Lower priced Windows tablets are coming soon, even below $200

dell venue pro 8

Microsoft's vice president of OEM partners Nick Parker has confirmed that we will be seeing a lot of cheaper tablets that run Windows 8.1 in the near future, some of which might be priced well below $200.

In a chat with reporters after his keynote address at Computex 2014 earlier this week, Parker is quoted as saying:

We'll reach price points that are very industry competitive for 7, 8, 10-inch devices. They will really surprise you. Last year, we were in the 3s, 4s, 500 dollars. This year, we'll be 1s, 2s, 3s.

The news comes two months after Microsoft announced it would offer OEMs free copies of Windows for devices smaller than nine inches. At least one of them was showing off a 7-inch Windows 8.1 tablet at Computex with a claim that it will be priced as low as $100 when the design is released later this year.

Parker would not comment if Microsoft plans to continue offering Windows for free for smaller products or if it will go back to charging OEMs in 2015. He did state that some new Windows Phone products will be priced below $200 in some markets, but specifics were not revealed.

Do you think we are in for a flood of ultra-cheap Windows 8.1 tablets this fall and if so is that a good thing for both Microsoft and consumers?

Source: Wall Street Journal


Reader comments

Lower priced Windows tablets are coming soon, even below $200


Mark up from OEM is also most of the cost... .a Venue 8 through Dell is $300, through Amazon is $200...

I want a Venue 8 equivalent with the free license model.. meaning, same hardware, but for $150 :)

I was able to pick up 2 64GB venue pros from Microsoft store grand opening. Be worth to see if a store is opening near you.

64gb? They had a grand opening here and told me the 64 GB wasn't on sale, only 32. How much did you pay for it?

In my opinion is great for both. Better adoption rate meaning more money for office suite and more developers.

I agree. And of someone buys a cheap Windows 8 tablet, but it isn't quite up to speed for them, they may be more inclined to upgrade to a better Win 8 tablet. Kind of a test and see approach.

In my experience Windows 8 always performs "good enough" on all budget devices.

If that were the case Android could'nt have 80% market share, because it SUCKS on budget devices.

This is what we did, we bought a cheap 8.1" Windows 8.1 Acer w3 to replace my mom's netbook as a testing ground for Windows tablets. Then we bought a 10" a Asus vivo tab smart for my dad, her needed a bigger and more powerful device as a netbook replacement when he travels. Then I bought the sp pro 256gb as a laptop replacement.

Hah, I have that same problem and I have the one with LTE. Such a good device, but Surface Pro 3 is hard to pass over when I'm running out the door.

RT needs to be killed, its pointless, why have RT when you can have full Windows which can run on devices just as weak. I think the only choice without it looking like a complete failure would be to merge it with WP but what could actually be merged I do not know, I think WP has more unique features. Perhaps phablets should run RT/WP hybrid which allows them a more tablet like interface.

But it's also important for MS to have a tablet OS for the ARM architecture. That's the purpose of RT. If it's killed, then it's Intel chips or nothing in the tablet space, at least for now. I think they should preserve RT and keep polishing it, we can't predict the direction hardware will follow for sure, MS needs a solid ARM OS in place, and RT is damn impressive considering that it's an ARM OS which in my opinion surpasses both iOS and Android in terms of core capabilities.

It may have been smarter to base the ARM devices on WP instead of full windows. There would have been more apps from the start.

If you want a tablet that sips juice and does not need to run virus software (like x86 or Android) then windows on arm is the way to go.

let me know when the core-M tablets start to ship and we'll see if there remains any reason for ARM chips on tablets.

With the implementation of Interactive Live Tiles and Cortana, RT will be a potent tablet OS.  Especially for those smaller size tablets that are impractical to run Desktop. 

Who gives a damn about some stupid apps when you can run millions of real programs on the tablet and don't have to run a dumbed down app version.

