Microsoft cuts Windows 8.1 costs

Software giant Microsoft has cut the price of Windows 8.1 by 70 percent for makers of low-cost computers and tablets.

It would appear that the move is to check the ever marching cheap and cheerful Google Chromebooks.

OEMs will be charged $15 to license Windows 8.1 and preinstall it on devices that retail for less than $250. This is instead of the usual fee of $50, said the people, who asked not to be named because the details are not public.

According to Bloomberg  the discount will apply to any products that meet the price limit, with no restrictions on the size or type of device.

Competition from Google cut revenue last quarter at Microsoft’s devices and consumer licensing division, which includes Windows software.

By offering incentives for PC makers to sell cheaper models, Microsoft may be able to increase its share of the growing $80 billion tablet market.

Microsoft will not require products that use the cheaper licensing to complete logo certification, a process that verifies hardware compatibility. It is also making sure that devices are not required to be touch-screen compatible, it said.