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This year’s Build 2014 has proved to be rich in events until now, as we’ve seen the new Windows 8.1 Update, a glimpse at the upcoming Office Touch apps for Windows 8 and new daily download numbers for Windows and Windows Phone Stores.
At the moment, it is not quite clear what exactly the new Windows version is and how does it look like, nor how does it perform, but we know that Microsoft is targeting Internet of Things devices. Yesterday, a new Windows on Devices website has been spotted, but has been immediately pulled down by Microsoft and now at the Build 2014 event we’re hearing some interesting news – Windows will be free on 9” and smaller tablets, smartphones and also on IoT devices.
Microsoft said that it will make Windows free of charge for phones and tablets with screens smaller than nine inches, but at the moment there’s a slight confusion. Because, if we will have a look at the above screenshot, we can see that “Windows for IoT” is equal “Windows available for $0”, which means that Microsoft won’t be offering Windows 8.1 or Windows Phone 8.1 to OEMs, but actually a modified version, which will also be suited for Internet of Things devices and other wearable gadgetry. Of course, it can be the other way around, so just ignore my assertion.
Microsoft VP Terry Myerson, who announced this, didn’t mention which Windows version are we talking about -but most likely, it’s going to be a slightly modified version of Windows 8 so that it can run on smartphones and tablets, as well. Or, perhaps, Microsoft could call it “Windows on Devices” according to the name of the “leaked” website. So, most likely, we’re not talking about Windows 8 per se, but we’ll have more details once the website gets reinstated once again.
Nonetheless, this change should boost Microsoft’s market share, but only if the new Windows comes with plenty features to convince OEMs. Another big news for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 developers is that they can now make universal applications that work on all devices – so this is definitely going to help increase the quality of apps in the Windows Store.