Microsoft is reportedly slashing Windows 8.1 license costs by a whopping 70%, as the company is looking to fend off rival low-cost computers and tablets such as the Google Chromebook. According to a new report from Bloomberg, OEMs will be charged $15 to license Windows 8.1 and pre-install the operating system on devices that cost less than $250. Prior to this price cut, the license cost was $50.
So why is Microsoft slashing the license cost? It all has to do with competition. Microsoft is looking to combat stronger competition from Apple and Google. One such example is the low cost Chromebook. Microsoft wants to offer an incentive for PC makers to sell cheaper device models, and the first step is to offer cheaper licenses to OEMs.
Microsoft is looking to speed up development and introduction of new devices, so it helps to have cheaper licensing costs. Microsoft is also reportedly not requiring products to be touch screen compatible in order to meet logo certification. This makes sense as Microsoft has begun to show a new found interest in the desktop, as opposed to being so fixated on the Start Screen.
Microsoft is set to roll out an update to Windows 8.1 in April, currently known as Update 1 or the Spring 2014 update for Windows 8.1. This update features numerous changes, especially one change that affects those who utilize the operating system on a touch-based PC. Windows 8.1 Update 1 will boot directly to the desktop on non-touch based PCs, while those on touch-based PCs will boot directly to the Start Screen by default.
Microsoft has sold more than 200 million licenses of Windows 8 since releasing the operating system in 2012. Unfortunately for the devices and services giant, Windows 8 has seen a slow rate of adoption compared to the previous generation of Windows 7.