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Windows RT Will Cost OEMs Over Twice As Much as Windows 7

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 years ago | from the backroom-deals-with-intel dept.

Microsoft 310

MrSeb writes with this excerpt from Extreme Tech: "Good news: Last month's unbelievable rumors that a Windows RT (Windows 8 ARM) licenses would cost OEMs $90-100 were off the mark — in actual fact, as confirmed by multiple vendors at Computex in Taiwan, the Windows RT license cost is only $80-95. At this point, we're not entirely sure what Microsoft's plan for Windows RT is. It would seem that Microsoft doesn't want to flood the markets with cheap Windows RT tablets. At this rate, though, we would expect the cheapest Windows RT tablets to hit the market at around $600, with top-spec models (if they exist) in the $800-900 range — well above Android tablets or the iPad. We can only assume that Microsoft doesn't want to go head-to-head with iOS and Android, instead trying to stake out a position at the top end of the market. Whether this is a good plan, with x86 tablets and their full 20-year PC ecosystem also vying for market share, remains to be seen." For comparison, sources say that Windows Phone 7 ran OEMs the equivalent of $30 per device, and Windows 7 for desktops around $50.

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310 comments

Good news for AAPL investors (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40308047)

The iPad still has nothing to worry about. Does Microsoft secretly hold a ton of Apple stock? Are they just trying to make money by driving it up and then selling it?

Re:Good news for AAPL investors (1, Flamebait)

DemomanDeveloper (2658739) | about 2 years ago | (#40308171)

Full disclosure: In my work I promote Android tablets and phones.

That being said, I think this is fantastic idea by Microsoft. They don't want to get Windows tablets the feel and image that Android has with all its shitty low quality tablets. Sure, there are maybe one or two good ones (and still they aren't as good as iPad), but rest of Android tablets are pure crap.

Microsoft wants to associate its tablets with quality, and that is what they are.

Re:Good news for AAPL investors (5, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#40308309)

This will not work that way, the OEM will use lower quality tablet parts if they have to pay more for the OS. They will do this to get a competitive price and a reasonable profit margin. There are quite a few good android tablets out there, Samsung, Acer and Asus just off the top of my head all make more than one. Plus there is the fire and the nook for the lower end but still quite nice devices.

Re:Good news for AAPL investors (2)

bhcompy (1877290) | about 2 years ago | (#40309059)

Which is really why if MS is that concerned they need to go first party with their own tablet like Apple rather than rely on Samsung, Acer, Asus, and others to produce quality tablets. Unfortunately, with what happened to the Courier it looks like this will never happen as it seems it's against what they want to do, but who knows.

Re:Good news for AAPL investors (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#40309215)

I found TFS amusing. $85? I paid $125 for XP almost ten years ago. And this was hilarious:

We can only assume that Microsoft doesn't want to go head-to-head with iOS and Android, instead trying to stake out a position at the top end of the market.

You mention that the OEM will use lower quality tablet parts if they have to pay more for the OS, I wonder what Apple and Google are charging? And I'll be willing to bet that even if it has higher specs, the Windows tablet won't be any more powerful than the lowest end Android and slower than the Apple, because of the OS' bloat and the need for AV on Microsoft products. Nothing sucks your computing power like McAfee or Norton. Except for maybe being part of a botnet, that would really slow your machine down!

Re:Good news for AAPL investors (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#40308345)

While I can understand that MS doesn't want 'Windows RT' associated with the sort of hardware that floats around on the dodgy end of the Android spectrum, it seems like pricing the software license as they have isn't an obviously helpful way to do that.

If the OEM has to make a price point, because their customers or sales network says so, the money spent on software licenses will come out of something else(or, since Windows for x86 is apparently cheaper, simply cut a bloody swath through ARM devices and lead Intel to sell a bunch of Atoms...), which won't help hardware quality much.

Given that they maintained a relatively iron grip over 'approved' specs for Windows Phone licencees(you either built the handset within certain parameters, or you didn't get a license, period.) it seems like that already have a template for a much better way to ensure uniform quality and a consistent experience.

With this pricing strategy(along with the 'Ha Ha, no AD for you, not even with some sort of premium SKU" thing), one just gets the impression that they don't really want to sell this particular product...

Re:Good news for AAPL investors (2)

Gobelet (892738) | about 2 years ago | (#40308509)

since Windows for x86 is apparently cheaper, simply cut a bloody swath through ARM devices and lead Intel to sell a bunch of Atoms...

Especially considering Intel now has their Medfield Atom processor going head-to-head with ARM smartphones. This single-core chip is faster than a lot of dual-core ARM SoCs, if not most, and sips just as much juice.

