People familiar with Microsoft’s plans have told Bloomberg that the tech giant plans to significantly reduce the cost to PC manufacturers to license the latest version of its operating system. The move is said to come after fierce competition from Apple and Google have hurt Windows-based PC sales.

Previously each Windows 8.1 license for a tablet or PC would cost the manufacturer $50. The upcoming drop will bring that down to only $15. The change won’t affect all computers running the OS, however. Only those that retail for less than $250 will be eligible for the discount, which gives manufacturers an incentive to create low-cost machines.

Computers and tablets retailing for over $250 will still cost manufacturers the full $50 fee to license the OS. The price drop also won’t affect retail copies of the software that consumers can buy on their own from Microsoft or other retailers.

With Apple’s Mac computers gaining market share and Google’s ChromeOS serving as a cheaper alternative for PC manufacturers, it seems Microsoft is now doing whatever it takes to hold on to a market it once conquered so easily.

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28 Responses to “Microsoft reportedly dropping licensing fees for Windows 8.1 amid competition from Apple and Google”

  1. Well then, still wouldn’t affect me(even I did get another windows computer again which isn’t likely since the computers i’ve had for those don’t last), especially since any computer I would get would cost more than 250….you can’t get a decent computer that is really fast for a long period of time for windows under that amount unless somehow people making games for it make it use less power….

  2. shareef777 says:

    This is nothing more then to stop Chromebooks from taking off. I don’t see how this would change anything in relation to OS X.

  3. They couldn’t pay me to use that crap OS.

    • One might favor OSX over Windows 8 for any number of reasons, but the OS being “crap” or an inferior product is not one of them. Windows 8 is a very good OS as evidenced here: http://goo.gl/tk53yt

      • PMZanetti says:

        There is nothing good about Windows 8. Nothing. I have to use, I have to support it, I have to understand it…and it is garbage. Absolute trash. I have nothing good to say about it. Windows 7 was at least manageable and workable, despite still begin amateur trash. Yes, I consider Windows to be AMATEUR. It is back room software made my tasteless programmers that never should have made it out of concept stage.

        It does not belong in the hands of end users. With Windows 8, Microsoft finally wanted to make an OS that belonged in the hands of real users….but they failed, miserably. All they did was put a resource hog layer over Windows 7, remove some important features, and create a total UI nightmare.

        Don’t sit there and defend Windows 8. It is embarrassment to computers, period.

    • bIg HilL says:

      Make your words mine. I used to feel offended when I had to use that crap OS. Thank god that Apple finally used Intel chips is all I can say.

  4. Eddie Craven says:

    If they aren’t dropping the ridiculous cost of the OS to the end user then what’s the point. 8.1 Pro is $180 on Amazon. How does that make any sense?

    • PMZanetti says:

      Because it is all they got. To Microsoft, there is no other way to make money off the customer. It is virtually their only sustainable revenue stream, and even that is tanking as people are iPads and even Macs instead of PCs.

      • Eddie Craven says:

        I disagree. This article shows that they sell to the vendors for $15-$50, but the consumer has to pay $100-$200. It is highly disproportionate. Vista Pro was $200. Windows7 Ultimate was $250. At least the price did come down, but I still think it is out of hand. I only run windows in a virtualized environment when I absolutely have to due to work software. For this reason I’ll stick with XP for the foreseeable future.

  5. bjtechnews says:

    Why not just make it free like Apple has done with Maverick 10.9. Sell the support not the OS to users.

    • LOL! Microsoft does not manufacture computers like Apple does, They only do sell Softwares. If they go for free then Microsoft will go bankruptcy!

      You can’t compare Microsoft with Apple and its big difference in their product line.

      • rettun1 says:

        But they are trying to become a “devices, software, and services” company. At least that’s what they said when they released the Surface.

        But who knows what their strategy is now, after the shifting of positions within the company

      • bjtechnews says:

        Yes, they did state that, but now with the new CEO his advertising “Software” no mention of hardware yet. I guess we will see what will happen next.

      • bjtechnews says:

        Yes, you are correct huge difference between hardware and software. But one might have to think why Microsoft has not touched the hardware part of the market. Almost every major business now-a-days have Windows. I feel like Windows is a business type OS and Apple OS is more of a personal but graphic design OS.

    • Eddie Craven says:

      Big difference between Apple and Microsoft. Apple sells the hardware that the OS is running on. Microsoft does not (except for the Surface). If they gave away their OS then they would lose money and I’m sure the investors would not be impressed.

    • selling support ?, that would be a great idea
      support was terrible in 2003 when i was a Windows user
      the only way of support they had was a website or an expensive phone call that was made in a kind of english-frensh-whatever language (that was for the BeNeLux countries)
      so, i do believe that premium support would sell pretty good and would help the customers they still have to maintain a workable computer

  6. its a great way to go in defense against OSX and chromebook machines, but I’m not if this is the way to go
    people who want to upgrade for windows XP-Vista still pay a relatively high price
    and then thinking of what they aim at, $250 or less for a PC ?, if you ask me, they just want to gain users for windows 8 mobile
    and they will not get much success in that looking at the apps available to windows 8 mobile compared to iOS and Android (each respectively around 1.000.000 and 800.000)

  7. 311sie says:

    welcome to the post-pc era MS

  8. It’s OK that MS is cutting the price of Windows. They’ve got wads of reserve cash, Nokia and they’re selling millions of Xbox Ones and Surfaces. The stock should be going up any day now. Microsoft is too big to fail and will be around forever.

  9. scumbolt2014 says:

    So M$ is going to give PC makers incentive to make sub $250 piece of garbage computers to save them $35 and saturate the market with a bunch of junk. Sounds like they’re doing things the andriod/scamscum way.

  10. Why you still showing pictures of Ballmer? He left. Deepak Chopra is the new CEO.

  11. bboysupaman says:

    I don’t see this making much of a difference. I think that the manufacturers will have a higher profit margin, but I doubt that the consumer will ever see those savings.

  12. Deepak Chopra is the new CEO? Wow, that is news and would suggest a complete philosophical rethink by Microsoft ( see https://www.deepakchopra.com ). I think you mean Satya Nadella. Personally I’m sad to see Barmy Ballmer go, I used to enjoy watching him skipping around on stage whooping his excitement about another product that was going to fall short as Microsoft played catch up.

  13. Tommy O'Neil says:

    Sounds like someone at Microsoft is turning things around.