Digitimes Research said manufacturers will be offered Windows 8.1 with Bing with a tentative release date of February next year.
Microsoft has the problem that people who already produce notebooks running the Windows 8.1 operating system can’t compete with tablets at retail prices of $250 or lower. So it is aiming to mollify its partners by limiting the cheap version to notebooks with screen sizes 14-inches and below.
That’s unlikely to mollify manufacturers of notebooks – their margins are already cut to the bone.
Microsoft has been pursuing this strategy since the Computex show in June last year, but so far there hasn’t been much sign of progress. It is worried about Google with its Chromebook device but Microsoft’s core revenues depend on fat Windows licensing fees.