Intel's Medfield & Atom Z2460 Arrive for Smartphones: It's Finally Here [anandtech.com]
Lava Xolo X900 Review - The First Intel Medfield Phone - Performance [anandtech.com]

Re:Good news for AAPL investors (5, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | about 2 years ago | (#40308621)

> one just gets the impression that they don't really want to sell this particular product...

I think you are confused by trying to understand behavior that doesn't appear to make sense. Usually means we are missing part of the decision process. So lets toss theories around until one makes sense.

Here is mine. Microsoft has a couple of long term problems. They have a monopoly on the desktop. It produces a shedload of cash. How much per unit is a secret somehow, odd that a large publicly traded corporation's flagship revenue stream's details are a closely guarded secret. (just an aside that may be significant) They fear the desktop might not stay so important and produce the revenue. But they have a second, equally important problem. They can't even stay the same, they have around 90% of the market and PC sales are flat, shareholders have been waiting patiently for a decade to see some share appreciation on MSFT and there doesn't appear to be a lot of upside on the Windows PC. They see Linux as a threat and we know shutting off the oxygen supply is a tactic that has worked for them. The open PC is the air supply.

So Windows RT is designed to address all those needs. It answers the threat to the platform. It will produce Apple like per unit revenue which will make the pension fund managers smile. And it ends the Linux threat by carefully locking the platform and keeping a very tight leash on the OEMs.

The question is whether the marketplace will allow them to get away with it. A lot of people have wanted to make insanely great margins on consumer electronics. Only one has succeeded. The chains are even questionable, phone vendors are removing them, not building stronger ones.

Re:Good news for AAPL investors (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40308361)

We have a real shill here, people.

Re:Good news for AAPL investors (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40308443)

Fuller full disclosure: Almost all of your previous posts include falling to your knees and "praising" Microsoft.

Nice! (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40308059)

Seems that Linux will finally get a chance.

Re:Nice! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40308087)

Finally, an OS for the 1%!

Re:Nice! (5, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | about 2 years ago | (#40308143)

No it will just go to Apple and Android (Some people count Android as Linux, others do not)...

Re:Nice! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40308613)

Considering Android runs on top of a Linux kernel...I think it is safe to call it a Linux.

Re:Nice! (1)

jo_ham (604554) | about 2 years ago | (#40309199)

Considering Android runs on top of a Linux kernel...I think it is safe to call it a Linux.

Tell that to those claiming OS X is not Unix, despite running on top of Unix. I assume those people would also claim Android is not really Linux.

Re:Nice! (1)

dark12222000 (1076451) | about 2 years ago | (#40309227)

To be fair though, OS X is a very heavily modded Unix based system that is a pretty far ways away from any *nix, aside from a handful of terminal commands.

What is Microsoft thinking? (5, Insightful)

JDG1980 (2438906) | about 2 years ago | (#40308095)

So they're basically screwing up the desktop experience on Windows 8 in favor of tablets and smartphones, and on top of that they're pricing it so high that it won't have any reasonable chance of success in the market they want.

I'm betting that Steve Ballmer will be out the door by the time all this is over.

Re:What is Microsoft thinking? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40308151)

They are thinking they want to keep the same profits margins they have always had (which of course won't work). It's pretty short sighted since they now have the windows apps market which means they can make much more through app sales then the OS itself.

I highly doubt this would kick Ballmar out however. This isn't HP. Setbacks are common for MS yet you don't see a revolving door of CEO at MS.

Re:What is Microsoft thinking? (1)

Junta (36770) | about 2 years ago | (#40308257)

They are thinking they want to keep the same profits margins they have always had (which of course won't work)

Actually, they aren't, they are seeking *more*. On top of the pricing change, I wager there is a lot of x86 crapware to recover the cost of the license on x86 systems, not so much with the ARM variant.

Re:What is Microsoft thinking? (1)

sortius_nod (1080919) | about 2 years ago | (#40308697)

Setbacks are common for MS yet you don't see a revolving door of CEO at MS.

This would be only the 2nd CEO to leave, not sure about you, but revolving door, this is not.

I agree with GP that the avenue that MS is taking with 8 departs from the success built with 7. Windows 8 will piss off consumers because what they've been learning for years has become some crazy new system they have to learn, & business won't be able to adapt to the new system with their archaic group policies without building from the ground up. I really feel that if they're going to make the cheap tablet market more expensive, why do I have to deal with the "Metro" interface?

