Microsoft is testing a free version of Windows 8.1 which has been paired with its Bing search engine, according to news reports.
The software, dubbed ‘Windows with Bing,’ apparently, is much like standard Windows programming, but with search built-in, ZDNet reported.
Screenshots of the new SKU went public this week thanks to Russian leaker Wzor — but the leak is a suspected marketing ploy by the Redmond software giant.
Sources told ZDNet there is little difference between the current Windows 8.1 and the upcoming version.
“It may be a kind of placeholder for the future when consumer operating systems are, basically, free,” the report said.
It is unclear if Microsoft will offer a free copy of the software for new Windows users, or a free update for existing users.
A Microsoft has declined to comment on the reports thus far.