As Surface and other Windows tablets flop, Microsoft slashes Windows 8 and Office prices for OEMs

“Microsoft Corp. has recently been offering price breaks on its Windows 8 and Office software to help spur the development of small, touch-enabled laptop computers, people familiar with the situation said,” Eva Dou and Spencer E. Ante report for The Wall Street Journal. “The Microsoft discounts are particularly tailored for portables with small displays that would likely appear this fall, these people said.”

“Such discounts could help reduce the price and increase the appeal of laptop computers running Windows 8, which was released last fall and offers a new touch-based computer interface,” Dou and Ante report. “Analysts say sales have been slow, hobbled in part by the lack of devices equipped with the kind of touch-based displays that are common on tablets.”

Dou and Ante report, “Windows 8, a major technology departure from earlier Microsoft operating systems, is regarded as a high-stakes response to one of the biggest threats the company has faced in years—the shift in spending toward touch-based smartphones and PCs whose software is largely dictated by Apple Inc. and Google Inc. Sales of tablets, led by Apple’s iPad, have been a particular problem for Microsoft and PC makers that use its software, having all but killed off a class of small, inexpensive laptops called netbooks that were popular several years ago… In late February, Microsoft offered PC makers the deal of Windows 8 plus Office for $30 for touch-screen devices under 10.8 inches, according to one person familiar with the situation. This compares with around $120 previously.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Oh, so Microsoft did figure out a Plan B: Panic.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]

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    1. The next article states: ““In 2008, Microsoft’s Windows OS ran on 95% of all computing devices. By the end of 2012, Forrester estimated that Microsoft’s market share had declined to 30%,” John Kirk writes for TechPinions….”

  1. Here’s the REAL problem. The defining feature of Windows 8 is the touch-based interface. This feature makes laptops MORE expensive to make, and LESS reliable over time. Usability also goes down, as complexity and power usage goes up.

    Meanwhile, Apple’s approach (keep iPad and Mac distinct and separate) makes Apple’s laptops and tablets both LESS expensive to produce and MORE reliable in use, while continuously advancing features that customers actually care about, such as higher resolution screens, more SSD storage, and longer battery life.

    That’s why MS needed to lower the Windows 8 OEM cost. No one wants to create a product that is MORE in all the wrong ways. Long gone are the days when Windows PC makers’ primary weapon against Apple was lower cost.

    1. The demise of Microsoft is in no-ones interest. Their failure win WIN8 is obvious by now as is where they blew it.
      I have to say I like Office on my MBP and Apples iWork is ok but needs to be more pro. MS do some good stuff but have seriously misread Mobil.
      Instead of first releasing a big-ass tablet in the Surface RT they should of aligned it to the phone OS and released a 7.9″ jobbie and give the developers an API that ties the two together.
      Just sayin

      1. Really? Keynote makes Powerpoint want to hide in a corner… Pages blows MS Word out of the water… though Numbers is a bit weak, I concede. The inspector is an incredibly powerful and flexible tool for modifying text layouts, etc. All in all, iWork is an amazingly powerful software package at an extremely reasonable price.

    2. “(keep iPad and Mac distinct and separate)”
      Hopefully that is true,but the signs don’t point that way. Convergence seems to be the way, and based upon what I am seeing after Snow Leopard does not make me feel good. I use several high end pro 3rd party apps for graphics and web development and their developers have spent huge amounts of money jumping through hoops with upgrades as Apple moves toward dumbing down of menus. The apps use project folders which work very well, but cause new compatibility issues with every upgrade. Thank God for Save as; (no dont even start the argument about Duplicate) Manual file and folder management using Dropbox is what saves me. Sort of like managing files in the Windows days. And so many iOS apps that leave you wondering “where do I tap to find the menu I need” because Apple is obsessed with black full screen images as the default the viewer sees, leaving them wondering “Where do I click?” Works ok if it is an app you use every day, but…
      Apple user since 1988, but my work load and production costs go up every day because of the change for the sake of change mentality. Give pro users a different operating system (Snow Leopard) was great, the newer ones “A bridge too far” I use Mounain Lion because I have to for some apps, but the ones I make my living on are fighting a compatibility battle with Apple.

  2. “The Microsoft discounts are particularly tailored for portables with small displays that would likely appear this fall, these people said.”

    Love how when you hover over the word “portables” it brings up an add for port-a-potties. How appropriate!

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