Survey: Windows 8-based tablets should be priced lowest

Windows 8 is being set up as an operating system that's ready to go toe to toe with Apple's iOS and Google's Android in terms of being used for touch screen tablets in addition to its traditional role of the PC desktop and laptop operating system. But just how much money would you pay for a tablet that had Windows 8 inside? A new survey by ZDNet may have the answer to that question.

The survey, which polled 1,400 people, indicated that 38 percent of them would only pay for a Windows 8 tablet if it were priced between $200 and $399 and 27 percent of the survey respondents said they would pay between $400 and $599 for a Windows 8 tablet. Finally, 19 percent said they would purchase a tablet if it were priced less than $199 while only 16 percent would pay higher than $600 for such a tablet.

The results are fairly clear. The majority of people who want Windows 8 tablets also want them on the cheap, at prices around that of Amazon's Kindle Fire and the Nook Tablet. Not as many people want a Windows 8 tablet that is priced similar to Apple's iPad line. The problem is that even Amazon had to work hard to get the Kindle Fire down to its $199 price point.

The article speculates that the sweet spot for a Windows 8-based tablet will in fact be $499 but that will depend largely on the kinds of hardware features the tablet will have. It's also possible that by the time Windows 8 is ready for launch, the price point for making tablets could be low enough for a solid tablet device to be sold at a price that's cheaper than $499.

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22 Comments

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To this day I will maintain that I can buy a netbook for $200 which, unlike a tablet, doesn't suffer from lack of tactile feedback. Touch is just a goofy UI IMO, and nothing I've experienced so far has managed to convince me otherwise. And while I realize a tablet is just a consumption device, I'll point out that I get frustrated even typing a short URL. I'm a fast, old-school touch-typist...touch devices are that bad for me.

I know I'm gonna be told I just don't get it, and I'm fine with that. Given that a netbook can be profitable at $200, a touch device priced the same is a no-starter for me. Touch screens cost more to manufacture? Don't care--I hate 'em with a passion, so nobody's gonna make me pay a premium for them.

PS - If I sound P.O.ed, it's because I am. I'm a long-time software developer, and I don't like where the industry as a whole is headed...and we've got Apple to thank for it. Not to get on a tangent...but when I started in this industry, we had no need to invent a word such as "jailbreaking".

<rant mode off>

Edited by _dandy_, Dec 14 2011, 9:01pm :

I just want there to be tablet vendors with custom builds like we have for laptops today. I'm extremely tired of this one-model-one-build smartphone/tablet market we're trapped in right now, where we put up with wave after wave of hardware iterations instead of just having a 'series' with seasonal updates to the components we can choose from.

I agree. The title seem to imple people are ready to pay more for iPads and android tablets while the article does not cover that bit.

I agree. The title seem to imple people are ready to pay more for iPads and android tablets while the article does not cover that bit.

I don't understand why people only think about software not the hardware. If Apple is apple that's mostly because of high quality built hardware not the software and of course windows Tablet would be more useful than an iOS tablet unless you only want to play angry birds on it.

To be fair, I actually agree with this. The prices that is. If Windows 8 Tablets are priced anywhere between $399-$599 I think that would be a very good price for it. Not to say I'd get one, I'm just saying if Microsoft wants people to convert from iPad or other tablets they need to price it fair. And at those prices I think they can do it.

The major benefit about these tablets is that they can theoridcally support all Windows applications. Which you cant do on any other tablet. (Naitevly atleast)

Tablets with Windows 8 will be just another one if an ever-increasing pool of tablets. The table that has the easiest ability to send data to a PC with Windows 7 will have a major advantage over those that can't. It is becoming clear that Windows 8 is, exclusively, for tablets. PC users will have to wait for Windows 9 (?) for their next major enhancement over Windows 7.

TsarNikky said,
Tablets with Windows 8 will be just another one if an ever-increasing pool of tablets. The table that has the easiest ability to send data to a PC with Windows 7 will have a major advantage over those that can't. It is becoming clear that Windows 8 is, exclusively, for tablets. PC users will have to wait for Windows 9 (?) for their next major enhancement over Windows 7.

No, that's not becoming clear at all, Windows 8 is still meant and built to run on desktops and laptops as well as tablets... Some might not agree with the direction the OS is going in but that doesn't change any facts.

Leonick said,

No, that's not becoming clear at all, Windows 8 is still meant and built to run on desktops and laptops as well as tablets... Some might not agree with the direction the OS is going in but that doesn't change any facts.

If true, Microsoft has a major marketing problem. Almost all of what Microsoft has said and shown has been tablet and touch-screen oriented, with the one major exception of a new Start Screen/Menu.

TsarNikky said,

If true, Microsoft has a major marketing problem. Almost all of what Microsoft has said and shown has been tablet and touch-screen oriented, with the one major exception of a new Start Screen/Menu.


because they already marketed the Windows OS to be a desktop OS since the 90s.
offcourse they mainly market (at this time) that W8 will be a tablet OS aswell.
Quite sure the desktop 'experience' will be similar to W7's (eventho it will have tons of new goodies and an improved architecture.)

MS will have to give away licenses for ARM version of OS for 5 years in order to meet those agressive price points.

Wouldn't surprise me if they did.

dotf said,
MS will have to give away licenses for ARM version of OS for 5 years in order to meet those agressive price points.

Wouldn't surprise me if they did.

I dunno, I mean while the OEM does have to pay for a license (a upfront cost) they also don't have to spend more on the backend as far as making and supporting code that they'd have to do with any type of in-house OS. Drivers is as far as an OEM would have to go, and even then MS helps with that as well. So really when a OEM pays the license fee it's for the software+ service/support and it all works out for less I'd say.

If they can sell netbooks for $200-$300 with full Windows 7 then a tablet with, and this is just a guess, lower priced version of Windows 8 ARM should be able to do the same.

I expect it'll be priced less than x86-64 windows because I don't expect the ARM version will have the full desktop and so on.

GP007 said,

I expect it'll be priced less than x86-64 windows because I don't expect the ARM version will have the full desktop and so on.

microsoft already announced ARM tablets will come without the default desktop and will be Metro only.

This is not about it being a Windows 8 Tablet... I think it is about what people want to pay for a Tablet -period-.

The sweet spot for mass market is under 400 bucks given the solid and now standard features, hardware, and quality. It seems all possible.

RedFlow said,
New study: People prefer things to be cheaper and have better quality!
Exactly what I was thinking. Who fund's these things? They are beyond stupid.

RedFlow said,
New study: People prefer things to be cheaper and have better quality!

The problem is in the headline. The actual study was about placing bounds on the percieved value of Windows 8 on a tablet.

RedFlow said,
New study: People prefer things to be cheaper and have better quality!

Except if you slap a logo of a fruit on it. Then people will pay out the nose.

medium_pimpin said,

Except if you slap a logo of a fruit on it. Then people will pay out the nose.

Unless that fruit is a blackberry.