Microsoft to boost Windows tablet sales by cutting the cost of Windows RT licenses for OEMs

Microsoft really wants consumers to put down their iPads and pick up its own ARM based Windows RT devices. So far, we have seen aggressive campaigning against Apple’s portable computing tablet. Now, Microsoft plans to cut the cost of Windows RT licenses and make tablets running the operating system even cheaper; this intel comes from anonymous sources, as the exact pricing for Microsoft’s Windows RT operating system is confidential.

The decreased pricing would allow manufacturers to release more inexpensive tablets while/or increasing their own profit margins. The soon to be released update for Windows RT also allows OEMs to develop for smaller form factor devices – a market where the operating system could be expected to pick up in sales.

Manufacturers and OEMs have been shunning the Windows RT platform and voicing that it simply doesn’t offer enough as is. As Bloomberg words it, this is Microsoft’s “second chance” to get partners onboard and interested in the RT platform.

The future is also beginning to look gloomy for the ARM platform and Windows RT devices, as Intel continues to develop its x86 and x64 microarchitectures. When Windows RT was originally released, Intel and AMD powered devices simply couldn’t obtain the battery life and form factor that ARM based products could. As we move forward, Intel is developing extremely low power chipsets to compete, which may tip the scales in Windows 8's favor.

Intel Haswell

Either way, if Windows RT fails or succeeds, its failure will most likely be due to higher consumer interest in full Windows 8 devices. A failure for the RT operating system is less of a long term problem for Microsoft and more of a long term problem for ARM technology. Intel is showing that in today’s mobile computing market, it can still be relevant.

What do you think about the RT operating system? I carry a Microsoft Surface RT around everywhere and I love it, but maybe you don’t feel the same about the platform.

Source: Bloomberg

Michael Archambault