Microsoft is reportedly cutting Windows 8.1 license price by $35 to manufacturers. A new report from Bloomberg claims that Microsoft is planning to fight Google’s low-cost device, Chromebook, by charging PC makers $15 for each full version of Windows 8.1, they preinstalled on devices that have a retail price less than $250.
Currently the software giant charge $50, but reducing the price by 70 percent it may help the company to increase the tablet market share, which today is around $80 billion. Though, the report doesn’t give specific on when the new price will take effect.
However there is one little problem, today there aren’t many Windows 8.1, either PC or tablets, priced at $250 or less. Perhaps, Microsoft is getting ready and counting of hardware to become cheaper in the coming months.
Now let’s also consider the future of Windows RT for a second. Thus far there aren’t many companies adopting the operating system for ARM chips, which are less expensive than Intel processors, and looking at the company making the full version of the operating system cheaper, there is no reason for companies to focus on Windows RT. So is this the downfall of the Microsoft OS for ARM?
According to unnamed Bloomberg sources, the newly Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, is also looking to speed up development and introduction of new Windows devices. As such devices that cost less $250 won’t be required to pass the logo certification, a process ensures hardware are compatible with Windows 8.1, and they won’t be required to be touch-enabled either.
It’s not surprising the price cut of Windows 8.1 to PC makers that Microsoft is planning, the company is facing a big threat from Google Chromebooks, tablets running Android, and Apple’s iPad, as these two rivals taking the majority of the market share. However, this could be also the first step of the company trying to boost the PC market — don’t be surprise if Microsoft finally decides to make Windows free for PCs, tablets, and phones.
Update: Microsoft officially confirmed plans to slash prices of Windows 8.1 licensing. Though, the company didn’t specifically say that PC makers will only $15 per install, a new article from the Windows Phone Blog stated “We’ll enable our partners to build lower cost hardware for a great Windows experience at highly competitive price points.” Hinting that indeed will be seeing cheaper Windows 8.1 devices from partners.