Zotac has managed to gain a foothold in the mini-PC segment with its ZBOX series of diminutive PCs. Zotac offers ZBOX rigs in two flavours - either as barebones or complete systems with the Plus moniker.
However, although the Plus series ships with RAM and some storage, it does not ship with a preinstalled Windows. Zotac is planning to change that. The company announced that it will start selling ZBOX Plus units with preinstalled Windows 8.1 and Bing. Windows 8.1 with Bing is essentially Microsoft's low-cost OS for cheap PCs. As the name suggests it uses Bing as the default search engine and OEMs cannot use an alternate one.
Zotac says consumers simply demanded systems that would work out of the box. Previous Plus models required the user to install an OS of their choice, but the lack of an OS also managed to keep prices down. The company argues that Windows 8.1 with Bing offers "excellent value" for consumers. The obvious trade-off is that most consumers couldn't care less about Bing.
Windows 8.1 with Bing is coming to the ZBOX CA320 Nano, ZBOX CI320 Nano, ZBOX CI320 and the old Zbox ID18. All of them feature 2GB of RAM and a 64GB SSD, much like the ZBOX ID18 Special Edition. However, we still don't know the prices.