Dirt-cheap Windows tablets and PCs will soon be launched and it’s all thanks to the growing low-price threat from Google Inc. Android tables simply seem to be eating the world as Chromebooks have been gobbling up market share in both the sub-$300 and commercial segments. As a matter of fact, the once-loyal PC builders have also chosen to dabble into ‘Droidbooks’ and even all-in-ones that are based on Android. On the other side of the coin, Windows tablets have been struggling constantly in order to gain some traction in the market and ever since the iPad saw the light of the day; there has been a constant decline in the PC market.
Two moves were made by Microsoft this week for countering the small, but growing rebellion. First came the news that the company was reducing the cost of Windows 8 licenses and would only be charging $15 for devices that cost less than $250. Then, the long-rumored update of Windows 8.1 was confirmed by Microsoft, which basically halved the requirements of the system for Windows devices. This is clearly an indication that Microsoft has gotten tired of losing customers to Google and there is a price war brewing. The cost reduction of a Windows license to $15 from $50 will mean that Windows is no longer an albatross that’s hanging around cheap hardware.
The hardware ascent of Google has come on the back of devices that cost under $250 because it is not possible for manufacturers to sell stuff that cheaply after they have plunked down the big bucks on a Windows license. The Dell Venue 8 Pro is the cheapest Windows 8 tablet and is currently being sold through the online store of Microsoft at a cost of $230, which is a reduction from its usual price of $300. There are no Windows tablets and only a few Windows notebooks that can be found under the price tag of $250.
On the other hand, small Android tablets are priced around $200 and there are even cheaper options that can be found. Even Chromebooks simply hover around the $250 mark. According to analysts, Microsoft has basically cut prices in order to meet a competitive threat and this is a smart move. This is also true because Microsoft has recently redefined itself as a company of devices and services, which means that it’s no longer just a software company. The true goal of the company now is to get such devices into the hands of customers that are loaded with Microsoft’s services.
This means that Microsoft will only be able to get money just once when they sell a license to someone, but service purchases and subscriptions have the potential of paying off in perpetuity. Also, the savings just haven’t been restricted to licenses. The new update for Windows 8.1 introduces lots of mouse-friendly features and will also play well with minimal hardware. Hence, Windows 8 devices can be built by manufacturers by packing 16 GB of storage and just 1 GB of RAM.