Licensing Windows RT cost $85, currently, and is a pretty big barrier for company developings for the tablet-focused version of Windows 8. Apparently Microsoft is to lift the price next January, according to sources.
Microsoft needs to give manufacturers ever reason to be developing for Windows 8 tablets, and the company seems to be aware of the issue
Microsoft’s two main version of Windows 8 are Windows 8 Pro, and Windows 8 RT. The latter is designed for ARM devices (hence why the version is sometimes called Windows 8 ARM), and Microsoft is reportedly going to lift the licensing fee for manufacturers in January 2013.
China Times has heard the rumors, and reported Microsoft is working with numerous third-party chipmaker and OEMs. According to Times, Nvidia has chosen Asus and Lenovo to developer for Windows RT. Texus Instruments is working with Toshiba, and Qualcomm has gone with HP and Samsung. HP said it wouldn’t be developer for Windows ARM devices, citing customers needs as the reason, but Times rumors obviously conflict with the information.
The choosing of chipmakers, reportedly a way to limit variations, perhaps as a way for Microsoft to have distinct devices at launch. A problem we’ve talked about is Microsoft saturing the market with the amount of third parties developing for Windows 8, so hopefully the problem will be largely prevented.
Restrictions for developing for Windows RT will go in January 2013. Samsung and Dell seem to be definites for developing for Windows RT – the latter has reaffirmed its interest recently; Asus and Microsoft, the latter with Surface, are definitely developing devices; HP has said it isn’t developing for the platform, as mentioned; and HTC, the popular Android smartphone manufacturer, has been barred from building devices. Apparently. It’s not clear why HTC has been barred, but it would be surprising if the company doesn’t build Windows RT tablets at some point.
Manufacturers wanting to build devices for Windows ARM having to pay an $85 licensing fee, though that price hasn’t been confirmed. It’s a big investment for carriers if true, and suggest Windows RT/ARM tablets won’t be super popular at launch. It’s setting up CES 2013 as the venue for RT tablet, then, with a flurry of releases later in the year.
Windows 8 releases October 27.