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Microsoft Reveals Windows 8 OEM Licensing Prices

By - Source: DigiTimes | B 49 comments

Supply chain sources have spilled the goods on licensing fees for Windows 8 Pro and Windows RT.

Unnamed Taiwan-based notebook supply chain makers are reporting that Microsoft has released the licensing rates for Windows 8. For each x86-based machine, OEMs will have to shell out $80 to $100 USD for using both Windows 8 Pro and Office 2013. For devices packing an ARM-based chip, OEMs will be required to pay between $50 and $65 USD for using Windows RT and Office 13 on each device.

Supply chain sources are reportedly placing high hopes on the success of Windows 8, naturally wanting to see the new operating system resurrect consumer demand for the traditional notebook. Yet because it's a complete overhaul of the popular platform -- evolving much like it did when moving from Windows 3.11 to Windows 95 -- most notebook players are taking a conservative attitude about the upcoming launch.

Currently Windows 8 isn't expected to help significantly boost PC demand before 2013. That's because the new operating system requires components with additional functions over the traditional notebook -- such as touchscreens -- in order for the platform to work as Microsoft intended. Throw the licensing fee on top of that, and the final consumer price will be projected to a "rather unfriendly level."

But sources expect the demand for Windows 8 products to increase around the middle of 2Q13. By then the notebook supply chain will have shifted production to touchscreen-based models and the manufacturing costs will have dropped. As seen with the Ultrabook sector, first generation devices may initially carry a hefty pricetag, but prices will eventually drop as component prices and manufacturing costs diminish.

Earlier this week Microsoft confirmed that Windows 8 will arrive on the market by the end of October. The RTM version is expected to be released in the first week of August for testing. Earlier reports indicated Microsoft would charge at least $85 per device in licensing fees for Windows RT, but it's possible Microsoft lowered the price so that market prices for ARM-based Windows products don't surpass Apple's iPad pricing.

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Top Comments
  • 20 Hide
    dimar , July 12, 2012 7:35 PM
    My screen doesn't like it when I touch it :-)
  • 19 Hide
    CaedenV , July 12, 2012 7:06 PM
    ... Win8 Pro AND Office? not a bad deal at all considering most products pack Home without office.
  • 15 Hide
    sabarjp , July 12, 2012 8:06 PM
    All I read was that OEMS, instead of finally shipping laptop screens with non-crap displays, will be adding worthless touch instead.

    I swear it feels like the resolution of laptop screens is getting worse with time.
Other Comments
  • 19 Hide
    CaedenV , July 12, 2012 7:06 PM
    ... Win8 Pro AND Office? not a bad deal at all considering most products pack Home without office.
  • 9 Hide
    bourgeoisdude , July 12, 2012 7:08 PM
    "Earlier reports indicated Microsoft would charge at least $85 per device in licensing fees for Windows RT, but it's possible Microsoft lowered the price so that market prices for ARM-based Windows products don't surpass Apple's iPad pricing."

    Or the earlier reports were simply wrong, it would make absolutely no sense at all to raise prices for OEM licensing with this version of windows with so much market share at stake.
  • 6 Hide
    DRosencraft , July 12, 2012 7:09 PM
    Pricing doesn't seem terrible for any OEM looking to bundle both Win8 and Office '13, considering what the retail price would likely be getting them separate.
  • 0 Hide
    Osmin , July 12, 2012 7:26 PM
    Windows 8 definitely needs a touch screen to succeed. The Metro interface with a mouse or touch pad is cumbersome to use. Until my ultra book or desktop gets a touch screen, its either Windows 7 or Mountain Lion on all my computers. Don’t force feed Metro down my throat until I am ready.
  • 20 Hide
    dimar , July 12, 2012 7:35 PM
    My screen doesn't like it when I touch it :-)
  • 10 Hide
    waethorn , July 12, 2012 7:36 PM
    bourgeoisdude"Earlier reports indicated Microsoft would charge at least $85 per device in licensing fees for Windows RT, but it's possible Microsoft lowered the price so that market prices for ARM-based Windows products don't surpass Apple's iPad pricing."Or the earlier reports were simply wrong, it would make absolutely no sense at all to raise prices for OEM licensing with this version of windows with so much market share at stake.



