Rumor: Microsoft to cut Windows 8 touchscreen OEM price by 75 percent

It may soon be a lot cheaper for people to buy a new Windows 8-based touchscreen PC, according to a new rumor that's being reported by the Wall Street Journal. The story, which cites unnamed sources, claims that Microsoft will cut the price for Windows 8 to PC OEMs to just $30 if the OS is being installed on a touchscreen PC.

The report claims that the previous price was $120, which means that PC OEMs will get a 75 percent price cut on Windows 8 on some of their systems. The Wall Street Journal also says that Microsoft is throwing in a free copy of Office 2013 for OEMs that sell tablets with screens less than 10.8 inches, such as such as Dell's Latitude 10 tablet, shown above. Touchscreen PCs that are larger than 10.8 inches still get the $30 Windows 8 OS, but don't get the free version of Office.

Digitimes is reporting a similar story today but says the price cut is actually down to $20 compared to between $80 and $90, which would still be a 75 percent discount. It adds that the price cut will go into effect in April or May, and will be reflected in the price of PCs that are sold in June, in order to get the back-to-school crowd.

A Microsoft spokesperson would not confirm or deny the price change rumors for Windows 8. However, Asus CEO Jerry Shen did seem to confirm at the company's investor conference this week that Microsoft is making efforts to help OEMs sell more Windows 8 products.

Best Buy is in the middle of a promotion that is giving customers a $100 discount on all of their Windows 8 touchscreen PCs, with the exception of tablets such as Microsoft's Surface products. Staples has also launched a program where people who buy a touchscreen Windows 8 PC can trade in their old PC and receive between $100 and $400 back in the mail.

Source: Wall Street Journal | Image via Dell

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Nokia pressuring Instagram to release WP8 app

Next Story

EU fines Microsoft $732 million for web browser ballot violation [Update]

29 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

This is not a good sign. It means that MS got it all wrong. This will eat into margins and is the issue really the cost of the devices ? I imagine that a few more devices will sell with a reduced cost but I don't think that cost is the problem.

Its kind of obvious what they're doing. OEMs aren't making many touchscreen devices and are preferring to stick to ultrabooks, laptops, and desktops with no touch screen. With a cheaper license for touch devices, this gives them incentive to make new touch devices. This is a really smart move on Microsoft's part, but it also means that oems might start mass producing cruddy tablets or touch laptops, just because they can.

Indeed. Consumers don't want touch on the desktop. It's just not ergonomic or needed. When combined with the added cost (for something they don't need or want), consumers are voting with their wallets.

Tablets (which are replacing laptops) and phones are "on hand" devices and so touch is wonderful and indeed becoming necessary.

mzta cody said,
Prices drop when supplies are plentiful and /or demand is low. Wonder which is the case here?

Consumer demand for Windows touch devices is low, primarily due to the higher price premium they carry. Add on Windows license and you have something that is cost prohibitive compared to the competition, regardless of the quality of the product.

Adding deep discount on licensing fees will only serve to lower the build cost for Microsoft's OEM channel.

What you are seeing is Microsoft's commitment to touch, nothing more.

deadonthefloor said,

Consumer demand for Windows touch devices is low, primarily due to the higher price premium they carry. Add on Windows license and you have something that is cost prohibitive compared to the competition, regardless of the quality of the product.

Adding deep discount on licensing fees will only serve to lower the build cost for Microsoft's OEM channel.

What you are seeing is Microsoft's commitment to touch, nothing more.

I understand where you're trying to go, but the argument isn't sound...

The iPad is arguably the better tablet from a product quality perspective and it likewise commands a price premium over every other tablet.

Android tablets are considered to be arguably lower quality and are priced lower to increase demand on that basis.

You may be correct if your intention was to say that irrespective of the product quality a new product may have to enter the market at a depressed price to garner interest, but you can't say that a higher quality product can't demand a higher quality price overall as that would be false.

