Desperate Microsoft marks down Windows, dangles free Office in bid to move tablets

“Microsoft today confirmed what many analysts suspected, that it has cut prices of Windows 8 and Windows RT licenses to hardware partners building smaller-sized tablets as a way to drop device prices and juice sales,” Gregg Keizer reports for Computerworld.

“Analysts questioned whether the cuts are enough to dramatically lower tablet prices and spur sales, and were skeptical that Office would be a big draw for consumers, who purchase the bulk of tablets,” Keizer reports. “According to the Wall Street Journal (paid registration required), the head of Microsoft’s OEM division, Nick Parker, said the company has expanded its discount from Windows 8-only to also include Windows RT, the spin-off that has failed to gain traction in the market.”

Keizer reports, “Parker confirmed the discounts at the Computex trade show in Taipei, Taiwan, which opened Monday. Along with the discounted licenses for Windows 8 and Windows RT, Microsoft is also bundling Office Home & Student 2013 with Windows 8 on the smaller tablets, said Tami Reller, the CFO of the Windows group, also from Computex.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: GWAK.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Tayster” for the heads up.]


  1. IMHO M$ should sell a controlling stake, at least, of the Macintosh Business Unit or Mac BU to Apple so Office would be better, properly configured & (more Mac) user friendly. They would still get their license fees etc., and prolly make even more than ever from Office for Mac! 😉

    1. Yeah, not sure about that one. Apple need to make a better efforts with their own iWork. Buying Office from MS would achieve nothing.
      Office needs to be completely re-written from scratch to be fully Cocoa compliant. Why would anyone bother? Obviously Microsoft hasn’t. They treat their Mac customers with contempt!

      I’m looking forward to when Apple updates Pages and Numbers with a few more pro features (but no bloat please!)

  2. What’s funny is that MS has been convinced for a decade that Office was the golden ticket for Windows mobile nerdvanna. Surely any mobile device would be worthless without Office!

    Yet now they have to give away Office to even get people to remember that Windows is vaguely relevant in the mobile space.

    1. Not to mention, they devalue the, ahem, Word brand by giving it away. They have pissed away the Windows brand and now are taking Word down with it. Classic, Ballmer.

  3. Its like watching a 3 am commercial for a POS widget. “Order now….but wait…theres more….order now and get a free POS…thats right, order now, operators are waiting…buy one and get one POS for free….but wait theres even more….order within 24 hours and get a free Ballsmear air freshner for your car….you can have it all…order now…..

        1. Your take was side-splitting funny. I think it could be even funnier if we could mix in the Amazing Ginsu Knife. “Slice ’em, dice ’em! Whoops! There goes a digit! No worries, folks, nature gave us ten fingers, lots of spares!” LOL

      1. They need it like a mollusk needs a manicure, lumbar support or a coupon clipping service. Which is to say they do not need it at all. They will go back to Office in the office next day and engage in Word/Excel fingernail pulling assignments by the boss. And who uses PowerPoint whil sitting on the can? Microsoft has their head up their ass.

      2. I don’t use a PC or windows unless I’ve got work to do. In all honesty I’d never buy a surface bit if I did it would need a full blown version of office and Power Shell.

        When I want to enjoy a computer I go home and use my MacBook.

  4. Desperate and ridiculous. Apple does not pay any licensing fee for its own iOS. And Android is free. So, Microsoft would have to reduce its licensing fee to zero to have meaningful impact, based on cost of the OS.

    And, as if Office is going to make a difference for a tablet customer. iPads are popular with no Office included or even available for extra cost. Getting Office (especially a “desktop” version) bundled is not going to make any difference to someone looking to buy a tablet (an iPad).

    The problem here is that Microsoft decided to ignore its core customers, users of traditional desktop and laptop computers, to go after tablet customers. Now, tablet customers for Windows 8 get Office for free? Long-time Microsoft customers who want to just keep using “regular” desktops and laptops get a kludge OS and no free Office? Insult to injury. Feeling like “second-class” users in the Windows world. Time to drop by the Apple Store to look at some Macs.

    1. Spot on!

      Office has no value to most of the world. They just have been duped into thinking they needed it.

      Windows is the same. They should just give it away, even if no one really wants to use it given the choice.

  5. Wolves!

    Smelling fear riding on the wind, the pack turned, almost as one, and pursued the beckoning scent to its source—a mighty rhinoceros, bloated owing to its accustomed daily gorging on the flesh of the helpless; now fallen and pitiously dependent for its next breath on a smattering of suddenly toothless sycophants; which attendant company dissolved into the woods with the wolves’ appearance.

    Nature gives rise to a great tyrant, yet never fails to oversee its demise, sometimes in spectacular, and never undeserved, fashion.

  6. The tide will turn for Microsoft when PowerPoint can play Chopsticks.

    You think I’m joking? Au contraire! Consider the ratio of presenters (PowerPoint abusers) to suffering audience members (folks with iPads doodling in GarageBand while PowerPoint junkie prattles on).

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