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Microsoft cuts Windows 8.1 licensing fees 70%

Posted: , by Michael H.

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Microsoft cuts Windows 8.1 licensing fees 70%
Microsoft is facing a fair bit of competition from all sides these days. It does still hold a strong majority of the PC market, but the PC market is shrinking as tablets and smartphones take over the casual usage space, and there is also competition from Google Chromebooks in the budget PC market. Now, Bloomberg is reporting that Microsoft is taking a bold step to be more competitive: cutting Windows 8.1 licensing fees by 70%.

The report says that the licensing fee drop will specifically target devices that will sell for less than $250. The fee had been $50 per unit for devices at that price point, but now it will cost manufacturers just $15. Bloomberg says that the price reduction was a response to Google Chromebooks, which have been doing extremely well in the sub-$300 market. But, we can't help wonder if Android tablets might not also be part of the equation. 

Windows 8 Pro devices have been dropping in price in order to better compete with Android tablets. Some, like the Dell Venue 8 Pro have even gotten as low as $299. If the licensing fee will cost $35 less, manufacturers like Dell might be tempted to push for that $250 mark with those tablets. Suddenly, you would have a full Windows 8 device in direct competition with something like the Nexus 7. Of course, it doesn't really explain where Windows RT fits in, but Microsoft wants to generate sales any way it can at this point.

source: Bloomberg

29 Comments
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posted on 21 Feb 2014, 22:23 5

1. Miracles (Posts: 470; Member since: 31 Aug 2013)


No wonder Win wasn't doing so good...they charge manufacturers like hell.

posted on 22 Feb 2014, 01:36 7

8. androtaku (Posts: 160; Member since: 12 Dec 2013)


how much u think they should charge then? if u running a software company developing an OS

posted on 22 Feb 2014, 03:45 5

11. tedkord (Posts: 4502; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


Low enough that OEMs can make competitive priced products with it and still turn a profit.

posted on 22 Feb 2014, 10:22 1

26. PBXtech (Posts: 970; Member since: 21 Oct 2013)


And low enough so there's enough OEMs to entice developers to write apps for the OS.

posted on 21 Feb 2014, 22:36 2

2. ocilfa (Posts: 333; Member since: 03 Aug 2012)


Great to hear, now do the same for consumer licenses.

posted on 21 Feb 2014, 22:50 3

3. rodneyej1 (Posts: 3519; Member since: 06 Jul 2013)


And for Windows Phone..

posted on 22 Feb 2014, 03:02 1

10. Liveitup (Posts: 1073; Member since: 07 Jan 2014)


I think they may make Windows Phone license free, Android will then be more expensive to create than a WP device as OEM patents fees will still be in effect for Android devices, Windows OS offers a great user experience, good to see MS ramping up the pressure.

posted on 22 Feb 2014, 09:06

24. rodneyej1 (Posts: 3519; Member since: 06 Jul 2013)


WP needs to be free, or considerably less.. Heck, they make $ off of most Android devices made, so that should take care of any development cost.. IDK how this stuff works, but if MS want's it's newest OS's to continue to gain traction then they need to let up a bit..

posted on 21 Feb 2014, 22:51 3

4. rodneyej1 (Posts: 3519; Member since: 06 Jul 2013)


Nevertheless, this is only for low end devices, not every device...

posted on 21 Feb 2014, 23:35 1

5. kaikuheadhunterz (Posts: 692; Member since: 18 Jul 2013)


Ubuntu and other Linux distros has no licensing fee. Just saying...

posted on 22 Feb 2014, 00:30 2

6. nlbates66 (Posts: 283; Member since: 15 Aug 2012)


yeah but then they don't even have as much marketshare as Windows 8 either. :)

posted on 22 Feb 2014, 04:02 1

12. kaikuheadhunterz (Posts: 692; Member since: 18 Jul 2013)


It's not about the market share. It's about creating a competitive market

posted on 22 Feb 2014, 05:31

14. Gemmol (Posts: 493; Member since: 09 Nov 2011)


I understand but not much people want to use those things. If I was them I would charge look at the Gamecube for Nintendo, it only sold 20 something million, but they never sold it under profit, so although it look like a lost compared to the ps2 profit wise it did well. In other words they should make profit on their product instead of giving it free where not much people use it, at least with the money they earn they can use it for other things.

