that pesky business of the government looking over their shoulder. It will likely take years before their behaviour lands them in court again so they've got time to really screw the market over again like they did in the 90's if we let them. Of course, the world is a very different place today as there are far more options for internet access than just a PC so they don't really have the same hitting power they did back then. Still, best to be safe and not buy any of their stuff just in case.

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Re: Anti-trust?

No anti-trust issue... MS still offer the licence with full customisation, but at the old, higher price. This lets OEMs who are already receiving incentives from Google for installing Chrome or making Google the default search, to continue to do so.

Anti-trust only applies if OEMs are given no reasonable alternative option, as happened in the 1990s with IE ... it was either "take Windows plus IE, or you can't have it at all, at any price".

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Re: Anti-trust?

If you view the search bar as a plugin, then this is no different to what many other software companies do and is why new PCs come with so much 'bloatware'. I've seen PCs with all manner of toolbars (and other software) installed, for which OEMs get an incentive.

What is the difference, really?

OEMs subsidise the cost of PCs by installing software in return for a financial incentive from the vendor.

Given the standard price of Win 8.1 is $50 for the OEM and this proposal has it (in places) discounted to $15, it is rather more generous an incentive than, say, AV companies who are estimated to pay $5-10 per PC. But that is only a measure of degrees - if anyone can point out how this proposal is materially different from what already happens then I'd welcome the information.

I have no particular love for MS and certainly no love for the shovelware all new PCs are pre-loaded with but that is a general gripe.

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Re: Anti-trust?

I think that is right. I was an avid microsoft user then.

I used to set aside a day a year to clean all the cruft out of my MS box.

back then apple was flaky, linux desktop was only for the dedicated, and tablets and phones were dumb bricks.

Microsoft execs seem to exist in a parallel universe where they think the world owes them a living.

They are destroying their business by reaming all their commercial customers who will jump to OS/ cloud asap and their Office business by being late to the cloud and then overcharging.

They don't seem to get it that google doc and dropbox have changed the game

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Re: Anti-trust?

There is effectively no longer any such thing in the US anymore. Nor most any other protections for the average person against big business scams.

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Zero cost Win 8

Bit over-priced?

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How would you like to pay for your meal Sir?

You can:

- Give us money?

- Have it bundled with the "seating fee"?

- Watch a "sponsors message" every time you pick up your fork?

Or would Sir prefer yesterday's free leftovers??

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Re: How would you like to pay for your meal Sir?

>Or would Sir prefer yesterday's free leftovers??

It's Win 8.1, so the actual answer is that MS plants an aggressive knee in your groin every time you try to send an email or do a web search, while laughing manically like that bloke with the axe in The Shining.

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So where are the Whiteknighting MicroSoft Shister-Team

Fighting for our rights making sure that the honest little man on the Street has the right to chose his... Or her preferred search engines? I mean after all why is it so "evil" when Google do this, but conversely its business as usual when they do it themselves?

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Re: So where are the Whiteknighting MicroSoft Shister-Team

If you read the article... the user can change it any time they want. They can also install any other browser they want. This new offer applies to OEMs, and is limited to configuration of the preloaded software, not to what the user can or cannot do.

If you actually want to know the difference between this and OEM complaints about Android, tell me how one can manufacture an Android phone with Play Store and gMaps, but using alternative search engine... even if I, as am OEM, are willing to compensate/pay Google for the privilege...

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Re: So where are the Whiteknighting MicroSoft Shister-Team

If you actually want to know the difference between this and OEM complaints about Android, tell me how one can manufacture an Android phone with Play Store and gMaps, but using alternative search engine... even if I, as am OEM, are willing to compensate/pay Google for the privilege...

So your position is that Google Play Store and Google Maps are right as rain, but Google Search is somehow the devil? Play Store and Google Maps are not part of Android, they're part of Google Services. They are in no way required in order to have a functioning Android-based system. Tying them to your OEM Android requirement would be like tying MS Office to the OEM Windows requirement.

Dropping this specious condition, look no further than Amazon for a non-Google OEM implementation of Android. For phones, look no further than Nokia. For non-OEM, look at CyanogenMod.

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Re: So where are the Whiteknighting MicroSoft Shister-Team

If you read the article... the user can change it any time they want. They can also install any other browser they want. This new offer applies to OEMs, and is limited to configuration of the preloaded software, not to what the user can or cannot do.

If you actually want to know the difference between this and OEM complaints about Android, tell me how one can manufacture an Android phone with Play Store and gMaps, but using alternative search engine... even if I, as am OEM, are willing to compensate/pay Google for the privilege...

I'm also sure that if you read this Article you'll find that this latest sueball was also for the OEMs.