Re:What is Microsoft thinking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40309201)

Stop calling it Window 8... it is nothing like Windows.. It Closer to that POS Called BOB from the 1990's

BOB 2.0

Re:What is Microsoft thinking? (1)

rfioren (648635) | about 2 years ago | (#40308235)

I can't tell you how many times I've lost that bet so far. Steve Balls just keeps hanging around.

Re:What is Microsoft thinking? (5, Insightful)

hmmm (115599) | about 2 years ago | (#40308245)

I agree. They appear to be betting the company on Windows 8 in an attempt to capture the market for touch enabled devices, and are willing to risk alienating millions of their customers as a consequence. Why they wouldn't follow through on that strategy by all but giving away the RT licenses is beyond me. Windows 8 makes it clear that they are not willing to settle on becoming merely niche players in this market, whereas high pricing on licenses seems to indicate the reverse.

Perhaps we have two parts of the company engaging in competing strategies, in which case responsibility for the mess would fall very squarely on Ballmer and senior management who should be setting the overall company strategy.

"touch enabled devices" (4, Funny)

DarthVain (724186) | about 2 years ago | (#40308765)

Touch enabled devices does not mean specifically tablets or phones. MS has long seen their demise and plans to corner the touch enabled coffee table market. Truly they are visionaries!

Re:"touch enabled devices" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40309139)

My dick is a touch enabled device, FYI.

Re:What is Microsoft thinking? (4, Interesting)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about 2 years ago | (#40308793)

It's possible they realize the folly of Windows RT and are trying to make it possible but not probable.

It's not really clear who windows RT is actually going to be good for. It's clear who it's aimed at. But if the whole plan is to have a single windows 8 family why the hell would you buy the ugly incompatible step child of the family? That doesn't mean windows RT will be bad, or won't behave exactly the same from a user perspective as x86/IA64, at least until they go to install software and find out nothing works. But for a tablet the whole advantage of windows is that it runs windows software, if it's not going to run windows software... why would you want it?

The fact that intel and AMD haven't really kicked into gear for mobile has hurt microsoft a lot. There should be x86 phones running well... actual windows. And there should have been for 5 or 6 years at this point. I have a 6 year old touch and pen enabled windows XP tablet that behaves pretty much exactly as you'd expect a touch device to, other than the whole having a fold out keyboard because it's a convertible laptop, and I have a touch enabled windows vista HP laptop thats about 4 years old that's the same deal.

I'm still struggling to figure out what Windows RT is aimed at. Maybe it's for emerging markets and developers for emerging markets? It's possible they want regular windows as the main product line in rich countries, and poor ones that only get arm devices to have a cheap edition? Selling a cheap tablet to compete on price with the iPad in any market is a stupid plan if there's no software for it, which seems to be what windows RT would be, that's just going to make millions of customers angry, fast. Making a shitty product more expensive doesn't make it a better product, but it might make manufacturers think twice about trying to stuff it in every pile of bad hardware they can shovel out the door. But as you say... who whole strategy seems internally inconsistent.

Re:What is Microsoft thinking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40309181)

"Perhaps we have two parts of the company engaging in competing strategies, in which case responsibility for the mess would fall very squarely on Ballmer and senior management who should be setting the overall company strategy."

It's well known Microsoft has some vicious, competing internal teams who consider the "other teams" to be their competitors/enemy more than actual competitors. Promotions depend not on excellence but politics == bad future.

Why else does Office ignore many of the API's and user interface tools/guildelines produced by the OS? Not Invented Here.

Why was Kin and Microsoft Courier killed instead of fixed?

Why is Ballmer still there?

Re:What is Microsoft thinking? (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about 2 years ago | (#40308255)

I think it is more of a cautious approach to entering the market.
Price the OS, so that it will only be included on the high end Tablets (ones with faster processors and more memory) So when these go on the market they run very well and smooth. You don't want bad reviews out of the starting gate because the starting tables are just running of the systems minimum specifications.

Because there is time where Metro-Apps need to be built Microsoft needs to push the Intel Versions of its OS for a while, where people will upgrade their Old OS and slowly become accustom the the new Apps, and with Visual Studios upgrades more Metro-Apps will be made. Then when the App Store has a good number of programs available and good reviews of those existing systems, then Microsoft can lower the price to attract more lower end systems (by that time the lower end systems, will be a few notches higher) .

Re:What is Microsoft thinking? (5, Insightful)

JDG1980 (2438906) | about 2 years ago | (#40308403)

I think it is more of a cautious approach to entering the market. Price the OS, so that it will only be included on the high end Tablets (ones with faster processors and more memory) So when these go on the market they run very well and smooth. You don't want bad reviews out of the starting gate because the starting tables are just running of the systems minimum specifications.

