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Print 39 comment(s) - last by HomerTNachoChe.. on Feb 26 at 9:59 AM

Microsoft is looking to counter low-cost Chromebooks running Chrome OS

According to Bloomberg, Microsoft will slash Windows 8.1 licensing fees by 70 percent for makers of low-cost (priced less than $250) computers and tablets. This means that licenses will now be priced at $15 instead of $50.
 
Microsoft has experienced slowing growth in the operating system market with Windows 8. As we reported earlier this month, sales of Windows 8 thus far have failed to live up to its predecessor, Windows 7.
 
In addition, customer reaction to Windows 8 has been tepid, forcing Microsoft to make changes to how users interact with the operating system via the already released Windows 8.1 and the upcoming Windows 8.1 Update 1.

 
On top of its own internal issues that it has to grapple with, Microsoft is also fighting another battle on the low-end of the PC market against Google and computers running Chrome OS. In fact, low-cost Chromebooks running Chrome OS were able to secure 21 percent of the U.S. notebook market during 2013.
 
While a license fee reduction for Windows 8.1 will cover the PC and notebook market, the next step may be to make even more drastic price cuts with Windows RT. The Verge reported in December that Microsoft could make Windows RT free to OEMs in an effort to combat iOS- and Android-based tablets.

Source: Bloomberg



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That's great but...
By Motoman on 2/22/2014 10:11:33 AM , Rating: 4
...it's just going to make a Windows laptop even *more* obviously the better choice over a Chromebook. Because any day of the week, you can always find at least one full-blown Windows laptop for the same or less money than you could get a Chromebook for, with vastly better hardware specs.

Sure...a Chromebook can probably do all that lots of people need. But why pay more for a device that can do so much less in the first place?

Now it's just gonna get worse for Chromebooks. Instead of finding that 15.6" Windows 8.1 laptop with the quad-core processor and 500Gb hard drive for $259.99 at Newegg or Micro Center, it's gonna be $219.99.

A 15.6" Chromebook at $299.99 was already a terrible deal. Frankly, even if it was $199.99, it would still be a terrible deal, considering the paltry amount of money it would take to upgrade to the Windows machine. I don't think a Chromebook makes any sense at all unless you can sell it for maybe $99.99. And I don't see that happening.




RE: That's great but...
By Flunk on 2/22/2014 10:19:45 AM , Rating: 2
I think the big problem ChomeOS has is that it's competing with Android tablets on one end and cheap Windows notebooks on the other.

Both of which are significantly more functional. Why buy a notebook that's less useful that a tablet? I think that tablets will probably end up in the hands of most users who really only want the web and email.


RE: That's great but...
By Reclaimer77 on 2/22/2014 5:37:51 PM , Rating: 1
You know I have to wonder what the hell is in the drinking water whenever Chromebooks come up on this site.

Both tablets and Chromebooks are Internet focused devices, but that's where the similarities end. Hell the form factors are entirely different. To suggest they are directly competing is some kind of crazy talk.

You can't do anything on a tablet worthwhile, not really. Even composing emails are painfully slow. Anything requiring typing sucks for most people.

Chromebooks are actual laptops that you can get things done on. And even ChromeOS has more offline capability than a tablet.

Chromebooks actually have productivity suites where


RE: That's great but...
By tonyswash on 2/23/2014 11:23:29 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
You can't do anything on a tablet worthwhile, not really. Even composing emails are painfully slow. Anything requiring typing sucks for most people.


An alternative take on what the iPad can and cannot do, and what it's attraction is:

http://stratechery.com/2014/specialist-mac-general...


RE: That's great but...
By HomerTNachoCheese on 2/26/2014 9:59:18 AM , Rating: 2
Not sure why you were voted down. You have a valid point regardless if others do not agree. Your link had good illustrations.

Maybe only the first sentence should have been quoted because typing on anything smaller than a traditional keyboard sucks for most people. If I have to switch from proper typing to index finger/thumb typing I am less productive, especially when it comes to hitting the wrong letters.


RE: That's great but...
By HomerTNachoCheese on 2/26/2014 9:51:50 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Chromebooks actually have productivity suites where


I was going to follow suit and vote down, but I see you already cut yourself off there before you got too far...


