Rumor: Intel-based Windows 8 tablets may start at $600

By on January 16, 2012, 3:00 PM

We still have the better part of a year to wait until Windows 8 comes out -- sometime around October 2012 according to the latest rumors -- but information about potential pricing for Intel-powered tablets running Microsoft's upcoming operating system is already surfacing. According to DigiTimes, the devices could be priced in the $599 to $899 range, putting them at a disadvantage next to the iPad and Android tablets.

Apparently the issue here is that neither Microsoft nor Intel are willing to drop their prices for device manufacturers. The report notes that since Microsoft is attempting to merge the tablet and laptop market with Windows 8, essentially using the same full blown OS for both devices, lowering prices could seriously damage pricing in the traditional PC market and bring down their gross margin performance.

Unfortunately for Intel, Windows 8 is expected to support the ARM architecture, meaning vendors are likely to choose less-expensive yet very capable chips from Nvidia, Qualcomm and TI. This would most likely also result in tablets incapable of executing the current gamut of x86 Windows software.

If the rumors are true, Intel would be putting itself in quite a predicament, consideing it has yet to make any significant advances in the tablet market and consumers have shown almost no interest in $500 tablets other than the Apple iPad. On the other hand, high prices could also hurt Windows 8's chances on tablets right out of the gate. While the $599 to $899 and up range makes sense for laptops running a full blown copy of Windows 8, customers will have a hard time spending that much on tablets when Android alternatives start at $200.




User Comments: 16

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VitalyT VitalyT said:

lowering prices could seriously damage pricing in the traditional PC market and bring down their gross margin performance.

This is inevitable. Time for Intel to realize that selling top-rank CPU-s for 1K is from yesterday. They will have to completely change their pricing and their take on customer needs today.

Ranger12 Ranger12 said:

That picture looks horribly stretched. Somebody was in a hurry.

Lurker101 said:

Something else that could bring down their profit margin is not selling enough tablets, because they're overly expensive compared to competing products.

Guest said:

Actually it is not horribly stretched. That is the way it looks.

Beautiful. Avocado green and square tiles.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

That's actually a really decent price point for a full x86 tablet platform. Seems like quite a few enterprise customers (like hospitals, etc) would jump at the better pricing. But, I think real issues will come into play when ARM-powered Win8 tablets are injected into the marketplace - there will be a serious schism in product lines and price structures, as consumers try to figure out why they should pay more for the x86 line. Seems like there is an identity crisis on the horizon, and Microsoft isn't helping by muddying the waters with 2 versions of Win8 that aren't fully cross-compatible.

This story is a good case in point, but at least Techspot got the basics of the story correct. I've seen the same basic reporting sensationally pasted across other tech/gadget sites, where they are blasting the Win8 tablets: to paraphrase, "More expensive than the iPad, so they are automatically going to fail." They seem to have no clue that these Win8 tablets aren't the Win8 tablets that are going to be fighting head-to-head with the iPad (that will be the ARM tablets). When even the tech sites are a confused and muddled mess of assumptions and misinformation, just imagine what the average (and generally uninformed) consumer will be going through soon.

Guest said:

If MS is anticipating competing with the IOS/ANDROID entertaiment tablets, then it will be

overpriced.

I see MS tablets as productivity/business tablets. If have an EP121 and it is great (except battery life) for work.

If ARM can decently run MS apps, then can be a cheaper alternative to X86 tablets.

inventix1136 said:

Vrmithrax said:

That's actually a really decent price point for a full x86 tablet platform. Seems like quite a few enterprise customers (like hospitals, etc) would jump at the better pricing. But, I think real issues will come into play when ARM-powered Win8 tablets are injected into the marketplace - there will be a serious schism in product lines and price structures, as consumers try to figure out why they should pay more for the x86 line.

