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Microsoft to cut manufacturer price for Windows by 70%: Bloomberg

Published on Feb 23, 2014 6:10 AM
Workers install the Microsoft display before the opening of the 2010 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) on Jan 6, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

CHICAGO (REUTERS) - Microsoft Corp is reducing the price of Windows 8.1 for manufacturers of low-cost computers and tablets by 70 per cent to compete with cheaper products like Google Inc's Chromebooks, Bloomberg News reported on Saturday, citing sources familiar with the programme.

Computer makers will be charged US$15 (S$19) to license Windows 8.1 and pre-install it on devices retailing for under US$250, compared with the standard fee of US$50, Bloomberg reported. Any product that meets the price limit will be eligible for the discount, with no restrictions on the type or size of the device.

Sales of Microsoft's Windows 8 system, including its latest Windows 8.1 version, have been relatively slow since its launch 15 months ago. More than 200 million Window 8 licenses were sold, lagging Windows 7, which sold 240 million within its first year, according to Tami Reller, head of marketing for Microsoft.

The pace reflects a steady two-year decline in personal computer sales, as smartphones and tablet sales explode. Sales of tablets are set to overtake PCs worldwide next year.

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