Now we know what Windows 8.1 with Bing entails. According to documentation found in the leaked Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (Windows ADK) for Windows 8.1 Spring 2014 Update, we will see a variant of Windows 8.1 that helps OEMs add Windows to low cost devices, at the cost of making Bing the default search engine.
“Windows 8.1 with Bing helps OEMs add Windows to low-cost devices while driving end user usage of Microsoft Services such as Bing and OneDrive. This edition of Windows sets Bing as the default search engine within Internet Explorer. Users will be able to manually change default search settings and install additional browsers of their choice. Windows 8.1 with Bing is based on the feature set available in Windows 8.1 Core and incudes all of the latest updates, including Windows 8.1 Update. Windows 8.1 with Bing is available for 32-bit and 64-bit platforms,” the documentation reads.
OEM’s will not be able to change the default search engine, so when a user launches Internet Explorer, Bing is automatically the default search engine. No other browser settings are changed. However, users can manually change the default search settings and install additional browsers of their choice – so if you wanted to use Chrome instead, you can.
Windows 8.1 with Bing is described as Windows 8.1 Core edition with all of the latest updates, including the upcoming Windows 8.1 update. OEMs will be able to customize and deploy Windows 8.1 with Bing, just like any other Windows image. In other words, OEMs can add their unattended settings, apps, and other items into the image and deploy the image to a PC.
The Windows 8.1 Update 1 is rumored to roll out on April 8th, during the April Patch Tuesday.