The Verge reports Microsoft (MSFT +1.2%) is building a version of Windows 8.1 meant to act as a "free or low-cost upgrade for Windows 7 users." The software, christened Windows 8.1 with Bing, would come bundled with various Microsoft apps/services, presumably with the goal of monetizing some of them.
Bloomberg reported last weekend Microsoft has cut the price of a Win. 8.1 license for sub-$250 devices to just $15, as it tries to limit tablet cannibalization, head off Chrome OS, and increase uptake for an OS whose adoption rates significantly trail Windows 7's. Microsoft has also been reported to be thinking of offering Windows Phone/RT for free.