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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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RE: Windows 8.1 Pro
By superPC on 2/22/2014 5:20:10 PM , Rating: 2
- ChromeBooks (ie laptop form factor, but everything is done through the browser. Wins are low complexity, more difficult for the user to screw up. Permanent audit if you want --- with security implication of that.)

- Genuine tablet (iOS or Android). This gives up the high bandwidth of laptop screen, pointing device, keyboard, but gives you higher mobility and a nicer form factor if you are standing, lying, basically anything but sitting at a desk. Good for many non-traditional uses (package delivery, doctors doing rounds).

- Android stuck in a laptop form factor. Hasn't happened yet (in part because Google wants to push the Chromebook remote server agenda) but it's only a matter of time. Gives you the laptop form factor advantages, plus unlike ChromeBook, you have the easier and more comfortable programming model of a C-like language running locally with only (if necessary) the occasional network calls.

MS has answer for all of the above question and that is windows 8 (or its descendant). It has touch interface, it has desktop, it has internet (heck you can run chrome OS on it).

I know that you and a lot of people here think that MS should tear windows 8 apart. With different interface targeting different devices. Just remember that MS is a software company that makes profit from its software sales.
Google is primarily an advertising company. That’s where most of their profit comes from. They don’t care if they have 3-4 different OS, as long as people use their OS and services they can keep pushing ads to them.

Apple is a hardware company. The more OS and device tied to an OS they have, the better. They can sell more stuff to the same person.

MS is a software company. The more features their OS had, the more people would buy them. Simple as that

"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer

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