Plus the Windows store has plenty of apps anyway, most of them useless crap just like on iOS and Android, but still you have your thousands of useless pieces of crap, which you most likely will ever use just a handful of anyway.



Those programs aren't optimized for touch, and to get them from the browser is nor very user friendly. My Dv8pro does many things but I have to admit playing games on my dads Ipad mini is just such a joy.

No one knows how these devices will perform. They have 1GB RAM and the system image is highly compressed so I imagine not that great. Nexus 7 2013 performs great for a decent priced tablet.

My thoughts exactly... How's 1gb of ram going to perform when my 2gb studders from time to time under a small load. Ativ 500T.

nexus 7 2013 is too expensive in comparison. this is a race to the low end and that is a fairly mid-high end small tablet.

As a heavy Windows and Android user I would have to disagree. Android is like Windows, in that the base OS architecture is very safe, stable and secure. They are both as insecure as you make them out to be, whether that be the programs and apps you load, or the websites that you visit.

FYI on fragmentation: Nearly an identical percentage of users are on Windows 8 as are on Android 4.4

I.E.(About 14% of Windows users are on Win8, and about 13.6% of Android users are on KitKat)

That said, I do think Windows is nicer for tablets than Windows, except for small tablets. Android was built to operate on small screens, and Windows for larger devices. I am sure this will change; however, and it already is (metro is a giant step ahead for Microsoft at providing a convenient tablet UI for smaller and touch mobile devices). For 10"+, there is hands down no arguing that an Android tablet is pretty much useless as a productivity device, and the same goes for iPad. Nothing can rival Windows for productivity.

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But all W8.0 are upgradeable to 8.1 and beyond. If they're not upgrade it's because the user has chose not to or forgot.

Android however is fragmented due to pure lack of ability to upgrade. It's a mindfuck of versions and compatibility.

also on a windows x86 tablet you could run bluestacks and emulate android... If the "lack" of apps are an "issue".

how's that a question? they will be a cheap device. They will be a Kia. They will be RC cola. They will be walmart. They will be that chinese TV brand you just bought at costco.

yup. that is not the question. The question is, will it blend?

I think the combination of cheap devices and universal apps will really start to turn things in Microsoft's favor. You have an audience and low barriers to entry wrt consumers, devs, and OEMs. If these tactics don't work, I have no idea what would.

Sadly, not one of US, where there's always many deals for electronics.

It won't reach that price point in the rest of the world. Even Android's don't go that low except those that's really outdated or with terrible specs.

Now with the cheaper devices coming. Start offering 1 of the entry level Windows Phone or tablets with the purchase of an Xbox one.

I been saying that for the longest. That would attack Sony, Google, and Apple all at once. Make a better smart glass app and it's over.

awesome news. Now let's see a 7" tab with built in wireless charging that can be used as a TV remote/second screen and works with Qi. That would be great.

Why did someone ask if they were doing free Windows for small devices through 2015? I thought that was clearly a here-on-out kind of thing, no?

They're only giving Windows away because they're desperate for market share and relevance.  You can bet that if that changes, they'll go back to charging for it.

the problem is that will never change. Android won't suddenly implode. It is an ecosystem with over 1 million apps. Not to say WP cannot mach it but realistically google will never charge for it since they know that would basically send everybody to MSFT.

Windows 8.1 or Windows Phone ?

Your quote talks of Windows tablet devices in the 1's, 2's and 3's. You then go on to write about Windows Phone 'products' priced below $200 in some markets. "He did state that some new Windows Phone products will be priced below $200 in some markets, but specifics were not revealed."  There are already such products at below $100. What are you on about?

Really? At least from Nokia the cheapest so far has been Lumia 630 at $159 MSRP before taxes and subs at launch.

That's what he is talking about.


No, I think he's muddling tablets with phones. They've been almost giving the 520 away in cereal packets.

It's Windows Tablets. They announced them yesterday. They even showcased one 8inch tablet from Emdoor that will start at $100 running full Windows 8.1.