The problem with this argument is that WinRT will never even get "out of the starting gate" if the first devices are so grossly overpriced. This isn't a new market; Microsoft has to compete with Apple and Google, both of which have substantial installed bases. Apple, in particular, already has the premium tablet market sewn up, while Google's Android is found on a very wide array of devices and can be implemented at a very low price due to lack of licensing costs.

Microsoft has to seriously consider, from the customer's perspective, why anyone would choose a WinRT tablet over an iPad 3. The iPad 3 is $629 for the least expensive model with 3G/4G capability. WinRT tablets are going to be considerably more expensive. The iPad 3 has a premium name, massive installed software base, and Retina Display. The WinRT tablet won't have any of these things. What's more, you will get some customers who think because it's called "Windows 8" that it can run normal Windows software, and they aren't going to be very happy when they find out that this is not true.

The whole Windows 8 project is shaping up to be a failure greater even than Vista.

Re:What is Microsoft thinking? (1)

JTW (11913) | about 2 years ago | (#40308337)

It does have the odor of a Leo moment for Microsoft.

Difference being this Leo owns a lot of Microsoft stock.

I wonder how institutional investors will react.

Re:What is Microsoft thinking? (3, Interesting)

Kjella (173770) | about 2 years ago | (#40308353)

They survived Vista so they'll survive Windows 8, Microsoft is far too entrenched to flop in one generation. Much like Intel when they were selling PIVs and Itanics, they still come back to be on top of the game. I run Windows 7, it works very well and with extended support even my Home Premium is supported until 2020. It's not like there's going to be a pressing need to use Win8 for many years yet, assuming it actually ends up that bad.

Re:What is Microsoft thinking? (4, Interesting)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | about 2 years ago | (#40308729)

Sure, Microsoft will survive on the desktop and on "classic" laptops. Windows 7 is good enough to keep them in business for those types of device, even if Windows 9 takes another five years to produce. Windows 7 will just become the new XP.

But for touchscreen devices, Windows 7 is not fun to use as it is. Neither are most existing Windows applications. So Windows 8 (RT) starts from a difficult position and I could imagine the pricing as described is the final nail in its coffin.
Which would give iOS and Android time until Windows 9 to get even more entrenched on smartphones and tablets. That cannot be good for Microsoft.

Re:What is Microsoft thinking? (1)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | about 2 years ago | (#40308445)

It feels more like they are trying to kill ARM at an OEM level: "It's too expensive with Windows and no one wants it without" ... Of course, that thought is nonsense...but have you seen reason and sanity at work lately there?

Re:What is Microsoft thinking? (2)

JDG1980 (2438906) | about 2 years ago | (#40308661)

It feels more like they are trying to kill ARM at an OEM level: "It's too expensive with Windows and no one wants it without" ... Of course, that thought is nonsense...but have you seen reason and sanity at work lately there?

If they really are thinking that, they have delusions of grandeur. ARM existed before Microsoft had any products for it, and will continue to thrive after WinRT flops.

Microsoft really needs to come to its senses and give up the 1990s-era delusion that they can own the whole IT market. They have a *lock* on the business desktop, for good reasons (and a few bad reasons as well), a lock on the PC gamer desktop, almost total domination of the office suite market, and a decent though not overwhelming market share in the server OS business. They need to focus on maintaining and building this, rather than trying to control everything under the sun. This is their bread and butter. If they really want to spread their wings, they would have been better off buying Adobe (as was inaccurately rumored a while back), since Photoshop/Creative Suite fits in very well with their core business demographic and is the industry standard.

Re:What is Microsoft thinking? (2)

jmorris42 (1458) | about 2 years ago | (#40309067)

> Microsoft really needs to come to its senses..

It is trying to survive. It will do ANYTHING.

A publicly traded corporation has two paths to success.

1. Growth. But you have to give the shareholders regular good news to drive the share price up and up. This was MSFT up to the .bomb crash.

2. Dividends. A utility type. A monopoly with a saturated market like Microsoft currently exists as is a perfect example of one. Everyone needs em, they rake in nice healthy revenue and.... they aren't handing out utility company dividends. WTF? But if things stay as they are they will and it would be a good midlife for a corporation that could go on and on. Until the market changes. And they see it changing.

No corporation is going to face the shareholders and announce a plan for a controlled implosion, to make the company half it's current size over the next decade. There must be, if not growth, at least preservation of capital and dividends.

Of what use is migrating to tablets if they make less money? Making the same money is almost as bad, a huge risk with no potential reward?