So again why is it evil for Google to do this, while no one bats so much as an eye at MicroSoft or Apple when they're engaging in the same practice? Besides Google Search is tied into the GAPPs Products. NOT TO ANDROID!

You want Android but, without Google get a Kindle! Your Phablet is no longer being maintained by your OEM, cause its Two plus Years old? Install Cyanogenmod, or OmniROM. Again these ROMs can NOT legally ship with GAPPs. Presumably due to copyright, and must be installed by the user manually.

So I for one fail to see the BIG DIFFERENCE here....

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Re: So where are the Whiteknighting MicroSoft Shister-Team

The difference is simple.. it is possible, as an OEM, to buy Windows from MS, and use either their default search engine, or Google, or whatever you want. Microsoft offer a financial incentive if you use Bing, but they do not use their ownership of Windows to prevent you, as an OEM, swapping out their services in your installs. (And in every case, the customer can always undo your choice, and use their own preference)

Contrast Android. Android, as customers understand it, is actually two things: the free-source OS, Android, and a proprietary application suite, gApps. The gApps package is a set of services, that are largely independent of each other. One, the Play Store, is what makes Android interesting to users (there are alternative mapping, mail, search, music and calendar systems which are ä good or better than Google's, but only an idiot would claim that any other app store has the catalogue of Play's). However, Google offer these services as an all or nothing bundle. You cannot negotiate with Google on this, they will not licence these applications individually, for any amount of money. Why not? Because the current situation is beneficial to them, because it blocks competing services from "Android". Customers cannot easily replace the services either, meaning that what's installed in the device in the factory is what stays on the device.

The argument that it's Google's software, and they can do what they want with is invalid; Windows and IE were Microsoft's software to do what they wanted with too, but their actions with bundling these together in the 1990s were still illegal. Abusing a market advantage in one service (in this case, application distribution), to block competition in an unrelated one, such as search, is the problem.

"use Cyanogen" is not a viable alternative for the vast majority of people who buy Android devices. You don't get a 70%+ market share if all your customers are nerds and tinkerers.

That case you linked to is about search, not the Store (where I believe the real anti trust issue lies), and it will probably fail, because the US is the only market where Bing, via iOS, has high enough share for Google to not have a monopoly on mobile search...

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Re: So where are the Whiteknighting MicroSoft Shister-Team

Contrast Android. Android, as customers understand it, is actually two things: the free-source OS, Android, and a proprietary application suite, gApps. The gApps package is a set of services, that are largely independent of each other. One, the Play Store, is what makes Android interesting to users (there are alternative mapping, mail, search, music and calendar systems which are ä good or better than Google's, but only an idiot would claim that any other app store has the catalogue of Play's). However, Google offer these services as an all or nothing bundle. You cannot negotiate with Google on this, they will not licence these applications individually, for any amount of money. Why not? Because the current situation is beneficial to them, because it blocks competing services from "Android". Customers cannot easily replace the services either, meaning that what's installed in the device in the factory is what stays on the device.

Name me just One decent competing Product to match say.... Google Maps that One might use as a native App! this very instant. Chances are you probably can't. 'causes they're aren't any good enough to match it.

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Re: So where are the Whiteknighting MicroSoft Shister-Team

As you've shifted the argument onto whether or not Google Maps has competition, can I assume that you see the difference in the licencing models now?

HERE is the largest competitor, but there's also a selection of native TomTom or OpenStreetMap-based navigation apps on Android for navigation. Offline navigation and offline mapping is a major weakness of gMaps when travelling - for me, it outweighs any other advantages, as it makes the product useless in the one place I most need maps. I still wouldn't trade my HERE/Nokia maps on my old Symbian phone for any version of Google Maps.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: So where are the Whiteknighting MicroSoft Shister-Team

+1 - Nokia (Windows Phone) maps are way better than those from Google.

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Re: So where are the Whiteknighting MicroSoft Shister-Team

As you've shifted the argument onto whether or not Google Maps has competition, can I assume that you see the difference in the licencing models now?

HERE (Formally known as Navigon), is hardly a "Competing Product" Their stuff is neither Free, nor able to run as a native App. Save perhaps as part of Navigon Navigator. Which is leagues ahead over Google Maps... So I take it you've failed the Test.

Better luck next time...

Come back again when I'm able to run Bing Maps... Or Yahoo Maps on my Phablet. AS A NATIVE APP!, and not though the Web Browser. Then we'll talk again.

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Re: So where are the Whiteknighting MicroSoft Shister-Team

+1 - Nokia (Windows Phone) maps are way better than those from Google.