More people rocking an 8.1 tablet = more reasons for developers to pump up the ecosystem. Sounds good to me.

Okay, remind me why they can make tablets in the $100 range, yet high end smartphones are still priced at nearly $700?

Write down all the differences between a tablet and a phone and pick any one you like. I recall when those nifty little 'net top' Atom pc's were always more expensive than equivalent netbooks when they didn't even have a screen.

I guess the manufacturers will argue that miniaturisation costs more, and a 4" 1080p display is more costly to produce than a 10" one.

Yup. And compared to a $100+ tablet, a high end phone would have more sensors, more/better radios, better camera(s), more internal mass memory, a mike, perhaps even better speakers, probably better materials...

Supply and demand, market dynamics, product line placement blah blah.

Those explain a part of it, but admittedly its hard to comprehend sometimes.. :)

Keep telling yourself that. If you had a pretty nice car that was $30,000 would a model from the same company with a better engine, radar adaptive cruise control, leather trim and backup sensors cost upwards of $180,000?

Because, at least in the US, it's easier to get people to sign up for ridiculous contacts by offering the phone for $99-$199 and getting them on the backend with the contract.

The price matters in the emerging markets  like India and others where people generally buy tabets becuase they are cheap but at this price point the build quality is questionable. I am wondering how do these tablets fair out when  they reach in market and I am surprised few of them are even running full windows. 

For developed countries Ms needs to release a tablet like Surface Mini which is meant for consumption class. Full entertainment device, a great sound system, a well built camera (the lumia 925 one or better than 925 but lower than 930), Xbox music and video should be the top notch entertainment services and few of the missing essential games and apps. The price point should be 350$. The device can be powered by snapdragon 800 or 600 series it will sell like hot cakes

and if google released the "write off" it took on the nexus 7 and 10's subsidies, will the press call them to Kill it? because they aren't making any money with it, just losses.

Honestly for me a tab doesn't need a very good back camera, I would rather use my phone instead. I think front cameras are more of an advantage in tablets than back cameras.

I really hope the goal isn't just to reach low prices but to reach then without sacrificing specs like the nexus 7

I hope this doesn't start a downward trend in the media given that there will be underperforming devices. It will be twisted into Win8 is the reason they are slow... This might not be good in the overall situation for adopting Win8 devices.

I have the 2520 they took my iPad in trade and I paid 200 for the 2520 now I am saving for the new Surface for those times when I want a bit more than the tablet but not having to take the laptop out

I'm liking this! Buy please do not have these low cost tablets performing anything like low cost Android. No laggy crap period!!!!

Yes. It will definitely give Win8 even more exposure. Im glad to see this.

At price points like $100 I'd be willing to get some for my family and also one for myself just to mess around with and turn into a dumb terminal if anything. Also I wouldn't have qualms about taking it anywhere (beaches, lakes, camping, etc) since at $100 im sure I wouldn't be too torn if I were to damage it.


It is critical that we shake off the past of x86 (keep x86 alive for desktops, large tablets, and legacy apps.


I don't agree. I have (or used to) 8" tablet and W8.1 feels faster and more mature on such a screen then WP8.1. I love multitasking, full IE11 and I would definietely miss few legacy apps that still works and looks good on 8".

My mom has an Acer 8.1" and she uses desktop mode to play her fb games and poker stars. So you can use desktop on 8" tablets especially for consumers

Never underestimate the Trojan Horse effect of a Lowe cost product. For me it was the 520 that welcomed me to WP ecosystem two months later and I am the proud owner of a 1520. Who knows today's cost effective Windows Tablet owner could be tomorrow's Surface Pro 3 etc owner...

If you want the prices to come down companies will need to produce in bigger bulk. The reduced licensing fees helps for sure, especially now people are slowly getting used to the new feel of Windows.