Re:What is Microsoft thinking? (4, Funny)

Grayhand (2610049) | about 2 years ago | (#40308485)

So they're basically screwing up the desktop experience on Windows 8 in favor of tablets and smartphones, and on top of that they're pricing it so high that it won't have any reasonable chance of success in the market they want.

I'm betting that Steve Ballmer will be out the door by the time all this is over.

I'm not saying I agree that Ballmer will be out soon but apparently they have removed all chairs from his office.

Re:What is Microsoft thinking? (1)

symbolset (646467) | about 2 years ago | (#40308775)

The only thing that disappoints me about Steve Ballmer's leadership is that it didn't begin five years sooner, so he could mark XP with his scent as well. I hope they keep him a long time.

Re:What is Microsoft thinking? (1)

tobiasly (524456) | about 2 years ago | (#40309101)

I'm betting that Steve Ballmer will be out the door by the time all this is over.

While that would certainly be good for MSFT, I'm having loads of fun watching him run the company into the ground.

Lol... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40308125)

Please Microsoft, keep doing what you are doing.

Re:Lol... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40308173)

LOL indeed...if you saw the preview of Windows Server 2012, you'd see that they are. Imagine, a server OS that is optimized for a tablet. Does that mean we replace the racks in our datacenter with bookshelves?

Office included (5, Interesting)

robmv (855035) | about 2 years ago | (#40308145)

Isn't Office included on Windows RT? I think that is the reason of that higher price, some big corporations have so disconnected divisions that each one demands their cut to meet their yearly quota and do not see the big picture

Re:Office included (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40308201)

I'm sure you're right, but you'd think they'd realize charging $100 from 1 customer is making them less money than $10 from 100 customers.

Re:Office included (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40308923)

Isn't Office included on Windows RT? I think that is the reason of that higher price, some big corporations have so disconnected divisions that each one demands their cut to meet their yearly quota and do not see the big picture

You are completely right and most people here seems to be completely missing this fact, this price includes both a Windows license and a Office license (not a trial like preinstalled on most PCs, a full license). And then it isn't that expensive at all, quite the opposite (well, with the current price for Office and Windows as benchmark that is..). The question then becomes how smart or not it is of Microsoft to bundle like this, will people want and value Office on their tablet? Have no idea (but the ongoing writings about possible Office for iPad show a certain level of interest)

Re:Office included (2)

Tridus (79566) | about 2 years ago | (#40309001)

When I'm buying a home tablet I don't care about Office. I do care about price.

Unless they're just going exclusively after the corporate market, this strategy is suicidial.

we are in the era of Good Enough (3, Insightful)

alen (225700) | about 2 years ago | (#40308155)

MS still doesn't get it, we are in the era of Good Enough Computing. my ipad 2 is not as powerful as my Lenovo, but i don't care. for a lot of things its more than good enough. most times i use my lenovo laptop the CPU is in the 5% range or less so it's not like i'm stressing it.

and the form factor of the ipad allows it to have applications that are not available on my laptop. Flipboard for one as well as lots of educational apps for kids

Re:we are in the era of Good Enough (3, Interesting)

Renderer of Evil (604742) | about 2 years ago | (#40308409)

Lets be honest, this is about Office.

Microsoft is still living in that fantasy land where MS Office is relevant or necessary to everyone with a computer.

Apple's Pages and Google Docs cover about 95% of the consumer population. I'm not even mentioning all the 3rd party, dirt cheap apps which have carved out their niches and do some tasks far better without the pricetag or the bloat of Office suite.

I do love unending analyst guarantees (10 year running) how Office is this one thing that will turn the tide by making Microsoft cool and relevant again. Then the kids will finally discover the joys of mail merge and start sharing their hip-hop playlists with their friends at the Microsoft store.

how to make lockin discounts irresistable (2)

Jerry Atrick (2461566) | about 2 years ago | (#40308175)

I'm forced to assume they set it so ludicrously high to make the inevitable OEM 'loyalty' discount impossible to resist. I can only hope they've misjudged this badly, that OEMs will decide to avoid Win8 rather than agree whatever restrictive terms (dropping Android?) come with that discount.

Re:how to make lockin discounts irresistable (1)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#40308287)

whatever restrictive terms (dropping Android?) come with that discount.

My guess is the carrot will be 95% of the cost will be refunded if their secureboot implementation used to prevent linux or android from being installed is not broken.

The day after a "crack" or whatever hits pirate bay so end users can install linux or android over the microsoft install, the refund disappears.

Its an interesting anti-competitive tactic.

