The key for Microsoft right now is to sustain profitability and OS growth. OS growth is far more important, though, because once the company has a large enough user base, there are many ways to monetize this audience.
The current, combined market share of Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 is a mere 10.5 percent right now. Given these numbers, it is no wonder that Microsoft may resort to drastic actions to help grow the new OS. A free copy of Windows 8 can be a very enticing offer for many. The OS regularly costs $100 and offering it for free will at least bring in a lot of new headlines and installs for Microsoft.
The question is, what will Microsoft gain by handing out its product for free? The answer lies in a screenshot which reportedly shows a free version of Windows 8.1. On an installation screen, it reads ‘Windows 8.1 with Bing.’
In other words, the said copy apparently comes with Bing as a the default search engine and Bing’s other functionality well integrated into the OS. Microsoft can offer similar other forms of Windows 8 and 8.1, offering the copy for free and then monetizing later on the user who signs up by pushing ads and such to his screen. The company will have to adopt to this model because the trend of paying significant chunks of money for a new OS is dying already.
Courtesy: Digital Trends