“Microsoft Corp. is cutting the price of Windows 8.1 by 70 percent for makers of low-cost computers and tablets as they try to fend off cheaper rivals like Google Inc.’s Chromebooks, people familiar with the program said,” Tim Culpan and Dina Bass reports for Bloomberg.

“Manufacturers will be charged $15 to license Windows 8.1 and preinstall it on devices that retail for less than $250, instead of the usual fee of $50, said the people, who asked not to be named because the details aren’t public,” Culpan and Bass reports. “The discount will apply to any products that meet the price limit, with no restrictions on the size or type of device, the people said.”

“Stronger competition from Apple Inc. and Google cut revenue last quarter at Microsoft’s devices and consumer licensing division, which includes Windows software, as the computer industry posted its biggest annual decline on record,” Culpan and Bass reports. “Global computer shipments fell a record 10 percent last year and are forecast to continue to decline this year as tablets and smartphones lure consumers away from traditional desktop and notebook designs, according to data from market research firm IDC.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The Dark Ages of Personal Computing are over. Microsoft could attempt to pay people to use Windows and it still wouldn’t work.