Report: Microsoft charging $85 per Windows 8 RT license

By on June 12, 2012, 6:00 PM

Windows is betting big on the tablet market by designing its upcoming operating system around touch interfaces. But tablets running Windows RT might have a hard time competing in a market filled with $200-$300 Android devices. Google’s operating system is offered ‘royalty-free’ (though it's not exactly free) whereas Microsoft’s alternative will cost around $85, according to a report from VR-Zone citing multiple tablet vendors.

VR-Zone says Windows RT tablets will cost between $549 and $799 at launch, with premium models going for as much as $899. Granted, there were some interesting designs being showcased at Computex, and Microsoft promises to deliver a new level of productivity with apps such as Office, but that's quite a premium.

By comparison, the iPad starts at $499 and already counts some 225,000 apps designed specifically for it on the Apple App Store. It also includes a high-resolution display that’s unmatched in the tablet market. Meanwhile, Asus is rumored to be working on a 7-inch, Google-branded tablet packing a quad-core Tegra 3 processor from Nvidia that will supposedly be in the $150-$250 range.

Microsoft still has to prove that Windows 8 is a good fit for the form factor. Although the Metro interface seems well suited for tablets, Windows RT won't run all the Windows software we are used to running on desktops, and it might take a while to build a good selection of Metro-specific apps.




User Comments: 13

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Staff
Julio Franco Julio Franco, TechSpot Editor, said:

If Windows 8 tablets (that are not laptops) ship at a premium over the iPad they will fail, it's that simple.

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

If Windows 8 tablets (that are not laptops) ship at a premium over the iPad they will fail, it's that simple.

With Windows 8, Microsoft's hope is there will no longer be a distinction between the two.

Staff
Julio Franco Julio Franco, TechSpot Editor, said:

Correct me if I'm wrong but last thing I knew Windows RT (Windows on ARM) won't run desktop apps, so the distinction will be inevitable.

Teko03 said:

I'm hoping Windows 8 RT succeeds, but MS is making it hard for those hopes to come true if they decide to price device at this range. Not that iPad's are any better, but nothing should be priced higher than an Apple device.

Scshadow said:

So Windows will be a premium over the premium iOS devices... Perfect.

gamoniac said:

VR-Zone says Windows RT tablets will cost between $549 and $799 at launch...

So even if Windows RT is free to the vendors (-$80), the tablets will still be priced between $469 and $719. Is this because they are based on better hardware, or is it because vendors are pricing the tablets for higher profits? If the latter, then Windows RT license cost is not the only one to blame... I really hope they will sell for less at launch.

gamoniac said:

Oops. That should be -$85 (not $80); so the price would be $464 - $714 in my last post.

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Correct me if I'm wrong but last thing I knew Windows RT (Windows on ARM) won't run desktop apps, so the distinction will be inevitable.

As said in the article, with the tablet/laptop hybrids shown at Computex, Microsoft is hoping to bridge--if not completely remove--the gap between the tablet and laptop form factors, and their consequent purposes. Even though the topic is Windows RT, remember there will also be Intel Oak Trail tablets (and laptops that can be detached into a "tablet" that will run Windows x86. As to how will Microsoft effectively explain the market which is which, what is what, and which should be bought for which purpose will be key in their "evolutional convergence" strategy.

In essence, I agree with you on the price issue, but I also think that what you said will eventually come down to whether Microsoft's both vision and message can be properly conveyed to the masses.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

If Windows 8 tablets (that are not laptops) ship at a premium over the iPad they will fail, it's that simple.

+1, IMHO MS should sell W8/RT at around 15-20$ at most, anything above that, it won't be able to compete with less impressive android offerings let alone the iPad.

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Does anyone know how much Android costs to license? (Android itself is free, but the apps and Google Play access cost.) Plus most companies releasing Android products are already paying Microsoft something for each such product ($10-$15). I wonder what the price premium of Windows 8 is over Android.

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Another thought, perhaps more interesting: how does this price compare to what Microsoft charges for the entry level Windows 8 for x86? Far as I remember, the cost of Windows 7 Starter was lower than this, though I think Windows 8 won't have such an edition.

Note though that Windows 8 RT also includes Office in it. I don't know how this compares with Office on x86 (in particular the free Office version currently offered with laptops), but it's definitely added value.

m4a4 m4a4 said:

As there should be bulk buys (like how MS usually does it), this is just a single license price. However I do not know how that works entirely...

Guest said:

This is the worse mistake they can do... especially when they are this late into the game.

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