WHAT DO YOU DO if you have an operating system that nobody likes? If you're Microsoft, it looks like you bundle it with a search engine that nobody wants to use either.
After failing to capture the imagination of the public, Microsoft is looking to a free version of its latest unloved PC operating system (OS) to try to lure back customers.
If rumours are true, Windows 8.1 with Bing will be a free OS designed to compete with Google's Chrome OS.
Leaked builds of this experimental stripped down version of Windows 8.1 have begun to leak online from established leaker Wzor, but as yet there is no confirmation of the project's existence.
Windows 8.1 with Bing (WEPOWB) would be a free or low cost upgrade designed to attract users away from the still dominant Windows 7 release, which has 46.7 percent market share.
Microsoft is still holding onto most of the PC market, but it has failed to capitalise on that success in newer devices such as tablets and smartphones. It is therefore seeking to revise its business model as the last major operating system vendor to charge a licence fee for its product.
As well as upgrading existing devices, WEPOWB might be offered for free or at a discount to computer makers to create a range of Bingbooks, which is exactly as ghastly as it sounds.
As Microsoft prepares to release a major update to Windows 8.1 in the hope of bringing doubters around, the firm also seems to be embracing the idea that for both desktop and mobile, it might be time to start disrupting their paradigms, and perhaps that means forking the operating system. µ