Windows 8.1 with Bing is one of the catalysts of an important recovery of the PC industry, according to analyst firm IDC, with figures pointing to total shipments in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa of 23.7 million units in Q3 2014, up 10.4 percent year on year.
Microsoft launched Windows 8.1 with Bing earlier this year in an attempt to compete with Chromebooks and other more affordable devices that could represent a threat to the domination of Windows.
The Bing OS is a special version of Microsoft’s modern operating system that comes with Bing as the default search engine (but allows users to change it) and is available for manufacturers at a lower price, as soon as the final product hits the market with a price of around $250 (180 euro).
Microsoft’s intention was obviously to bring more affordable devices to the market by reducing licensing costs and thus allowing OEMs to cut down prices for their own products as well.
It's a well-known fact that Windows 8 wasn't quite a viable reason to buy a new computer, especially due to the confusion created by the changes that Microsoft made to its operating system.
Windows 8.1 improved things a little bit, but still not enough to help the PC industry recover, but it turns out that the Bing version of the OS has finally convinced more users to purchase new computers. At least, that's what IDC analysts say.
“It seems like end users are replacing their PCs again, weary of their outdated desktops and notebooks, and tempted by attractive offerings available in the market. Notebooks running Windows 8 with Bing fared well and contributed positively to PC shipments thanks to their attractive price points,” Maciek Gornicki, senior research analyst, IDC EMEA Personal Computing, explains.
The analyst also adds that the same trend is likely to continue in the coming months, as new deals could be unveiled before Christmas.
Microsoft's upcoming Windows 10 is also expected to support the recovery of the PC world, as everyone sees it as a game changer for both the Redmond-based firm and users.
Windows 10 aggressively tackles most of the annoyances of Windows 8 and restores some of the features that users have been asking for in the last two years, including a Start menu.
At the same time, it also brings a plethora of new features, such as Cortana, a notification center, and multiple desktops, and keeps hardware requirements low in order to make it available on more affordable devices as well.