Microsoft is working to make Windows 8.1 tablets a lot more affordable in the coming months, according to a new statement coming from a company executive at the Computex 2014 show, with pricing expected to drop to as low as $100 (€73).
While that's a shockingly low price, that's exactly what Microsoft is trying to do, the company’s vice president of OEM partners Nick Parker, explained.
Basically, Microsoft's strategy is as simple as it could be. The company is willing to make Windows 8.1 tablets as affordable as possible in order to compete with the cheap Android devices on the market that are already experiencing quite a terrific success especially in developing countries across the globe.
At the same time, Redmond is also trying to improve Windows 8.1 in such a way that it would work easier on low-spec devices, such as the tablets that would hit the market at a more affordable price.
As far as Parker is concerned, Microsoft has gradually tried to cut down the price of its devices, so after Windows 8 tablets hit the shelves last year prices starting at $300 (€220), the company is now planning the next big step forwards this goal.
“We’ll reach price points that are very industry competitive for 7, 8, 10-inch devices. They will really surprise you. Last year, we were in the 3s, 4s, 500 dollars. This year, we’ll be 1s, 2s, 3s,” Parker was quoted as saying by Digits.
Microsoft is also offering partners who are trying to develop more affordable Windows devices a new Windows 8.1 SKU that comes with Bing branding and is available free of charge for OEMs. This means that manufacturers that install Windows 8.1 with Bing on their devices can even further cut down the price thanks to no licensing fees.
Basically, Windows 8.1 with Bing comes with Microsoft's own search engine configured as default in Internet Explorer, and although users would be allowed to change the default settings, OEMs won't.
The Computex show already brought us the first $100 Windows 8.1 tablet, as Chinese manufacturer Emdoor presented a Windows 8.1 unit that promises to offer almost the same functionality as a lot more expensive units for an incredibly low price.
The devices offers a resolution of 1280x800 px, a quad-core Intel Atom Z3735E processor (Bay Trail), 1 GB of RAM and 16 GB of internal storage. CPU speeds are more than decent: normal speeds of 1.33 GHz and 1.83 GHz in turbo mode.