Re:how to make lockin discounts irresistable (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40308343)

"crack"

that's what you're smoking

Re:how to make lockin discounts irresistable (1)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | about 2 years ago | (#40308471)

I wouldn't bet that. See, as long as the device ships and sells with a Microsoft product, I'm sure that company doesn't care and does sell it as a win.

Re:how to make lockin discounts irresistable (1)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | about 2 years ago | (#40308487)

Quite possible.

But it also looks a lot like one of the tactics that got them into trouble for of anti-competitive behavior before. Namely contracts with OEMs that were designed to block or at least hamper the sale of PCs with other operating systems. For instance, see http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2001/10/23/13219/110 [kuro5hin.org].

I wonder what the EU Commission has to say about that ;-)

It's because of the price of apps (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40308189)

Microsoft can't charge $120-150 for desktop Office and $15 for the tablet version. So they make up the difference elsewhere.

Standard Slashdot Comment (-1, Flamebait)

DogDude (805747) | about 2 years ago | (#40308263)

Obligatory:

OMG! M$ is sooo expensive! Nobody will spend that much on an OS! It's the year of Linux on the tablet! M$ is dead! Stooopid M$!

Is this article really about eighty dollars? Most people spend more than that every month on cable TV. This article is moronic.

Re:Standard Slashdot Comment (1)

Tridus (79566) | about 2 years ago | (#40308595)

That's a lot of money when we're talking about OEMs. It pushes what would be a $400 tablet to $500, and suddenly it's competing against the iPad. With those kinds of licensing costs you're not going to have an easy time in the low end at all, and Windows 8 will get totally destroyed by Apple in the high end.

Re:Standard Slashdot Comment (2)

symbolset (646467) | about 2 years ago | (#40308883)

Yes, the strategy does seem to be to find a way to be crushed between Android on the low end and Apple on the high. I believe they can achieve it.

Stupid if true (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40308275)

If this news is accurate, then Microsoft is fairly stupid and we can be happy about it.

They should license Windows RT for 10$, maximum 20$, and target the extreme low-cost segment. Heck, they should consider giving it away for free (for the time being). There is just no way a company can get a reasonable piece of the mobile market cake with their own proprietary operating system on the basis of primarily targeting high-end devices.

Luxury customers are rare and Apple's quasi-monopoly is hard to break, especially not by Microsoft whose design decisions have historically always been dominated by completely tasteless marketing managers. Anyway, cheap masses is what wins in the long run, see PC vs. Apple.

Cute (1)

Teun (17872) | about 2 years ago | (#40308295)

Microsoft, a commercial enterprise if there ever was one, has something new to sell and the market needs to guess the price.
But then it's purely B2B and has nothing to do with the consumer...

Oh boy (1)

JOrgePeixoto (853808) | about 2 years ago | (#40308303)

Oh boy, do I want Windows 8 to be a massive failure!

Unfortunately, I think that Microsoft has enough resources hedge their bets.
Like when Intel (another giant) made the crappy Pentium 4, but they didn't collapse,
because they had a team in Israel developing a good alternative micro-architecture.

Still, I think we should concentrate efforts now - by evangelizing Ubuntu and Chrome/Firefox.

Re:Oh boy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40308377)

By hedging their bets you mean
A) Windows 8 Fail
B) Windows RT Fail
C) Nokia Fail
D) All of the Above

My vote is D...

Doesn't want to flood the market?! (3, Interesting)

jimicus (737525) | about 2 years ago | (#40308321)

Okay, this bit I don't get:

It would seem that Microsoft doesn't want to flood the markets with cheap Windows RT tablets.

If what we see on PC's is anything to go by, this sort of pricing strategy will have the exact opposite effect. Manufacturers will grit their teeth, pay Microsoft and then cut every other conceivable corner they can think of in order to build products down to a price.

Re:Doesn't want to flood the market?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40308689)

I don't think the two things are related at all. Android is practically free and you see it on tons of garbage hardware.

Re:Doesn't want to flood the market?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40308985)

I don't think the two things are related at all. Android is practically free and you see it on tons of garbage hardware.

Because free+shit hardware = big profit
expensive software + super shit hardware with a side order of shit = similar profit

Expensive software is not going to stop the makers of cheap garbage from selling garbage running the expensive software. What you'll get is a shit tablet running Android = $X, the same shit hardware running WinRT = $X+125. (+25 for "premium", extra gouging)

MS is setting themselves up with a reputation for making expensive junk. True, they kind of already have that reputation due to the crap budget PCs from stores but this certainly won't improve their image any.

