In a bid against rival software, Microsoft plans to slash Windows 8.1 by 70-percent of its typical price tag — for manufacturers, that is. The information comes from unnamed sources that spoke with Bloomberg, saying makers of tablets and computers will be getting deeply cut prices for inexpensive gadgets.
Presently, manufacturers that produce devices that retail for under $250 are charged $50 to offer Windows 8.1 on the device preinstalled. According to “people familiar with the program,” that fee will be dropped to a mere $15, an effort to better position its system against rivals in the same market, such as Google’s Chromebooks.
It doesn’t matter what the product is, as long as it falls below the pricing threshold, says the sources — otherwise, size, type, and other details aren’t of concern. Such a turn of events comes at a time when Microsoft and others are feeling the pain of a downturned PC market, as well as a slow adoption rate for Windows 8 (comparatively).
Microsoft has not commented on the rumor, and so for now it stays filed away in the “rumor” drawer. Still, the move would make sense in light of growing competition in the inexpensive laptop market, and would be a solid way for Microsoft to entice manufacturer’s to include its operating system on new cheap tablets.