Don't really care for "cheap" Tablets. I LOVE the premium feel of my items. Just got a Venue 7 which I thought would be good for reading. But I was wrong. I've gotten used to the Tablet I currently own. Lumia 520 and the Dell screen look and act extremely similar. Nothing wrong, just you get what you pay for.

Once you have a 10.1 inch Tablet it's hard to go smaller. If anything I may get a 10+ with better resolution and Hardware. But so far My Thinkpad has kept me Satisfied for over a year. And since I've lost interest in anything smaller than I'd say 9 inch screens and that 16:9/10 ratio, it seems I may keep it a bit longer. Those new Intel processors look to be interesting for new tech this Holidays though.

You're all forgetting the point that you can practically buy Windows in a device as small as a tablet, for under $200, that does pretty much the basics you do on a pc everyday and still do Office...

Just imagine if these $100 machines take off which leads to windows being a no brainer target for devs and then mobile office is released which in turn gives rt a new lease on life because you have the apps that matter and no need for the desktop not to mention the fact that you can get better processor prices on arm plus lte support on the higher end.

cheap lumia have a good performance, and now MS will selling cheap tablet? I believe that would be good tablet too..

This is amazing news. It's exactly what Microsoft needs to flood the market with tablets from every price point. Soon developers will no longer be able to ignore such a huge market as people stop buying android tablets in favor of windows tablets. Once the apps are there the iPad will be overtaken as well. I think that by the end of 2015 the tablet marketplace will be vastly different.

that awesome that windows tablets entered the lowest possible price tags to fight with android ones, but I wouldn't mind at least one or two very expensive /  high quality ones !!! in range 8" is basicly nothing, just misterious lenovo thinkpad 8 that no one can buy (at least outside US)

Why wouldn't they just drop rt, and put phone 8 on a tablet. I think you would get much more developer support for the platform. Only thing I really use a tablet for is some games and surfing while watching tv. People that want to use it for business can buy the expensive stuff.

Hi guys. I am completely noob when it comes to windows 8/8.1 tabs. So can u tell me , will it support .exe file/programs for eg. Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Flash Player, Mozila Firefox, Google Chrome browser, and programs which allows me to run java and c++ programing like BLUEJ? Will it even support low spec games like couterstrike? And can I connect keyboard and mouse (normal/wireless). Thanx in Advance.

Honestly, I would want a 7" device that runs Win8.1 and when WP8.1, to make phone calls and run WP apps side by side. Yes I know it won't happen anytime soon, however that would be totally badass!!! It already does it a bit with the Windows app that lets you project the WP screen to your PC (in this case tablet). All they eed to do is add a bit more functionality to it (like full screen mode, auto rotation etc.)

Good plan for short term, very low price but high end specs are usually preferable by users. I think this plan would be great too if they apply it for Nokia Lumia 1520, 1320, 925, 920. Nokia Lumia 925 is only USD 200 (all countries, no contract) and Nokia Lumia 1520 is USD 300 (all countries and no contract), these are amazing if they do.

They seems have difficult problem to overcome Android and iOS. And I add opinion, how about to try this rule:

Newsman: "We saw you still can't defeat Android apps, what will you do?"

Vendor: "We understand our apps are less compared Android. Waiting developers to create apps in Windows Phone is too long, so we are trying new way."

Newsman: "Is this related with Windows Phone 8.1?"

Vendor: "We are glad we can push Windows Phone 8.1 update to our old devices, soon we will make their price drop. We wouldn't be called too high for buying high end devices."

Newsman: "And this means?"

Vendor: "We will drop our high end Lumia series maximum price become USD 350. Imagine, you can buy Nokia Lumia 1520 for USD 300 only, don't care whereever your country, all countries will have the same USD 350, no term and conditions."

Newsman: "Seems this plan will affect for short term only."

Vendor: "This is our ultimate weapon, we are tire with the less apps, so we will make Android users to switch to Lumia. If you buy HTC One M8 for USD 500, you can Lumia 1520 for USD 300, I am sure you will think twice to spend your money."

Maybe they can apply this above.