back to article Windows RT OEMs unveil pricing for Surface wannabes

With the ARM-based version of Microsoft's Surface tablets due to launch in less than three days, rival PC makers are only now beginning to unveil details of their own Windows RT devices. If you were hoping Microsoft's partner OEMs would rise to the occasion and beat Redmond at its own game, prepare to be disappointed. On Tuesday …

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'contractual obligation release'

...it's almost like no-one actually wants to *sell* RT devices.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 'contractual obligation release'

Sales, what sales?

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Re: 'Sales, what sales?'

Well exactly.

They're all taking a low risk approach because no one knows if Windows RT will actually sell. This is precisely why (I think) MS decided to make the Surface, beacuase they knew the OEMs wouldn't make the risky investment in developing sexy hardware for an unproved OS. They saw what happened with the WP7 launch - innovative software hamstrung by a sorry-looking collection of year-old hardware. They tried to fix this with Nokia, but by then most of the impetus was gone. This time round they've got the flagship Surface in place. If it fails, it fails, but they're giving it a shot.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 'Sales, what sales?' @n4blue

"the OEMs wouldn't make the risky investment in developing sexy hardware for an unproved OS."

Sexy? Please!

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@n4blue sexy hardware

With a design spec so locked down there wasn't much scope to differentiate devices anyway. Changing the casing was about as much as ms allowed for wp7.

After being burnt by that design limit, screwed by favouring Nokia, I doubt many had any enthusiasm for any new ms platform.

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WTF?

Its chief saving grace may be that at 1.4 pounds, it's slightly lighter than a Surface...

... hardly a killer feature.

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Anonymous Coward

"no hardware makers have stepped up..."

"... to offer budget-rate Windows RT slabs to compete with the likes of Google's $199 Nexus 7 or Amazon's similarly-priced Kindle Fire HD."

No shit Sherlock... because they'd go out of business if they did something that ridiculous. It's not like Google/Amazon are making a $50-65 margin on every device they sell, so where exactly would you expect the OEM come up with the $50-65 per device it needs to pay Redmond for the RT license?

"[Come here dear OEM and throw yourself on my sword to help Microsoft compete against dreaded Google!]"

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Silver badge

Re: "no hardware makers have stepped up..."

It's not like Google/Amazon are making a $50-65 margin on every device they sell, so where exactly would you expect the OEM come up with the $50-65 per device it needs to pay Redmond for the RT license?

True - but neither are any of the OEMs selling a device at anywhere close to $199 + $65. That's not to say they could make a profit at $264, or at any point significantly under $500; but clearly the RT license is not the sole factor in the price difference.

Not that I care. I don't want any of the damn things, running any OS. I like more typewriter and less fingerpainting in my computers.

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Surface Pricing

To quote a famous ex tennis ball botherer....

"You cannot be serious!!!"

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Anonymous Coward

Can we scotch this notion of a $50-65 RT license?

Microsoft is giving full fat Win8Pro licenses away for $40! It can't afford for Windows RT to fail, so why would it charge OEMs more for a Windows RT license than it charges for a Windows 7 license, when there's no "app store" revenue from Windows 7 licenses?

As far as I can recall the "source" for this $50-$65 figure was unnamed Chinese manufacturers, but how would they know - Microsoft is only going to let the big boys in on the RT deal for the time being.

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Anonymous Coward

Bzzt! The $85 RT licence fee was confirmed by HP...

hardly an "unnamed Chinese manufacturer". You're right that in a poll at Computex, those "unnamed Chinese manufacturers" also said that they were also quoted $80-$95/device. But sources at Dell say "about three times the cost of a full Windows 8 licence"; so although we don't know what their cost is for OEM Windows, we know that Windows RT isn't cheap for them either.

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Silver badge

Re: Can we scotch this notion of a $50-65 RT license?

> so why would it charge OEMs more for a Windows RT license than it charges for a Windows 7 license,

It is actually alleged to be $70-90

Because Windows RT includes Office RT*. You are comparing it to OEM W7 and need to compare it to OEM W7 + OEM Office Home and Student.

* licence is for non-commercial use and businesses need to purchase a full licence.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Can we scotch this notion of a $50-65 RT license?

The latest version of the rumor I heard was that the OEMs complained that the original MS license plan was to charge $85(ish) for both Win 8 and RT. MS has since decided to reduce the price of RT to $50-65, and left Win 8 in the original price range. (ref)

If anyone has better info, citation please. I don't want to go around repeating bad information but the source above is as good as I've seen.

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Behind the curve, again

Hey, Microsoft!

Did you hear? 7" is the new black!

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Meh

The name of the game is...?

"If you were hoping Microsoft's partner OEMs would rise to the occasion and beat Redmond at its own game, prepare to be disappointed."

Perhaps the 'game' is that MS has asked OEMs to *not* compete with it? Perhaps anachronistic, but I remember days when OEMs would ask what MS would like them to do, and did that, out of fear of displeasure from the beast.

Anyway, I'm wondering who's playing who here?

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Anonymous Coward

"Brand New Operating System"

Not really, it's a port of Windows NT which has been around since 1993 and has been ported many times before.

That's not a "brand new operating system".

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Silver badge

Re: "Brand New Operating System"

"Brand new" in the sense that none of the software you currently have will run on it, there is very little software you can buy to run on it and you can't even recompile your own software because it uses a different API (WinRT, no unmanaged code and not .net, silverlight etc).

Which rather feeds into the second issue, of course.

Windows 8 desktop doesn't have those issues outside of the TIFKAM environment so is less doomed, but has other oddities.

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Silver badge

Re: "Brand New Operating System"

Plus SecureBoot.

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h3
Bronze badge

I think the first generation (Perhaps not the Surface but the rest of them) will be firesaled before long.

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Facepalm

I bet Microsoft are miffed at the Apple pricing!

Now we know how much an iPad Mini is, Apple appear to have pitched it to deliberately undermine the price of the Surface!

Christmas this year is going to be interesting. I bet Santa will be buying shed-loads more iPads than Surfeits.

Popcorn icon please:-)

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Ill just pick up a Windows RT device from the £99 bargain clearance bin in 12 months time when they stop making it as its already on the slippery slopes with these prices even before its realised

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Silver badge

I don't think you'll have to wait that long. By January at the latest these things will be being remaindered if demand does not pick up. Could even be as early as the last week before Christmas for companies desperate to generate revenue. And, if Amazon and Google release cheapish 10" tablets in time for the holidays then that really will put the cat among the pigeons.

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Anonymous Coward

Sweet Spot

$500 is the sweet spot?

I don't think so. I'll wait a bit for the prices to drop.

Same reason I don't have an iPad. Overpriced for what it is.

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Trollface

Disappointing products running Windows?

How is this news?

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Gold badge
FAIL

Windows RT. Just like WIndows

Except it's not.

Yet *another* round in the deeply dysfunction co-dependent relationship that is Microsoft/Intel

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