    You have to read one thing to know this isn't official, if you didn't already remember the false Window RT pricing quote from before that all the bloggers followed: "Unnamed Taiwan-based notebook supply chain makers are reporting".

    Ya, so I'm an unnamed Chinese ODM and I say that Microsoft is charging 4 gold shillings and a parrot for Windows 8.

    See how that works?

    In any case, what Microsoft charges OEM's is NOT what you're going to be able to buy System Builder software for. System Builder software is sold through distribution. Big OEM's buy directly from Microsoft, and they DON'T get individual media kits, COA's or documentation like you get from distribution. Those OEM's have to print their own COA's and issue their own recovery mechanism, be it a partition or DVD, so they get the licenses for a lower cost. They also have minimum order purchase commitments which standard distributors do not. Distributors don't have system builder SKU's yet, so take all of this with a grain of salt. Microsoft has never historically issued pricing for system builder SKU's before RTM either.
  • 7 Hide
    blazorthon , July 12, 2012 7:42 PM
    OsminWindows 8 definitely needs a touch screen to succeed. The Metro interface with a mouse or touch pad is cumbersome to use. Until my ultra book or desktop gets a touch screen, its either Windows 7 or Mountain Lion on all my computers. Don’t force feed Metro down my throat until I am ready.


    If you don't like Metro, then don't use it. Windows 8 doesn't mean that you must extensively use Metro. There is a desktop shell and a start menu is easy, quick, and free to install. ViStart/ViOrb or Classic shell and you're good to go. Yes, they work with the latest version of Windows 8 and will work with the RTM version too.
  • 15 Hide
    sabarjp , July 12, 2012 8:06 PM
    All I read was that OEMS, instead of finally shipping laptop screens with non-crap displays, will be adding worthless touch instead.

    I swear it feels like the resolution of laptop screens is getting worse with time.
  • 5 Hide
    super d spamalot , July 12, 2012 8:16 PM
    OsminWindows 8 definitely needs a touch screen to succeed. The Metro interface with a mouse or touch pad is cumbersome to use. Until my ultra book or desktop gets a touch screen, its either Windows 7 or Mountain Lion on all my computers. Don’t force feed Metro down my throat until I am ready.


    No, it doesn't. Unless you're saying that using the mouse wheel to scroll and the left button to click on things is "Cumbersome", in which case you must hate every GUI in existance. Windows 7 -> Winkey, mouseover, click. Windows 8 -> Winkey, scroll wheel, click. Doesn't seem like a radical departure to me...

    And nobody is forcing you to use anything, stop being so overly melodramatic just because you don't want to admit that you're too inept to adapt quickly to a new UI. As I've said here before, give it 2 years and you and all the other haters will be saying it's the best Windows yet, just like the bandwagon hated XP because it was too different from '98.
  • 5 Hide
    teh_chem , July 12, 2012 8:16 PM
    blazorthonIf you don't like Metro, then don't use it. Windows 8 doesn't mean that you must extensively use Metro. There is a desktop shell and a start menu is easy, quick, and free to install. ViStart/ViOrb or Classic shell and you're good to go. Yes, they work with the latest version of Windows 8 and will work with the RTM version too.

    I thought MS was actively removing code from Win8 in order to remove the ability entirely to use/have the start menu. No?
  • 5 Hide
    blazorthon , July 12, 2012 8:29 PM
    teh_chemI thought MS was actively removing code from Win8 in order to remove the ability entirely to use/have the start menu. No?


    That's why you're installing a new one with those programs instead of trying to re-enable MS's start menu which MS is getting rid of completely anyway.
  • -5 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , July 12, 2012 8:45 PM
    After seeing Windows 8, they probably SHOULD throw in Office 2013. Just one problem, I wouldn't know how to START Office 2013.
  • -1 Hide
    belardo , July 12, 2012 8:45 PM
    blazorthonIf you don't like Metro, then don't use it. Windows 8 doesn't mean that you must extensively use Metro. There is a desktop shell and a start menu is easy, quick, and free to install. ViStart/ViOrb or Classic shell and you're good to go.
    Then why bother?
    A) you cannot use Windows 8 without metro, they are tied together and bounce you back and forth. How are you going to get to any application that is NOT pinned to your desktop or taskbar?

