Microsoft Trying to Jumpstart Windows Tablet Market by Lowering Licensing Fees

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The price Microsoft charges companies to put Windows on a tablet is about to drop dramatically, according to a report in the Wall Street journal. This could lead to more and cheaper Windows tablets being released.

Microsoft WindowsThe price to install this operating system and Office is reportedly dropping from $120 to as low as $30. This price-break is supposedly only for companies making tablets with screens smaller than 10.8 inches.

Prices for tablets have been dropping considerably in recent months. Tablets running Android are available at or below $200, and the iPad mini sells for $350. At the same time, no company has released a Windows tablet below $500.

But that comparison isn’t apple-to-apple, as all the Windows tablets on the market have displays around 10-inches, while their cheaper rivals have screens in the 7- to 8-inch range.

Windows 8 or Windows RT?

While he WSJ report says Microsoft is lowering Windows 8 licensing prices, it does not make it clear whether this means the full version of Windows 8, or the Windows RT variant.

Windows RT was created to run on relatively inexpensive, consumer-oriented tablets built around ARM processors. Because devices that use this version can’t run software written for earlier versions of Windows, it has yet to be embraced in large numbers by consumers or computer makers.

Microsoft has a Windows RT-based tablet and so does Lenovo. Samsung makes one too, but never released it in the U.S. and is pulling it off shelves in Europe.

It’s possible Microsoft is slashing the licensing fee for Windows RT in a last-ditch effort to get companies and shoppers on board.

Source: Wall Street Journal

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