Redmond-Microsoft (MSFT: NASDAQ) has announced a minor update to its operating system Windows 8.1. The update, called “Windows 8.1 with Bing”, will come pre installed on future mobile devices that are partnered with Microsoft and will turn the default search engine in Internet Explorer to Bing. Although Bing will now become the default tool for searching, users will still have the option to change Bing to a different search engine. Bing, also made by Microsoft, is currently the 26th most visited site daily according to ranking website Alexa.com. The announcement from the Microsoft blog also mentions that 8.1 will cost nothing for hardware manufactures. This will allow hardware partners to lower the build cost and release less expensive phones and tablets that are under 9-inches. Senior Marketing Communications Manager Brandon LeBlanc also mentions
“The end result is that more people—across consumer and commercial—will have access to an even broader selection of new devices with all the awesomeness that Windows 8.1 provides, and get Office too, all at a really affordable price. Additionally, as reach expands, the opportunity for developers and their apps also increases.”
LeBlanc and Microsoft are hoping that cheaper phones built with a free operating system will equal to more Windows phones in consumer hands. App developers typically build for iOS and Android before Windows 8.1 and Microsoft is hoping to leap from those operating systems by getting into the hands of people wanting a cheaper phone. Microsoft partners are expected to release new phones in coming weeks prior to the Computex conference in Taipei, Taiwan. Microsoft is moving towards a “mobile focused” trend with recent moves like the purchase of Nokia and the Windows 8 OS design update. What could be next is an answer to the recently announced Moto E, the Motorola phone with Android that is priced for only $129.00 with no contract. As hardware developers move forward, the next frontier is not targeted for the average consumer in the United States or in Europe, but for developing countries to gain knowledge and communicate easier.