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Confirmed: Microsoft to cut the cost of Windows 8.1 for low-end devices

A few days back, it was stated that Microsoft would be slashing the price of Windows 8.1 for low end devices by up to 70%. The cut will lower the price of $50 per device to $15 for devices under $250 which will be a noticeable improvement for vendors and consumers, according to the previous report, and it appears that the information is accurate.

While Microsoft did not come forward and say “We slashed prices by 70%” the company’s Joe Belfiore posted up on the Windows blog that “We’ll enable our partners to build lower cost hardware for a great Windows experience at highly competitive price points.” This clearly aligns to the previous report of the prices being cut on lower-end devices.

The cut in price will help to accomplish several goals. First, it will help OEMs shave more dollars off their products and that will help them to lower the price of consumer products. Second, it should help to move more Windows 8.1 licenses, and while it will help Microsoft’s bottom line, albeit to a lesser degree, it should help Microsoft gain more market share with it’s latest version of Windows. Finally, it will help Microsoft compete against ChromeOS products that are pushing hard on the floor to lower prices for entry-level products.

As the competition for What about Windows RT? next generation devices continues to heat up, especially in the tablet space, this price cut will go a long way to help assert Microsoft’s presence in this space. Microsoft has recently shown that low cost Windows Phone devices are critical to helping the platform grow and this cost cutting move could be a move by the company to extend that trend to Windows products.  

Another interesting perspective comes up too with the lower price point. If Microsoft is selling proper Windows 8.1 to OEMs at $15 a license for low-end devices, what does this do for Windows RT? Think about it, from a vendor’s perspective, if RT and 8.1 licenses are close in price, unless ARM chips are considerably less expensive than Intel silicon, the value for OEMs is not there. More so, it is easier for OEMs to market devices running Windows 8.1 as they don’t have to educate the consumer on the differences between Windows RT 8.1 and Windows 8.1

Source: Microsoft

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