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This is likely an effort to boost small tablet sales

Microsoft confirmed that it will not only cut prices of Windows 8 and Windows RT licenses to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) for tablets, but will also throw in a version of Office.

At Computex in Taipei this week, Nick Parker, the head of Microsoft's OEM division, said that all Windows 8 and Windows RT-powered tablets with screen sizes betwen 7-inches and 10.1-inches will receive price cuts on Windows 8 and Windows RT licenses. 

In addition to the licensing price cuts, Parker also announced that Office Home & Student 2013 will be bundled with these smaller tablets running Windows 8. It will feature Word, Excel, OneNote and PowerPoint. However, this version won't have the Outlook email client and it isn't licensed for commercial/business purposes. 

Devices running the Windows 8.1 update later this year will receive the bundles as well. 

While the licensing discount (which is for OEMs only) will certainly help keep costs for consumers down, some analysts believe this won't make a huge impact on tablet prices. Rather, the fact that these discounts are for smaller screen sizes (and smaller screen sizes are cheaper) will be the real reason for lower tablet prices. 

Also, the fact that Office still doesn't have Outlook (the Windows RT version of Office, called Office RT, doesn't have it either) and isn't commerically licensed likely won't pick up a bunch of business users either.

But it may be a good draw for students and those casually using it at home. Since Office doesn't have an app for iOS or Android, that means Microsoft can keep it all to itself within Windows. Office may be that edge that iOS and Android can't supply. 

Late last month, Microsoft announced that Office 365 Home Premium (a cloud and subscription-based service that offers Office software) achieved over 1 million subscribers in just over 100 days. He also mentioned that more than one Office 365 sold every second (on average) since launch.

Earlier this week, rumors started circulating that Microsoft was cutting the price of RT licenses for OEMs in an effort to boost sales of the failing OS. Many hardware makers have made their ideas of RT clear this week at Computex, such as Hewlett-Packard (HP), which said it currently doesn't have any plans for an RT device; Acer, which called Windows RT "immature," and said that it is focusing on Windows 8 Pro and Android-based tablets instead, and Samsung, which said it hasn't decided whether it should make a successor to its RT tablet. 

On the other hand, HTC said it's deciding against a larger RT-based tablet, but 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. 

Source: ComputerWorld

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Wow who is making these decisions?
By BRB29 on 6/6/2013 11:48:37 AM , Rating: 2
Microsoft is the most reactive company in the tech industry. It didn't make sense what they did with win8/rt tablets since the start. They finally got a wake up call all of a sudden after an entire year?

Win RT tablets = $100 more than what it should be. Attractive design, performance and functionality but nothing that blew away the competition.

Win8 tablets = Extremely expensive. Runs x86 windows with plenty of power. Low resolution with poor battery life for a tablet.

They charged too much for Win OS and expected third parties to compete against Android that is free. WTH? why would anyone pay for overpriced products and have to switch into a whole new ecosystem?

RE: Wow who is making these decisions?
By Rage187 on 6/6/13, Rating: 0
RE: Wow who is making these decisions?
By BRB29 on 6/6/2013 1:51:32 PM , Rating: 2
Fantastic compared to what? and what price range?

Higher res tablets have been out for a while.

By StanO360 on 6/6/2013 2:26:15 PM , Rating: 2
The tablets he uses do not run the i5 like the Surface and do have great battery life.

That being said that problem is Samsung, Acer, et al are making crappy products. Some folks just want a decent low cost device, not the fastest or highest resolution, maybe some compromises. But that doesn't have to mean buggy and breaks easily.

"Folks that want porn can buy an Android phone." -- Steve Jobs

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