Re:Doesn't want to flood the market?! (1)

glop (181086) | about 2 years ago | (#40309189)

They can also install crapware and get paid for that. That may help offset the license.

iPad has nothing to worry about (4, Interesting)

erp_consultant (2614861) | about 2 years ago | (#40308349)

$600 - $900 for a Windows tablet? Really? Good luck with that one Ballmer. Look - Apple is a premium brand so they can get away with charging what they do for the iPad. The android tablets are priced at a discount to that, presumably because the OS is free but also because the quality of components is not quite as good. On the ones I've used the touch screens don't seem to be quite as responsive as the iPad. In any case, where does this leave the Windows tablets? Selling at a premium to the iPad? I don't think so.

Re:iPad has nothing to worry about (1)

Zocalo (252965) | about 2 years ago | (#40308457)

Corporates want an integrated user platform that they can manage from a single console. What they can save on support engineers, management tools, training and other expenses they perceive are associated with running multiple platforms might just be enough to justify and extra few hundred bucks a seat.

Re:iPad has nothing to worry about (3, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 years ago | (#40308565)

Except that RT won't even be able to fully integrate into AD domains, so you won't even have the benefit of group policies and software distribution.

Re:iPad has nothing to worry about (1)

alen (225700) | about 2 years ago | (#40308601)

Apple has an enterprise deployment kit to deploy home grown apps to iOS devices without itunes

and most of the crap that AD does like app security is being done by apple. if someone installs some app on the app store it won't screw up the device because each app has its own sandbox and can only access limited resources

Re:iPad has nothing to worry about (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40308635)

WIN RT does NOT support Active Directory. Another idioitic decision.

I'd agree with you if Win RT supported AD, but it doesn't

Re:iPad has nothing to worry about (1)

Eponymous Coward (6097) | about 2 years ago | (#40308853)

I don't think that was part of any strategy other than picking the features to ship with. AD will come soon enough either from MS or third parties.

Re:iPad has nothing to worry about (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40309157)

If you're competing with the iPad, you need a day one differentiating feature like AD integration. So, let's see, so far, they have no AD integration, no support for legacy Windows apps, and likely a higher price for worse hardware... Where do I buy one?

Re:iPad has nothing to worry about (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40308799)

IT wants an integrated platform, not the business users. IT would lose a lot of credibility and waste a lot of money pushing a product that the users don't want to use.

Re:iPad has nothing to worry about (1)

Eponymous Coward (6097) | about 2 years ago | (#40308843)

Corporates? I think you mean IT departments in corporations. I don't know very many users that want this and recently the users have been winning more often than they used to.

Re:iPad has nothing to worry about (2)

Tridus (79566) | about 2 years ago | (#40308921)

Corporates also want that shiny toy that the CEO sees his kid with and decides he should have one too.

That's not a Windows tablet.

Corporate culture and dogma (1)

macraig (621737) | about 2 years ago | (#40308397)

It sounds like maybe Microsoft's internal priesthood have finally gained a firm upper hand and are now letting their identity delusions fully dictate pricing decisions. So is this Windows for The Faithful now, and paying up to own a copy is really a tithe to the Church of Redmond? Yeah... I think I'll stick with secularism. When Windows 7 runs off the rails I hope I'll finally be prepped to make the switch to something else. I'll be damned if I'm doing Unity, but I'm sure as hell not doin' Metro either!

MSFT focusing tablets on businesses? (1)

david.emery (127135) | about 2 years ago | (#40308437)

A premium price for Windows tablets would make sense if Microsoft plans to leverage their (strangle)hold on the business world. The argument would be "you know how to manage and secure Windows desktops. By paying this premium for Windows tablets, you get tablet devices that you can similarly control, thereby reducing Total Cost of Ownership."

But that would mean Microsoft is abandoning, or at least substantially downplaying, the consumer, and ceding that ground to Android and iOS. That -would be- a bet-the-company move for Ballmer, et.al.

Re:MSFT focusing tablets on businesses? (1)

JDG1980 (2438906) | about 2 years ago | (#40308931)

A premium price for Windows tablets would make sense if Microsoft plans to leverage their (strangle)hold on the business world. The argument would be "you know how to manage and secure Windows desktops. By paying this premium for Windows tablets, you get tablet devices that you can similarly control, thereby reducing Total Cost of Ownership."

That plan would make sense... if Microsoft had implemented Active Directory on WinRT. The lack of this crucial IT management feature, which pretty much everyone in the business world uses extensively, indicates that this is a consumer-focused device.

But that would mean Microsoft is abandoning, or at least substantially downplaying, the consumer, and ceding that ground to Android and iOS. That -would be- a bet-the-company move for Ballmer, et.al.

