Unofficial poll suggests OEMs may have to pay serious money to develop Windows ARM devices.
Upgrading to Windows 8 might be cheap, but building hardware could be a different story
A poll conducted by VR-Zone claims that Windows RT licenses will cost $85, which is a hefty fee for OEMs who want to be building touch-specific hardware. Apparently VR-Zone spoke with parties who were interested in building devices for Windows 8, and the fee ranged from $80 to $90 with $85 the most quoted price. Per device. If I had to state an opinion on this, I’d say that’s fake. Are OEMs really going to pay that much money?
The estimation is that this is the figure to smaller companies who don’t have the manoeuverability on price bigger companies, such as Asus, have. I also don’t see why OEMs would publicly say what the license cost is before Microsoft announces it, if it does at all.
Windows RT will come with Office 2013 RT – designed for touch – inflating licenses costs. Still, almost touching $100 isn’t the kind of figure OEMs will be wanting to hear particularly as Microsoft’s strategy is built around producing a variety of hardware.
It also means that it’s going to be harder for Microsoft to compete with Apple’s $499 pricing for a baseline new iPad and $399 for the iPad 2. That models going to continue as Apple continues to push out new devices. Microsoft is already facing a battle trying to gain mind share if Windows 8 launches around October, because the iPad will be the most requested item for the holidays.
Away from the iPad, there’s also the Kindle Fire for $199. Yes it’s not as full-featured as the iPad, but it’s remarkably cheap and a no-brainer if you’re tied into those services. When the Kindle Fire was announced during September 2011, Amazon was rumored to be taking a loss. I doubt Microsoft is prepared to do that with Windows 8, even if it will end up selling millions of copies.
We’ll have to wait and see how Microsoft builds up to a launch in October, and if they follow Windows Phone’s route of having specific devices on show at launch. VR-Zone was told launch tables will retail between $549-799.