Microsoft is reportedly making some changes in how Windows 8.1 with Bing is used by PC OEMs. The changes would restrict the operating system to devices with 14-inch screens or less.
Microsoft first announced Windows 8.1 with Bing in 2014, which is almost completely the same version of the OS that the company sells to OEMs as well as the general public. The only difference is that Bing is set as the default search engine for Windows 8.1, along with MSN.com as the default website. Owners of devices that have Windows 8.1 with Bing installed are free to change the default once they buy and activate their new device. The OS is sold at a much lower cost to OEMs, and in some cases is completely free for them.
The Register reports that in the UK, 115,000 notebooks running Windows 8.1 with Bing were sold in the fourth quarter of 2014, but that 94,000 of them were 15.6-inch devices. It would appear that Microsoft now wants to boost Windows revenues by making OEMs use the non-Bing version of Windows 8.1 on those popular notebooks, which costs much more to license.
The report says:
Senior sources at PC makers told us Microsoft is restricting use to 14-inch screen sizes and below, with a slight price rise in the low percentage point range for the remaining licences. "Microsoft realised it over-egged the response to Google and is limiting the licences," said one source.
Microsoft has yet to confirm this report, so this is just a rumor for now.