posted on 22 Feb 2014, 06:40

19. networkdood (Posts: 6261; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


Sony and Microsoft have been selling their systems for a loss, more often than not...

posted on 22 Feb 2014, 06:49 1

21. papss (unregistered)


I was going to say the same.. The PS and Xbox systems often don't turn a profit until many years in the life cycle

posted on 22 Feb 2014, 09:09

25. rodneyej1 (Posts: 3519; Member since: 06 Jul 2013)


Good point! And, at around 11% market share W8-8.1 is doing pretty good after being on the market for only one year... But, you're right.. It's not all about market share..

posted on 22 Feb 2014, 06:39 1

18. networkdood (Posts: 6261; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


Part of that reason is Microsoft and their tactics...for which they have been sued for countless times and for countless billions of dollars..

posted on 22 Feb 2014, 05:45 1

15. Martin_Cooper (Posts: 393; Member since: 30 Jul 2013)


Yeah and linux doesn't have a single company behind it with tenth of thousands of people working for that product every day, R&D center, innovation center, and s**t loads of other things. its not free for a reason and most apps are made for win instead of linux for a reason too.

posted on 22 Feb 2014, 01:12

7. 13Elves (Posts: 40; Member since: 21 Feb 2014)


They had no choice. Still a good move. At that price point we're talking AMD 4 and 6 series APUs not bad at all.

posted on 22 Feb 2014, 02:37 1

9. sonisoe (Posts: 323; Member since: 06 May 2009)


do the same for msft current $400 tablets ie. dell venue 8 pro, etc so oems can replace atom with haswell processor, and compete with flagship android tablets usually priced the same (except for nexus 7)...market it well that msft tablets are not only more productive (word, excel, etc) but also more powerful....all things considered, msft can start making up their revenue loss from the pc business, even making loads more money.... for me its a no brainer, i'd go for a windows 8 tablet...

posted on 22 Feb 2014, 05:25

13. varezhka (Posts: 5; Member since: 28 Jan 2014)


Are they going to do something about the Windows RT license cost too, or have they completely given up on that OS?

posted on 22 Feb 2014, 06:16

16. androiphone20 (Posts: 1399; Member since: 10 Jul 2013)


Frank Shaw must be feeling like an a$$ right now after spewing BS about Apple giving away Mavericks for free. Chromebooks are crappy and they scare the living sheet out of M$, Windows is boring :/

posted on 22 Feb 2014, 06:38 1

17. papss (unregistered)


Thus is a good move by M$ and I feel its just another step in the right direction for them. They are fighting on many competitive fronts and I'm sure its a huge task to turn a whole company as big as theirs so I applaud them for all the changes.

posted on 22 Feb 2014, 06:41

20. networkdood (Posts: 6261; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


Funny, how people cheer these companies on - these same companies that spy on you - HIP HIP HOORAY!!

posted on 22 Feb 2014, 06:50 1

22. papss (unregistered)


Double edge sword bro... All do things bad but also needed for my shallow day to day needs

posted on 22 Feb 2014, 07:02 1

23. androiphone20 (Posts: 1399; Member since: 10 Jul 2013)


Just quit acting like an a$$ there are many agencies that have yet to be busted, besides you being here just goes to show you're dumb enough to connect to the internet where all rhr spying takes place. Go sit in a cave and let normal rational people be

posted on 22 Feb 2014, 14:29

27. SuperMaoriBro (Posts: 267; Member since: 23 Jun 2012)


Microsoft should have been priced like this from the start. Sorry MS you lost my interest because in the beginning you went after profit margins when you should have gone after market share by being priced competitively

posted on 22 Feb 2014, 19:38

28. rodneyej1 (Posts: 3519; Member since: 06 Jul 2013)


Who cares....

posted on 23 Feb 2014, 10:04

29. 7thspaceman (Posts: 1050; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)


Folks this license price cut is good. A lot of people want full Windows 8/8.1 tablets but the good ones that use Intel i5 and i7 CPU'S still cost an ARM and A LEG. Until Intel lowers the price of the Haswell i5 & i7 CPU"s Microsoft wont sell as many mid range Tablets and Laptop/Ultra books as they want Intel alsol has to make better low cost mobile ATOM CPU's to help Microsoft sell cheaper Low cost but good running tablets

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