According to various tablet vendors at Computex last week, Microsoft is charging upwards of $95 per Windows RT license.
Windows RT is the version of Windows 8 that will run on ARM devices, which will be similar to the iPad and Android tablets in terms of size, performance, and battery life. The news comes courtesy of VR-Zone, which claims Microsoft is charging most vendors $85.
By comparison, Apple owns iOS, but the development cost of the operating system is baked into the final cost of the device. Google Android is free for any manufacturer to use, though requires Google’s blessing for access to Google apps and the Google Play Store. Any licensing cost could put Windows RT tablets at a price disadvantage, considering new and brand name Android tablets are shipping for around $200 and Apple has kept the cost of the iPad steady for three generations. In fact, Apple now offers the iPad 2 for $400 (16GB, Wi-Fi), about $100 less than the least expensive new iPad.
Microsoft is expected to launch Windows 8 along with Windows RT later this year. So far, ASUS has confirmed it will offer a Windows RT device.