The tablets are going to be run on ARM, not on x86. Also Microsoft already said that they are not going to support legacy software on Win 8 running on ARM (which is going to be the Metro). Given that Metro apps will be running HTML5 with custom java script , I can see an EPIC FAILURE on par, or worse, with WebOS. No developer in their right mind is going to create HTML based apps for Metro since they are not going to be portable to iOS or Android due to custom java script  (non-compatible libraries). Let's not forget that the tools to create HTML5 anything just plain and simple SUCK!!

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

inventix1136 said:

Vrmithrax said:

That's actually a really decent price point for a full x86 tablet platform. Seems like quite a few enterprise customers (like hospitals, etc) would jump at the better pricing. But, I think real issues will come into play when ARM-powered Win8 tablets are injected into the marketplace - there will be a serious schism in product lines and price structures, as consumers try to figure out why they should pay more for the x86 line.

The tablets are going to be run on ARM, not on x86. Also Microsoft already said that they are not going to support legacy software on Win 8 running on ARM (which is going to be the Metro). Given that Metro apps will be running HTML5 with custom java script , I can see an EPIC FAILURE on par, or worse, with WebOS. No developer in their right mind is going to create HTML based apps for Metro since they are not going to be portable to iOS or Android due to custom java script  (non-compatible libraries). Let's not forget that the tools to create HTML5 anything just plain and simple SUCK!!

In this case I don't have my facts 100% straight (which is a rare thing for me to do; but, oh well, today I'm lazy), but last time I checked, Metro apps are not simply web apps as you seem to, dare I say, impassionedly imply.

The last time I checked (which is an expression I do not use lightly), Metro apps are going to be built using Windows SDK's .NET Framework. That in and of itself means native code is going to be used.

I've read XAML is going to be used through Microsoft's own Microsoft Expression Blend. Although XAML was built off of XML, this is only (that I've heard) used for building the application's user interface; I've heard the SDK includes support for native code (C, C++, etc.). Sandboxed, of course, but still native.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

The tablets are going to be run on ARM, not on x86.

This may never come to materialize, I think in few years time ARM will be competing against Intel, as Medfield seems to be a viable first SoC from Intel in recent times, which is able to compete with ARM's current offerings. Going forward Intel is much better placed to compete, as it can ramp up faster development schedule along with production of newer SoCs on more refined processes when compared with ARM. Come 2014, and we will in all probability be seeing Intel move to 14nm with improved SoC and ARM may not be ahead when it comes to power usage as well. So future isn't as certain as once it seemed to be IMO.

Guest said:

At that price point they can shove it.

Guest said:

What you all seem to be missing is an x86 tablet isn't a glorified mobile operating system, it's just windows without a keyboard and mouse, It's the same windows you have on the desktop.

Looking at project like YAHOO!'s Mojito ( http://developer.yahoo.com/blogs/ydn/posts/2011/11/yahoo-ann
unces-cocktails-%E2%80%93-shaken-not-stirred/ ) with the windows store and html5 / java script  apps we're going to start seeing a lot more write once run anywhere apps. Googles Dart, new programming language that compiles down to java script . Plus let's not forget node.js.

jQuery, makes consistency about interacting with DOM elements from all the different browser implementations.

ikesmasher said:

No thanks.

Is it hard for people to comprehend? make a $350 tablet. thats a sweet spot.

Guest said:

I'm not going over $200 for a tablet and maybe not $100

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

$800 is a lot to pay for an large form factor phone, but it may not be a lot to pay for a tablet-form factor full computer.

I'd probably shell out the extra cash if it meant being able to run full Windows software.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

inventix1136 said:

The tablets are going to be run on ARM, not on x86.

I think maybe you neglected to actually read the article. This is a story about Intel-based tablets, which will indeed be x86 architecture. As I mentioned, there will be ARM-powered tablets coming along as well, which will run the same (but different) operating system. Hence, my comments about the coming wave of consumer confusion.

mosu said:

AMD products to be are far more suited for tablets than Intel's, just wait.The trend in tablets is low price with great graphics on medium sized screens,FullHD capabilities on HDMI and no one can blame Intel for that.Even Via can compete in this new market if they can shrink to 28 nm.

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