That's what they should have done. The crappy, low-end OEM Windows desktop is indeed dying in favor of other devices that do a better job on the consumption side. But businesses, gamers, and power users will need a solid version of Windows for the indefinite future. People who do work and produce stuff still need a desktop OS, and that OS is still almost always Windows - thanks to Office, Photoshop, AutoCAD, and a million legacy one-off applications scattered all around the place.

Microsoft needs to narrow its focus to the core. Keep doing what is necessary to stay on top in its main competencies. Stop trying to own the world, stop trying to engage in massive growth into other fields. Accept that it's a mature company and de-emphasize stock price appreciation in favor of larger dividends.

Re:MSFT focusing tablets on businesses? (1)

jo_ham (604554) | about 2 years ago | (#40309221)

The problem with that is that these new tablets do not support AD. I'd at least think that would be an optional component, but it isn't.

WinRT comes with Office (3, Interesting)

tgd (2822) | about 2 years ago | (#40308477)

All the reports say WinRT is including Office RT. Its as simple as that. WinRT comes with Office, so it costs more.

Win8 bundled with Office would cost more, too.

Re:WinRT comes with Office (2)

bravecanadian (638315) | about 2 years ago | (#40308633)

All the reports say WinRT is including Office RT. Its as simple as that. WinRT comes with Office, so it costs more.

Win8 bundled with Office would cost more, too.

The correct information has no place in this latest opportunity for everyone to sound off about how bad Microsoft is!!

Re:WinRT comes with Office (1)

Eponymous Coward (6097) | about 2 years ago | (#40308863)

Why do they assume everybody wants Office? I sure don't.

Re:WinRT comes with Office (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40309143)

Why do they assume everybody wants Office? I sure don't.

I don't think they assume that. I think they are only assuming that having a built in 'touch friendly' (sic) Office will be a differentiator for RT tablets in the tablet space, a reason for some consumers to choose it over iPad/Android. And that this is something they don't want to fragment in retail and marketing, they want consumers to know that RT tablets means built in Office. And then they - right or wrong -- assume that this advantage is greater than the loss they make from people that really wanted Windows RT tablets but will stay away because of the extra price of the Office license.

cheaper hardware = more room for profit (1)

HighOrbit (631451) | about 2 years ago | (#40308499)

Every year, hardware gets cheaper. They may be thinking that if the comsumer price point for the device is $400 and the hardware cost just dropped by $50, they can still charge that extra $50 to the consumer (via the OEM) and pocket the the profit. The price is still what the consumer was expecting, but MS just got richer.

To put that into context (1)

DrXym (126579) | about 2 years ago | (#40308771)

You can buy wholesale, right now, Android 4.0 7" tablets with 1GB ram, 8GB storage, capacitive screens for $55 a piece.

How are Windows tablet suppliers supposed to compete with Android when they're lumbered with a massive licence cost for the software? It's certainly not going to happen at the low end of the scale and it's hard to see how it can happen in the middle either.

Re:To put that into context (1)

Microlith (54737) | about 2 years ago | (#40309007)

You can buy wholesale, right now, Android 4.0 7" tablets with 1GB ram, 8GB storage, capacitive screens for $55 a piece.

You can, but they tend to be shit and come from vendors who are utterly incompetent at proper software adaptations and don't comply with the GPL for the kernel (let alone releasing any of the other sources.

are people really surprised that microsoft sucks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40308783)

Dude, it's Microsoft, of course it's stupid and crappy. Where have you been for the last 30 years?

More "I can do it, too." (3, Insightful)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 2 years ago | (#40308841)

Presumably there is a high level business executive at Microsoft saying, "Let's create an also-ran copycat tablet OS, charge way more money than the successful competitors with already huge markets, and dump billions into it. Obviously people will buy it because [unintelligible]. Sound good? It's a plan, then!"

This is prong 1 (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | about 2 years ago | (#40309081)

Prong 2 is to make Android cost more by continuing to engage catspawns to sue the pants off of any OEMs who use it until they knuckle under and buy patent licenses.

Oracle just took a swing and a miss, but they were burdened by a legacy of being in the business of making actual products. The next tranch of rabid puppets will be pure patent trolls with no history of reasonable behaviour to hold them back.

Windows 7 for desktops around $50 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40309191)

ya right. if you think dell, acer and hp are paying $50 per pc for windows 7 hp --- i want what you're smoking. it's closer to half that, then when they get paid for adding all the extra crud, they actually *make* money on pre-loaded software -- which is why no-OS computers cost as much (or more) than ones with windows.

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