Windows 8 Tablets Won’t Be Able To Fight Against iPad’s Price


18.05.2012

Windows 8 Tablets Won’t Be Able To Fight Against iPad’s Price

As the Windows 8 release date is getting closer, more and more hardware manufacturers are getting worried that the Windows RT tablets (Windows 8 developed for ARM devices) won’t be ablet to compete against Apple’s iPad line-up, or against cheap tablets like Amazon’s Kindle Fire.

According to reports coming straight from Taiwan, most of the OEMs working to develop the first wave of Windows 8 RT tablets are having difficulties in reducing the final price of the device, to a level that would allow them to compete against the current ARM-based tablets. According to Digitimes, the main obstacle aren’t Microsoft’s strict hardware requirements, but the costs of the Windows RT licensing. Rumor has it that for each Windows RT tablet, Microsoft will receive about $90 or $100 from the OEMs.

Considering that the Amazon Kindle Fire is now available at a price of only $199, it’s easy to understand why the Windows 8 tablet makers are afraid that they won’t be able to create devices capable of competing against the biggest threat of the tablet market.

Microsoft is usually charges its OEM partners with about $50 to licence the PC version of Windows 8, or even $30 if the products are based on Windows 7. At this moment, the operating systems for tablets are either free (like Google’s Android platform) or they belong to the hardware manufactures and doesn’t require additional costs (Apple with their iOS tablets). Thus, any additional fees payed to licence the operating system, would seriously damage a tablet’s chance to succeed on a market full of manufacturers trying to lower the price of their devices as much as possible.

After Amazon had a huge success with their $199 Kindle Fire and rumor has it that Google is also working on an Android-powered tablet, unofficially dubbed Nexus Tablet, which will be priced $150. In this situation, the Windows tablets will have to fight against Apple’s iPad, thus, unless they come with a really competitive price,

On the other hand, Microsoft hopes to take advantage from the users’ affinity to the Windows ecosystem, as they will try to persuade the customers to widely open their wallets and purchase a Windows RT-powered tablet.

Still we can’t forget that Windows RT is a lot different from Windows 8, developed for x86 machines. Windows RT is not compatible with any of the Windows PC applications and it will have some pretty annoying limitations. With some many flaws the Windows RT tablets might be easily eclipsed by the competition that will sell even cheaper tablets, or by Apple, rumored to have placed the launch of a new iOS tablet around Microsoft’s launching event.

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