Where does Windows 8 fall? So far, the market doesn't see it has a higher quality product than the iOS based tablet offerings. Microsoft has to be very careful though. Lowering the costs to OEMs may give them deep encouragement to offer low quality devices that would only erode the consumer's perceptions even more.

Time will tell how all of this plays out though.

Microsoft are doing this in the knowledge that if people start buying more windows 8 touch devices then they will also probably buy apps from the store.
MSFT are seeing how much Apple and Google are making from their respective stores and need to get in on the action as quick as possible.

Windows 8 could have been a big success, everyone would have celebrated it, the desktop users and the tablet users, instead, Microsoft is now cutting the price to very low, and the next step is to pay OEMs for every machine that runs Windows and Office

It went from the most desired OS years ago to "please use our OS please, we pay you, use it, here are some gifts too".

An incredible level of stupidity was required to destroy Windows this way.

If MS had listened to those of us who pointed out these problems--along with simple to implement, non Metro destroying solutions--they wouldn't be in this problem today.

Microsoft said to the customers that they are net getting back the thing they loved so much in Windows 7, and the customers said to Microsoft that they are not getting back the money they love so much from Windows 8.

Sinovski was fired after the Windows 8 release, I really hope they fire Green after the Blue release and put someone who can resolve the mess Green and Sinovski created.

Let it be an example to every business of what happens when you put stupid people in charge.

Edited by john.smith_2084, Mar 6 2013, 12:40pm :

prices aren't going down with this measure; the only thing that it's gonna change is the profit the OEMs are gonna make with this measure, as in more profit.

ahhell said,
"the only thing that it's gonna change is the profit the OEMs"
*facepalm*

THAT IS THE WHOLE POINT!


Try reading the first sentence of the article:

"It may soon be a lot cheaper for people to buy a new Windows 8-based touchscreen PC"

eddman said,
How they were supposed to compete with the likes of nexus 7 and 10 with a 120$ windows 8?

Are you comparing the Android devices (hardware) to Windows 8 Pro (software)?

What I do not understand is, why? why didn't MS promote Win8 like they did with win95 back in the day? Win8 is a upgrade in a UI interface as was win95 was to the old 3.x interface. Smh.. I guess MS got lazy and tried to cut corners...

ChrisJ1968 said,
What I do not understand is, why? why didn't MS promote Win8 like they did with win95 back in the day? Win8 is a upgrade in a UI interface as was win95 was to the old 3.x interface. Smh.. I guess MS got lazy and tried to cut corners...

oh comon, Vista cut corners with the UI, Windows 8 we got tons of corners..... everythign is square now *lol* </end bad joke>

No, Windows 8 is not the same kind of upgrade as Windows 95 was to Windows 3.1. The Windows 95 interface was a thoughtfully designed interface actually needed in light of the serious usability issues of the program mananger/ file manager system. It solved real-world usability issues, among many other things. On the other hand, the Windows 8 interface solves no dire usability issues at all, and in fact introduces many new (pointless) issues of its own. It is attempting to fix a problem that never existed. Quite a different thing, so any parallel drawn to Windows 95 is utterly wasted in my book.

neufuse said,

oh comon, Vista cut corners with the UI, Windows 8 we got tons of corners..... everythign is square now *lol* </end bad joke>

I much prefer square corners to rounded corners.

mzta cody said,
On the other hand, the Windows 8 interface solves no dire usability issues at all, and in fact introduces many new (pointless) issues of its own. It is attempting to fix a problem that never existed. Quite a different thing, so any parallel drawn to Windows 95 is utterly wasted in my book.

While there is a point to this (that it introduces new usability problems, namely for non-touch devices), it does solve the problem with touchscreens. There were actually tablets released for Windows 7 even, but you never heard about them because there were serious usability problems with them. I know because my brother had one, upgraded to Windows 8 a few months later, and never uses Windows 7 now.