RE: That's great but...
By fteoath64 on 2/22/2014 8:59:30 PM , Rating: 2
Kinda true. But MS is worried by Chromebooks and Android tablets in the low end because this cheap Win8 is targeting the same customer base. Bundling Office home and student edition helps somewhat in the product offering but hardware wise, Win8 tablets/laptops are crippled in performance compared to Android or Chrome-book.
Besides, Windows has a huge "support overhead" that the other platforms lack. It tends to have a high return rate or sold off cheap second-hand and replaced by an iPad or an Android tablet or even a Chrome-book. For most student users, all those devices are similar and can do most tasks needed for low end users.

There is good reason Microsoft needs that price parity in order to be considered. With existing pricing, it is not even in the considered list!.


RE: That's great but...
By Reclaimer77 on 2/22/14, Rating: 0
RE: That's great but...
By atechfan on 2/22/2014 11:08:56 AM , Rating: 2
Windows 8, approx. 200 million sold. ChromeOS, approx 2 million sold. Yeah, MS is really worried there.

This is all about Anroid 7 and 8 inch devices. That is where Google is a threat to MS. They want to make small Atom based Windows tablets price competetive.


RE: That's great but...
By Reclaimer77 on 2/22/2014 5:10:26 PM , Rating: 1
Nowhere in my post did I even hint that I believe ChromeOS was a threat to Microsoft...

In fact the only ones behaving as if that was true, are Microsoft! They're running the anti-ChromeOS adds.

I know you guys believe I'm some wacko Google CEO in disguise, but it would be nice if you actually READ my posts before accusing me of stuff.


RE: That's great but...
By Alexvrb on 2/23/2014 8:44:33 PM , Rating: 2
I know you're not a whacko Google CEO, because you don't kiss up to your buddy in the White House. At least not publicly. That's a dead giveaway that you're NOT a Google executive. Other than that though...

:-P


RE: That's great but...
By w8gaming on 2/22/2014 11:14:03 AM , Rating: 2
Problem is this. Comparison in the past:

cheap PC: fast CPU, big HDD, more applications, big RAM
tablet: slow CPU, small storage, less app, small RAM

however,

cheap PC: bad display, heavy, short battery life
tablet: nice display, light, long battery life, very portable

Nowadays, comparison looks like this:

cheap PC: fast CPU, big HDD, more app, bad display, heavy, short battery life, WiFi
cheap W8 tablet: ok CPU, flash storage, more app, nice display, light, long battery life, very portable, WiFi
chromebook: ok CPU, flash storage, less app, nice display, light, long battery life, WiFi
tablet: ok CPU, flash storage, less app, nice display, light, long battery life, very portable, LTE

There are more offering from MS now that competes better feature wise to cater for the mobile minded users. Lowering license fee makes it even more competitive. MS is really going to fight hard for its market share now. It is good that MS no longer thinks they can blindly copy Apple with its premium pricing strategy and expects they can come up on top.


RE: That's great but...
By YearOfTheDingo on 2/22/2014 12:24:32 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. The problem is that Windows 8 running on a machine without touch-screen feel seriously broken. People are not going to buy something that doesn't seem to work even if it's cheap.


RE: That's great but...
By ppi on 2/22/2014 5:37:35 PM , Rating: 2
People do not buy Windows 8 notebooks, because the notebooks purchased in 2008-2012 era are still perfectly usable devices, and they do not need to be replaced. The only substantial and noticeable upgrade current notebook could have compared to 5 years old one is SSD and Haswell battery life.

Very few non-techie people upgrade OS anyway. And Win8 upgrade is not compelling without touchscreen (except for the fast wake-up).

Basically, anyone who needed and wanted to have notebook has one, and current growth market are the cheap devices. $50 for just OS is just too much for them, so I am glad M$ realized that mistake. More competition is always better for me.


RE: That's great but...
By kmmatney on 2/22/2014 9:23:39 PM , Rating: 2
Well - I bought 2 copies of Windows 8, simply because it was cheaper than buying a single copy of Windows 7. I wish I could get rid of Metro entirely (it still pops up in annoying ways all the time) but it was worth it being so much cheaper.


RE: That's great but...
By superstition on 2/22/2014 4:23:42 PM , Rating: 1
Because chrome is shiny and windows have to be cleaned.


RE: That's great but...
By inighthawki on 2/22/2014 8:59:31 PM , Rating: 2
But windows provide a clear value ;) herr derr


RE: That's great but...
By Alexvrb on 2/23/2014 8:48:24 PM , Rating: 2
You have clearly never owned a car with actual chrome. If you want it to STAY shiny, you have to polish it! :P


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