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  (Source: The Guardian)
But will it be enough to push sales?

Microsoft is reportedly cutting the price of its Windows RT software for smaller tablets in an effort to boost sales of the failing OS

It's not clear how much Microsoft charges hardware makers for Windows RT software, and since the pricing talks are confidential, the exact amount of the price cut hasn't been released either. 

A price cut could be a helpful start to bringing Windows RT back to life. The OS was released October 26, 2012 (when Windows 8 launched) as a platform for ARM-based devices. It's not the whole Windows 8 experience, as it lacks key software (such as Windows Media Player) and isn't compatible with as many desktop applications or hardware as Intel-based Windows 8 Pro devices.

Hardware makers haven't seen a whole lot of success with RT. Back in April, many computer companies started slashing the prices of their RT-based tablets in hopes of clearing their stock. For instance, at that time, Dell's 32GB XPS 10 tablet with Windows RT launched at $500 last fall and dropped to $450. The XPS 10 was slashed again in May to a starting price of $299.99. ASUS' VivoTab RT was another device to take a cut ($599 at launch, cut to $382 for 32GB on Amazon while Newegg listed it as "discontinued").

With Computex getting underway in Taipei this week, hardware makers are unveiling future devices -- and RT doesn't seem to be in too many company plans.

Hewlett-Packard (HP) said it currently doesn't have any plans for an RT device. Acer called Windows RT "immature," and said that it is focusing on Windows 8 Pro and Android-based tablets instead. Samsung said it hasn't decided whether it should make a successor to its RT tablet. 

However, a couple of companies are continuing on with Windows RT. HTC, while deciding against a larger RT-based tablet, said it will develop a 7-inch device with Windows RT. Dell is also working on a new RT tablet and plans to update the XPS 10 this year. 

It looks like Microsoft will keep its original price of $499 for its Surface with Windows RT tablet. 

If Microsoft offers the Windows RT software (which comes pre-installed only) at a discount, hardware makers can sell devices to consumers for cheap and hopefully clear their inventory. But will a price cut be enough to push future device sales and justify R&D on RT-based tablets?

Source: Bloomberg



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RE: I don't understand MS
By Motoman on 6/3/2013 11:15:28 AM , Rating: 3
"High end" tablets wind up costing more than laptops because they try to squeeze in laptop-level power into a form factor with 1/2 the space...or less.

The problem with MS is they think they can compete with Apple on product. This is the mistake many vendors make...they think that consumers are buying Apple products at incredible margins because of the Apple product itself.

They're not. Apple consumers don't buy iThings based on the characteristics of those things. They buy them because they're Apple. Apple consumers have never been concerned about quality, specs, fitness-for-purpose, and certainly not price...they're concerned about tithing to their church, and that's all.

No one competes with Apple. Either you're an Apple consumer, or you're not. Other manufacturers need to stop worrying about Apple and just engage the market on their own terms. The only company that can do anything about Apple is Apple. Either the people will one day realize that emperor is wearing no clothes and move on, or they won't. Nothing that you can do about it.


RE: I don't understand MS
By BRB29 on 6/3/2013 12:26:47 PM , Rating: 2
The reason why Apple came back strong is because of their attention to quality and overall package. It started with the Ipod which brought people's attention to mp3 players. At that time, apple fanboys were almost nonexistent. You can't claim Apple's loyal customers are unreasonable and will buy anything when they barely had any.

Laptops used to look like crap too. It is extremely hard to attract people to drop Windows when their OSX did not have everything people need. It was their overall package that made it appealing especially for the price given.

I understand there's a lot of apple fanboys now, but the majority of apple consumers buy it because they trust the reputation of "high quality, great customer service and it just works". Some of that may not be true anymore, but their reputation is mostly still in tact.

So saying either you're an apple consumer or you're not is inaccurate. I have OSX, IOS, Windows 7/8, Android at my house. Most people I know don't go full Apple. Most iphone users I know switched to iphone for 2 main reasons: Less crashes and longer battery life. A few wanted a smaller phone that is not crap since 4" android alternatives are cheaply made and low quality.


RE: I don't understand MS
By Cheesew1z69 on 6/3/2013 12:40:18 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
At that time, apple fanboys were almost nonexistent.
Yet again, something you know nothing about. Go figure.


