Windows 8 RT could cost OEMs 85 a pop

first_imgRight now, you can pick up a copy of Windows 7 Home Premium OEM for around $90 from an online retailer. Apparently that’s the same price most tablet OEMs are paying Microsoft for their Windows RT licenses. At a reported $85, the concensus so far is that Microsoft is gouging manufacturers and killing Windows on ARM before the first devices ever hit store shelves.But let’s consider a couple of things before passing judgement. First, there’s the question of whether or not this figure is accurate. VR Zone says that $85 was the figure most commonly mentioned by manufacturer reps during their meetings at Computex this month. No one really knows how much Microsoft charges OEMs for Windows. Pricing is a closely-guarded secret, and there may be a lot more to it than the up-front cost.Let’s say Microsoft does tell manufacturers that Windows RT costs $85. That might be the baseline, but there’s obviously going to be wiggle room built in. Let’s say a company promises to build 500,000 of a particular Windows RT tablet. Microsoft would provide a substantial price break, and they may even offer incentives that kick in after the sale — after all, it’s a good thing for the Windows ecosystem and Microsoft’s telemetrics if a licensed system actually winds up in the hands of a user. If they knock a few bucks off for each sale and discount in bulk, a manufacturer’s cost could be significantly lowered — and different than what’s shown on a bill of materials.And don’t forget that Windows RT includes more than just Windows 8 for an ARM device. It also includes Microsoft Office. For $85, then, OEMs are getting both the OS and the top-selling productivity suite. That’s a nice bit of functionality to offer out-of-the-box, and Microsoft Office has substantially more brand recognition than what you see shipped on some Android tablets. Even if $85 is accurate, shoppers might be willing to pay a couple extra bucks if their new tablet come with Office.Is Microsoft really charging that much for Windows RT? We won’t ever know for sure, but it’s hard to imagine that they’d back OEMs into a corner with Windows 8 ARM hardware and make it difficult to compete with the iPad on price.More at VR Zonelast_img read more

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