If and, when MicroSoft blesses both Apple and, Google with its Nokia goodness.... It doesn't mean jack shi-- There are plenty of critical points I look for in a Phablet. RAM, Screen density, 3G/LT, The OS that makes something like Google Maps, or Nokia Maps quite trivial at best. I really couldn't give a toss how good Nokia Maps purports to be. I'll never touch that has anything been infected Infection Exploiter, and worse still TIFKAM.

MicroSoft need more encouragement to sh--can that Fail, not keep it going. Both Apple, and Google can make a decent GUI. Why they seem unable to is a mystery?

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Re: So where are the Whiteknighting MicroSoft Shister-Team

Michael, there is a native HERE app for Android, but only on Nokia's AOSP-based products..

http://360.here.com/2014/02/24/navigation-for-more-people-here-maps-for-nokia-x

Free at point of use would be possible if an OEM were allowed to buy navigation from Nokia, owner of HERE (even after the sale of their phones business to Microsoft, the navigation business remains part of Nokia). The OEM would pay Nokia, licence the mapping solution, and they would then be able to sell an Android phone with full offline navigation to gain a competitive advantage over other Android OEMs. The additional sales revenue would cover the cost of purchase; for users, the service would be "free".

That they cannot do this is precisely my point: Google's current all or nothing licencing for Android apps prohibits OEMs from competing with Google.

HERE has never been Navigon. HERE was formerly called Navteq, who along with the TeleAtlas supply cartographic data and mapping software for virtually all embedded GPS and navigation products, including those made by Navigon.

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Re: So where are the Whiteknighting MicroSoft Shister-Team

Google Maps.... Free

HERE: Owned by Navigon - Garmin used as you say by other third parties -- NOT FREE.

I think you can only expect Google Maps to only do so much. For what's worth I doubt I'd use Google Maps as a primary Navigation App myself. When I too have Navigon Navigator on my Device(s) But I for One would never try comparing them in the same breath. As they are totally different Products doing different Jobs.

If anything Google Maps, as it is is somewhat useful for getting 'round on foot inside the City. But for Auto travel of any difference it has to be Navigon.

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Re: So where are the Whiteknighting MicroSoft Shister-Team

"That they cannot do this is precisely my point: Google's current all or nothing licencing for Android apps prohibits OEMs from competing with Google."

Not true at all.

A friend has a Samsung phone from Bell Canada. For a lot of functions they have one Google app, one Samsung app, and a Bell app. They all do the same thing, you can't uninstall any of them without root. So OEMs and ISPs can compete. Most of that stuff is crap, it's why I bought a Nexus 4.

Unless you mean to say can't remove the google app and install some crap app that no one would use given a choice, but it gives the OEM a kickback.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: So where are the Whiteknighting MicroSoft Shister-Team

"If and, when MicroSoft blesses both Apple and, Google with its Nokia goodness.... It doesn't mean jack shi-- "

Obviously you don't know what you are talking about. Nokia own Nokia Maps (HERE) not Microsoft.

"Both Apple, and Google can make a decent GUI. Why they seem unable to is a mystery?"

Microsoft have by far the best touch and gesture controlled GUI on the market at the moment. Hence why Apple partly copied it in IOS 7 and are rumoured to be doing more of the same in IOS 8....

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Re: So where are the Whiteknighting MicroSoft Shister-Team

> That they cannot do this is precisely my point: Google's current all or nothing licencing for Android apps prohibits OEMs from competing with Google.

That is completely untrue. For example Amazon competes with Google even though it uses Android (though it cannot use that name). Nokia/Microsoft also competes with Android-X. While Google does license its services on an 'all or nothing' basis, that does not prevent Android code being used to compete, nor does it prevent OEMs _adding_ additional services.

There is nothing to prevent an Android phone from having Google services _and_ HERE. Granted, the Google apps are to be more prominent and HERE would make the device more expensive.

It just makes more commercial sense to let the user get the app himself and pay for it separately should they require it because otherwise the additional cost would deter others who do not require it.

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Re: So where are the Whiteknighting MicroSoft Shister-Team

Simple question: How can an Android OEM change the default search provider or default mapping solution? "Default", meaning the one that opens when you're sent an address in a mail, and choose to search for it.

I know it's possible to do this when you don't use the Play Store, so can someone explain the technical reasons why the Play store cannot coexist with a non-Google search or navigation system?

I fully understand why IE was not a requirement for the proper operation of Windows, and why Microsoft's claims to the contrary were lies. I'd just like to know why the same lie is not a lie when Google tells it.

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Re: So where are the Whiteknighting MicroSoft Shister-Team

> If and, when MicroSoft blesses both Apple and, Google with its Nokia goodness.... It doesn't mean jack shi--

Microsoft do not own HERE mapping services - those remain a part of Nokia. Please try fact-checking before spitting ill-informed froth all over the forums.

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