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Microsoft charges Tablet OEMs a whopping $85 for Windows RT

When Microsoft announced its tablet strategy with the Windows RT, many thought that Microsoft will change its pricing model for OEMs too, signaling a shift in strategy. Reality is however, vastly different with Microsoft requesting as much money as OEM version of the Windows 7 Home Premium.

During our meetings with multiple vendors on the Computex Taipei, we were talking about pricing options for taking the Windows RT route instead of (free) Android from Google. While it was rumored that Microsoft decided to change their ways and offer a price of about 35 dollars – the reality is that Windows RT will cost staggering USD$80-95 dollars, with $85 being the most commonly quoted price.

This means that there is no way that a similar specced Windows RT powered device will be priced in the same league as its Android-ARM competitiors. While this opens a path for more impressive devices, it seems to us that Microsoft and Intel both took the Ultrabook route and charge “an arm and a leg” for the RT-powered tablet. Given that NVIDIA’s BoM (Bill of Materials) sped past the $100, there isn’t a lot of room for sub $500 tablets. In fact, we were told that the launch tablets will probably go for $549-799, which isn’t exactly the most affordable product. Premium products will go for $799 and $899.

What do you think, is this pricing outrageous or expected and if you are considering, would you buy a Windows RT-based tablet or not?

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