Microsoft says Windows tablet prices are to dip below $200

Microsoft's vice president of OEM partners Nick Parker has said at the Computex technology show that the price of smartphones and tablets running Microsoft's Windows and Windows Phone operating systems will soon sell to the consumer for less than $200.

The move will be possible because Windows Phone 8 is now free to OEMs to use on devices with displays smaller than 9-inches. It is also expected that a cheap version of Windows 8.1  dubbed Windows 8.1 with Bing, will give OEMs more choices for which version of Windows they will use.

The latter platform will feature Bing branding out of the box to attract users to Microsoft's search engine but will be otherwise identical to standard Windows. It will enable Windows tablets to become cheaper too, meaning that 'affordable' could soon be a connotation of both Windows Phone and Windows 8.1 mobile devices.

 According to the Digits blog, part of the Wall Street Journal, Parker explained how "Last year, we were in the 3s, 4s, 500 dollars. This year, we’ll be 1s, 2s, 3s" whilst speaking to reporters at Computex. He added that Windows-powered 7, 8 and 10-inch tablet devices will soon be selling at price points "very industry competitive" saying the prices "will really surprise you."

The Nokia Lumia 630 is available SIM-free in the UK now for just £89.95 - around $150 or €110

This hints that even the cheapest devices could be equipped better-than-expected hardware for the consumer to enjoy. Parker also drew emphasis to how Microsoft is funded not just by Windows licensing but also the subscription model of Office 365 and the 'freemium' Skype service. One cheap Windows Phone device has already launched as UK readers can enjoy the Nokia Lumia 630 for the bargain price of £89.95 SIM-free - around $150 or €110.

The company is going to attempt to gain more market share in the smartphone world this year by selling their own Windows Phone-powered Nokia devices as cheaply as they can. Parker added that some markets will see Windows Phone smartphones priced at $200 by the end of this year. These devices could include some of the new devices from OEMs unveiled yesterday at Computex.

Sub-$200 Windows Phone handsets are likely to be popular as the current best-selling Windows Phone device is the Nokia Lumia 520, available on contract from AT&T at just $59.99 and unlocked SIM-free for around $110. If we see more Windows Phone smartphones and Windows tablets around these price points then the OS could finally attract more attention from consumers more in-tune with the offerings of Apple's iOS and devices running Google's Android.

Source: The Wall Street Journal | Image via Nokia

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27 Comments

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$200.00 can go a long way in the market. Do people not see that yes maybe in 2001 iPhone held good value to what u were getting, now they honestly are getting cheaper parts but can still pull 600-700 off because people r wanting to pay this price. Those who want quality go buy that 2000 ###### phone because I bet it won't break on u. Otherwise Samsung apple lg Motorola and other companies r catering to performance wiyh some quality. Its like any other market, common ones we see have quality but r performance focused (best value for money u wanna spend) both Samsung apple and all the Manu's we see go for this only. So there all the damn same. No omg this is plastic and this is metal omfg let me go watch some porn now!!

This will be interesting because we will be able to answer the question 'was it the price that was holding Windows Tablets back?'

To be honest I think it was not the price, look at how iPads sell and what their pricing is.

derekaw said,
This will be interesting because we will be able to answer the question 'was it the price that was holding Windows Tablets back?'

To be honest I think it was not the price, look at how iPads sell and what their pricing is.

Could say the same about Android as well? Look at the price and how they are selling. It is the perception at the end of the day. iPads sell because they are perceived to be premium.

MINI tablets, sure. But not REAL tablets. I don't even entertain the concept of a tablet below 10" screens. Anything else is a waste and not worthy of being called a tablet.

Kalint said,
Surface RT $99. That is all I'll pay for it.

You have to pay more than that for a copy of Windows. Or Office.

swanlee said,
As long as they are still decent specs, they need to keep 2GB + ram and 64GB hard drive space as a minimum.

Agreed. A decent resolution too.
Also, I think another big shortfall is that most of those tablets only have one USB port, so people can't charge it and use a keyboard/mouse with it.

Astra.Xtreme said,

Agreed. A decent resolution too.
Also, I think another big shortfall is that most of those tablets only have one USB port, so people can't charge it and use a keyboard/mouse with it.


I agree! More USB ports... Its ridicules not to imo.

Ports take up more space inside the chase than you may think. They are also a point of entry for liquids or dirt that could harm the device.

sphbecker said,
Ports take up more space inside the chase than you may think. They are also a point of entry for liquids or dirt that could harm the device.

Sure, maybe it takes up more space, but I think it would be a fair trade off. These things will never become laptop replacements if they can't provide such simple conveniences.

Laptops are covered with various ports and openings, so I don't think dirt or liquids are a concern. It's the user's fault if something happens.

swanlee said,
As long as they are still decent specs, they need to keep 2GB + ram and 64GB hard drive space as a minimum.

32GB is actually usable with wimboot. You'd still want a USB drive handy no doubt, but still.

Not really needed. I use my Dell Venue 8 Pro with a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse sleeve, that makes it almost like an 8" Surface 2. That keyboard sleeve also has a Micro-USB slot, so I can plug in another device in it while charging the Tablet

Astra.Xtreme said,

Sure, maybe it takes up more space, but I think it would be a fair trade off. These things will never become laptop replacements if they can't provide such simple conveniences.

Laptops are covered with various ports and openings, so I don't think dirt or liquids are a concern. It's the user's fault if something happens.


What exactly do you need to plug in? Whatever it is, I'd be willing to bet it's larger than the tiny USB hubs that are available...

Astra.Xtreme said,

Sure, maybe it takes up more space, but I think it would be a fair trade off. These things will never become laptop replacements if they can't provide such simple conveniences.

Laptops are covered with various ports and openings, so I don't think dirt or liquids are a concern. It's the user's fault if something happens.


We have Dockport for ports now, no need to have more than one on the device.

TheExperiment said,

We have Dockport for ports now, no need to have more than one on the device.

That just became a standard a few days ago, so we won't be seeing that in every device for a while yet.

Forjo said,

What exactly do you need to plug in? Whatever it is, I'd be willing to bet it's larger than the tiny USB hubs that are available...

Ever heard of a microUSB to USB adapter?

Astra.Xtreme said,

Ever heard of a microUSB to USB adapter?

Cant charge and use the USB for many of the tablets like that...

Scabrat said,

Cant charge and use the USB for many of the tablets like that...

It should since that's kind of the point to it. It certainly works that way on the Lenovo Miix.

Astra.Xtreme said,

It should since that's kind of the point to it. It certainly works that way on the Lenovo Miix.

Not the DV8P. I have tried almost everything.

Astra.Xtreme said,

That just became a standard a few days ago, so we won't be seeing that in every device for a while yet.


I imagine they had access to the standard before it was finalized...it probably hasn't changed that much as far as prototyping goes. I guess we'll see. :)

Scabrat said,

Not the DV8P. I have tried almost everything.

Hmm weird. From what I'm reading about it, some people got it to work with a mouse or keyboard using an adapter, but most people couldn't. Sounds like Dell didn't design it to output enough power for most devices. That's kinda crappy. :( Hopefully the updated Venue will fix that.

Astra.Xtreme said,

Hmm weird. From what I'm reading about it, some people got it to work with a mouse or keyboard using an adapter, but most people couldn't. Sounds like Dell didn't design it to output enough power for most devices. That's kinda crappy. :( Hopefully the updated Venue will fix that.

Yeah, I am not sure if it isnt enough power or they did something bios level to prohibit it. But, had I known, I would have got the Miix2 ;). I got around it for what I needed to though =).