Microsoft Cuts Windows 8/RT Prices for Tablet OEMs, Bundles Office Home & Student 2013
June 6, 2013 10:45 AM
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
"I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen
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