Bloomberg today reported that Microsoft is cutting the price of Windows 8.1 OS license to OEMs by 70% for low-cost PCs and tablets. This new discount program is one of the main effort Microsoft is taking to rival the adoption of Google’s Chromebooks and Android devices.
Windows 8.1 license generally costs $50 for OEMs, but Microsoft pays them marketing incentives every year which would bring the effective Windows 8.1 license cost around $30-$40. According to this new report, OEMs will be charged $15 to license Windows 8.1 and preinstall it on devices that retail for less than $250. This new pricing scheme will apply only for the products that meet the price limit, with no restrictions on the size or type of device.
Microsoft, which named Satya Nadella as CEO earlier this month, is seeking to speed up development and introduction of new devices. It won’t require products that use the cheaper licensing to complete logo certification, a process that verifies hardware compatibility, one of the people said. Devices aren’t required to be touch-screen compatible, they said.
Few years ago, when Linux based netbooks started to rise in the market against Windows, Microsoft offered Windows XP license for cheap price and captured the market completely. Can Microsoft repeat the same success again?