surface pro 2

In an effort to stave off competition from Apple, Google and others, Microsoft is said to be cutting the cost of Windows 8.1 by as much as 70%. Now it sounds like this is for manufacturers only, who pre-install Windows on their devices, but it should still eventually turn into savings for consumers.

You see, Microsoft is hoping that by cutting the cost for manufacturers to install Windows on products less than $250, it’ll entice PC makers to create and sell more cheaper models. It’s also cutting the requirement for <$250 devices to complete logo certification in an effort to speed up their releases…

Bloomberg’s Tim Culpan and Dina Bass have more:

“Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) is cutting the price of Windows 8.1 by 70 percent for makers of low-cost computers and tablets as they try to fend off cheaper rivals likeGoogle Inc. (GOOG)’s Chromebooks, people familiar with the program said.

Manufacturers will be charged $15 to license Windows 8.1 and preinstall it on devices that retail for less than $250, instead of the usual fee of $50, said the people, who asked not to be named because the details aren’t public. The discount will apply to any products that meet the price limit, with no restrictions on the size or type of device, the people said.”

Microsoft is in a difficult spot right now. The company said earlier this month that it has sold just over 200 million licenses of Windows 8 since the program went on sale in October 2012, a slower rate of adoption than the previous Windows 7, and it continues to struggle in the mobile device space.

It’ll be interesting to see if this new tactic helps Microsoft increase its share of the tablet/budget notebook space that is being dominated right now by Google’s Chromebooks and Android devices, and Apple’s iPads. A $15 fee isn’t too far from free— a move that has played a big role in Android’s success.

  • David Lucas-MedwayComputers

    what about us small independant computer shops, will the OEM version be reduced for our system builds or are they going to push us Linux.

  • David Gitman

    give us windows 8 and office 365 for free then you will counter

    • Vitaliy Anonymous

      Hahahaha!! I used to love this website until people with ridiculous logic like yours started posting these ridiculous comments. Now all you sound is like an arrogant fanboy. I wish people would use their device as a device, not a lifestyle.

      • David Gitman

        Dude wtf?? Do you think it’s okay to pay 100$ per year for an office that you have on the PC??

      • Sounds like you only heard half of the story…why am I not surprised. There’s Office 2013, and there’s Office 365. Office 2013 is lifetime license for a PC and starts at $100 for the Home and Student edition. Office 365 is what you subscribe to and it offers the entire Office suit, not just Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

      • David Gitman

        lol I know that..but I just want a word port to my phone

      • Right, that’s only available via Office 365 which is only available as a subscription…

  • Mohammad Ridwan

    Still more than ‘Free’ 😀

    Also win 8 was a huge flop.

    • Domodo

      Right. I can see that.

      • Mohammad Ridwan

        The WHOLE picture.

      • Domodo

        How can something be a flop if it is installed on more computers than all FREE operating systems combined, including OS X, which isn’t even free?

      • Mohammad Ridwan

        Because OS X is Hardware exclusive while Windows 8 is Hardware agnostic. Are you trolling or just dumb ?

      • Domodo

        I’m not the one here claiming Windows 8 is a flop, when that certainly isn’t the case.

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        Despite being a complete and utter Apple fanboy truthfully IMHO Windows 8 is the best OS out there right now if your looking to build a media centre. The tiles are extremely easy to navigate using the keyboard and there are many different applications and games such as Netflix and I can’t believe I’m saying this but the fullscreen Internet Explorer app is amazing!

      • Kurt

        I love windows 8. It runs better than win 7. Love the boot up time. Love the tiles. Works we’ll for me.

      • Nevertrending

        Although I do like W8 tiles UI, I fail to see how XBMC on Linux or XBMCbuntu fails to provide you with the best media center.

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        I actually use Ubuntu Server with Plex Media Server, MiniDLNA, Ampache and a whole bunch of other things installed for my media setup but what’s really lacking is support from major companies. Gaming is only just starting to take off (mostly thanks to Steam) and as for apps there’s no Netflix app and just to get an up-to-date flash player you have to use Google Chrome since Adobe no longer develops Flash Player for Linux (this wouldn’t be so bad if everyone would just adopt HTML 5 but sadly this isn’t the case)…

        TLDR; XBMC + Windows 8 is so much better in terms of content availability but yes as always trusty Linux can do the job of a media centre perfectly too…

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        How were the stats gathered for this chart since Linux should surely be higher assuming every single product running a Linux OS is accounted for (for example Android)…

  • Windows 8 sucked. I hope Windows 9 is better.

  • Rowan09

    That’s only a $35 discount. How exactly is this suppose to help Microsoft?

    • $35 saved for each and every cheap PC sold. More consumers buy the cheap PCs, increasing the market-share of Windows 8.

  • Cesar D

    Microsoft should give money for installing Widows 8.