Microsoft Considers Lower Priced Windows to Compete with iOS, Android

| News

Microsoft is having a hard go of it in the mobile device market, and to help turn that around is considering drastically reducing the price manufacturers pay to install Windows on their smartphones and tablets. Instead of the US$50 manufactures pay now for products priced under $250, Microsoft will charge only $15.

Microsoft may cut Windows costs for device makers to compete with iOS and AndroidMicrosoft may cut Windows costs for device makers to compete with iOS and Android

Along with the lower cost for product makers, Microsoft will be relaxing the restrictions on the types of devices that qualify. Instead of just smartphones and tablets, and sub- $250 device will be included, such as low-cost netbooks. Device makers won't be required to include touch interface hardware in their products, either.

Microsoft hasn't officially announced the new pricing structure yet. News of the plan comes courtesy of unnamed sources speaking with Bloomberg.

Pressure for the new pricing structure comes from iOS and Android competition and Microsoft's ongoing inability to take significant marketshare from either. By making Windows 8.1 more economical for device makers, Microsoft is hoping more companies will come back to the Windows camp.

Low cost Chromebooks, which run Google's Android OS, hit a more consumer friendly price point than most Windows-based netbooks. Cutting the price of Windows 8.1 could help boost netbook sales by bringing the price for consumers in line with competing Chromebooks.

Microsoft isn't commenting on the report, but it does make sense for the company to scale back what it charges device makers for Windows 8.1. In turn, that could increase competition in the handheld and small mobile device market, and that's good for consumers.

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Microsoft can't push Windows on all devices simply by being Microsoft any more. The company has to find ways to compete with Apple and Google if it wants to have a fighting chance at staying relevant in the mobile device market. The easiest way to do that is by lowering how much it charges device makers to pre-install Windows, and that should've happened a long time ago.

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It’s a good first move. Now if Windows 9 doesn’t suck like Windows 8 does they might have something.

John Dingler, artist

Normal workings of market forces. I honor market forces.


There’s no such thing as “market forces,” as that term tends to be used.

What’s happening is that the people that run Microsoft have finally come around to noticing what many others saw coming far off.  Namely, that they cannot charge exorbitant licensing fees for their OS when people have alternatives.

When Windows was the only player, they could get away with it.  When Android and Chromebooks came on the scene,  with an OS that was next to free, it meant that Windows could either adapt, or wither, eventually to die.

Then there’s Apple with their iPad, giving people a moderately-priced computing experience that served people’s needs in a way that Windows has yet to do as well.

No “invisible hand,” no “market forces,” no Any Randian hocus-pocus of any sort, nothing but people making decisions that they assume will profit them most, and (hopefully) undermine their competition.


Misspelled ‘Ayn’ in my last paragraph

John Dingler, artist

To Unsean,
Yes, there certainly is such a thing as “market forces” in the way that major corporatists and Rihghtwinges use it, that is, by characterizing those forces at work to be a democratizing tool, a leveling device that equalizes economic disparity, getting rid of the weak and irrelevant that drag down the economy. I use it in such a way toward MS in its current predicament.

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