RE: I don't understand MS
By Motoman on 6/3/2013 12:42:29 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
The reason why Apple came back strong is because of their propaganda that created a new social construct around their products.


FIFY.

Sorry BRB...not going to agree with you at all on any assertions that Apple's resurgence that came with the iPod had anything to do with product quality or anything else. They marketed themselves into a religion, and that's what drove their success. Apple products are legendary for poor quality and design, let alone ridiculously high prices. At least, amongst normal people. Apple consumers are happy to ignore the long history of awful product designs and quality.

The Apple of old became the Apple of new due to genius propaganda and a gullible populace eager to purchase things that would make them cool.


RE: I don't understand MS
By BRB29 on 6/3/2013 2:15:14 PM , Rating: 2
Apple didn't have money back then. They couldn't market themselves like they can after the initial success. Ipod was the first product to create a whole package so that users dont have to figure out anything. No learning curve or instructions are needed. I had a Nomad that was technically superior in every way except "ease of use", continuing support and ecosystem was not there. Sure, it easy for me but I can see most people wouldn't want to deal with it.

Itunes was also the first ecosystem that a company is willing to fully support. The product itself is not impressive but the overall package is.

They used the same philosophy in every other product they launched.

http://www.nathanschulhof.com/articles/whyipod.pdf
http://techland.time.com/2012/05/07/six-reasons-wh...
http://www.quora.com/Why-was-the-iPod-so-successfu...

That was a quick search. I am just basing my thesis on my own observations and knowledge of business.

I don't know how you can say that Apple does not have quality. The quality is there. They have a better track record than most companies. Their customer service is pretty good every time I had to deal with them.

Like I said before, they've fallen lately with quality and support. Given that competitors have caught up, they are using their reputation and marketing more than actual quality in products. Their high prices are harder to justify now.


RE: I don't understand MS
By Motoman on 6/3/2013 2:33:11 PM , Rating: 4
Apple's track record on quality and design is horrible. It's amazing how people love to forget the vast numbers of awful product defects and poor engineering that go into Apple products.

The general cycle at Apple is this:

1. Introduce product as "OMFG teh best evar + MAGIC"
2. People point out design and/or quality flaws
3. Apple ignores them.
4. Apple blames the user.
5. Apple issues a fix or workaround of some kind, never having admitted anything was wrong in the first place.

Rinse and repeat. iPads that don't work outside, iPhones that blow up, all manners of screen issues, yellowing cases, iPhones that can't make phone calls, so on and so forth. Not to mention the fact that iThings sell like people's lives depend on them even when missing blindingly-obvious functionality, like no copy & paste on an iPhone or the ability to swap a battery.

The internet is awash in information about how horribly bad Apple engineering, product design, and quality is. It's also awash in people who love to forget that information, or pretend it doesn't exist.


RE: I don't understand MS
By BRB29 on 6/3/2013 3:33:52 PM , Rating: 2
All the problems you listed are real and they were eventually fixed. Blaming the users does leave a sour taste in some people.

You're right on the marketing part. They HAD a very a good marketing team. But to be fair, they did not have that at first. Now I feel like Apple is half surviving on its reputation and marketing.

The simplicity of their products and missing features is their design choice. It's also the choice of consumers to not purchase it.

Nobody forgot about Apple's blunders, there's just so many others every week with other companies. Since there are as many haters as fanboys for apple, anything bad will be blown up also. Just like anything good will be disproportionally exaggerated.


RE: I don't understand MS
By EnzoFX on 6/3/2013 2:15:26 PM , Rating: 2
How ignorant. It's just as bad as being on the opposite side shouting Apple Rules! You are no better by spewing ignorance. To say Apple's products has no merits whatsoever...


RE: I don't understand MS
By Motoman on 6/3/2013 2:35:13 PM , Rating: 2
I see you're using the word "ignorant" - but I don't think it means what you think it does.

See, "ignorant" means you don't know about some information. The information about how horrible Apple design and quality is covers the internet like water covers the ocean floor.

If you want to pretend that's not the case, then it is you who are ignorant - willfully so.


RE: I don't understand MS
By EnzoFX on 6/3/2013 4:02:01 PM , Rating: 2
You really want to compare it to the crap Desktops and Laptops that all the other OEM's have been pushing? The cheap plastic junk, with terrible keyboards and trackpads, who's batteries become utterly useless just outside the 1yr warranty. Seriously? That IS the majority on the Windows side of things. You're going to deny the decade long race to the bottom? Where the winner has been no one?


RE: I don't understand MS
By Motoman on 6/3/2013 4:09:59 PM , Rating: 3
Yup.

The winner is the consumer. There's such a broad range of Windows machines available that the price point has been pushed down to where you can get perfectly serviceable laptops for like $250.

Plastic is irreleveant. Ugly is a matter of taste. I've never heard any complaints about keyboards or trackpads (except from a Mactard like yourself, I guess).

I've been using a 17" Acer laptop for the past couple years as my own gaming laptop. It's all plastic. Performs great, considering that I paid something silly like $600 for it, and like all the other inexpensive, plastic, non-gloss-white laptops that I've seen over the past few years, has been great.

Only Mactards try to pretend any different.


RE: I don't understand MS
By EnzoFX on 6/3/2013 4:04:24 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, and all your argument sums up to, taking the bias out, is that Apple hardware is not perfect. Great revelation there, when no one has said to be the case.


RE: I don't understand MS
By Motoman on 6/3/2013 4:12:04 PM , Rating: 2
People keep trying to insist that quality and engineering are pluses for Apple - when it's clear beyond the shadow of a doubt that they're horribly bad at both issues. That's the case.

At best, one could say that maybe Apple is no worse than the worst Wintel OEM. In reality, they're at the bottom of the barrel. Nobody puts out faulty and poorly-designed product like Apple does.


RE: I don't understand MS
By BRB29 on 6/3/2013 5:59:27 PM , Rating: 2
To be honest, I never thought track pad was a big deal. Then I used the bigger and more fluid track pad of the mac book. I thought "damn, it is better" but i still don't want to pay extra for it. My lenovo has the quality track pad and brushed aluminum without the price premium.

I may not like the Macbooks and I don't need many of these niceties, but we all got it now for the same price or cheaper. Laptops have gotten much thinner and use of aluminum are more common. I'm merely praising Apple for pushing the industry. I still won't buy their overpriced products.


RE: I don't understand MS
By timothyd97402 on 6/3/2013 6:30:58 PM , Rating: 2
BULL! I work on a lot of computers, laptops, even tablets. I sell them too. Nearly 100% Windows & Android passing through my business.

I own an iPhone 4s. It is quite simply the highest quality piece of gear that I own. The Android devices (mostly) don't compare on build quality. Don't even get me started on the plastic pieces of crap that are the vast majority of Windows laptops.


RE: I don't understand MS
By Argon18 on 6/4/2013 1:50:14 PM , Rating: 2
It's amazing how many folks don't get this basic concept. The majority of Windows laptops are indeed bottom dollar plastic turds. Who cares if its got a faster chip in it, as compared to the Apple product? If it feels like crap in your hands, and it's unpleasant to use, the Apple product is the superior one.

It's the same reason people buy a Mercedes instead of a Chevy. Sure you can get more HP for a cheaper price with the Chevy. But Mercedes buyers aren't comparing spec sheets - they know which one is more comfortable, more luxurious, and just plain more pleasant and pleasing to use, and they're willing to pay a premium price for that.


RE: I don't understand MS
By Argon18 on 6/3/2013 3:51:49 PM , Rating: 1
I don't think you understand the Apple market too well. Its nothing to do with "tithing to their church". Making such a claim takes all credibility out of your argument.

Apple invests a metric buttload of cash into user interface R&D. Plus they design both the software, and the hardware, from the ground up, so they're very tightly integrated. The end result is a super polished feeling product.

Buy a Microsoft PC, and the OS came from one vendor, and the hardware from another. Plus a bunch of 3rd parties have their hand in the pot, in the form of bloatware. The hardware is usually bottom dollar cheap stuff too. It's often times clunky to use, non-intuitive, and unreliable.

You've got to examine the whole package here, hardware + OS + value added software. You can't just look at the OS and proclaim "Windows > OSX" because that's only one piece of the puzzle - a piece that most non-techie consumers don't give two craps about.


RE: I don't understand MS
By BRB29 on 6/3/2013 3:59:52 PM , Rating: 2
Not so much the hardware anymore though. Although they designed their software specifically for the hardware instead of a wide range of compatibility.


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