    B) Why hide the start button?

    C) You really expect people to go out and look for these ADD-ON fixes? Why the Frack should I or anyone else be required to go out, vet some add-on (which MS may also disable for all we know) to fix a broken Operating System that WE spent money on?

    In my experiences... people don't DO much in the way of ADD-ONs for standard software. That includes games, consoles, Operating Systems. Look at the strong number of people who use IE for a browser because its there. How about the game Unreal Tournament 3? Out the door, a fairly crappy game. Onces it all patched up, RE-ADD the disabled Vehicle Zoom and add about 50+ good maps, its a damn good game. But looking on line, no servers are running such patches and maps which would make a HUGE difference. Its too much hassle.

    I expect and hope that Windows8 blows up in microsoft's face big time. I will go Linux before I go Windows8. After trying out Windows8 on a test computer, I downloaded LinuxMint, its price = $0. And it makes MORE sense in usage than Windows 8!
  • -8 Hide
    belardo , July 12, 2012 8:48 PM
    Charging for Office? For a while, Microsoft has been allowing vendors to install "Office 2010 Starter" for free. Its an AD-based Office-Home edition. No Outlook, and mostly functional version of Office 2010. Its a good deal.

    Very few people are going to spend $500~600 for a WART (Windows Arm RT) tablet which has almost no Apps and cannot run Windows x86 software that also has less stats than the iPad3 for the same price.
  • 3 Hide
    blazorthon , July 12, 2012 9:22 PM
    belardoThen why bother?A) you cannot use Windows 8 without metro, they are tied together and bounce you back and forth. How are you going to get to any application that is NOT pinned to your desktop or taskbar?B) Why hide the start button?C) You really expect people to go out and look for these ADD-ON fixes? Why the Frack should I or anyone else be required to go out, vet some add-on (which MS may also disable for all we know) to fix a broken Operating System that WE spent money on?In my experiences... people don't DO much in the way of ADD-ONs for standard software. That includes games, consoles, Operating Systems. Look at the strong number of people who use IE for a browser because its there. How about the game Unreal Tournament 3? Out the door, a fairly crappy game. Onces it all patched up, RE-ADD the disabled Vehicle Zoom and add about 50+ good maps, its a damn good game. But looking on line, no servers are running such patches and maps which would make a HUGE difference. Its too much hassle.I expect and hope that Windows8 blows up in microsoft's face big time. I will go Linux before I go Windows8. After trying out Windows8 on a test computer, I downloaded LinuxMint, its price = $0. And it makes MORE sense in usage than Windows 8!


    http://www.softpedia.com/get/Desktop-Enhancements/Shell-Replacements/ViStart.shtml
    http://www.softpedia.com/get/Desktop-Enhancements/Shell-Replacements/ViOrb.shtml
    http://www.softpedia.com/get/Desktop-Enhancements/Shell-Replacements/Classic-Shell.shtml

    No need to spend the ten seconds it takes to look for them because now they're right here in front of you.

    A) Metro is only needed to log in and even then, there might be workarounds for that. Just install one of the above start menu suits (ViStart/ViOrb or Classic Shell or one of the several others) and you'll never need to use Metro except for logging in and clicking on the desktop shell. Even then, Metro can be customized to be far more useful than many of you people give it credit for. It does not need a touch screen to be useful like the hype suggests. If you've used it then you should know that.

    B) The start button isn't hidden if you use these programs.

    C) If people are too lazy to spend a few seconds to download a fix and then a few more to install it (if it takes you even five minutes to do this, then you either have a crap dial-up internet connection, a crap computer, you don't care about how long it takes, you're an idiot, or any combination of them), then I worry about the future of humanity. Notice how IE's market share just keeps going down and down. Most people who still use it regularly instead of superior browsers either don't give a crap, use it so lightly that the difference is hard to notice, or their computer illiterate people who don't know any better.

    I too prefer Linux in many cases, but I won't pretend that Windows 8 is as bad as it is made out to be just because some other over-reacting people saw something that looked different from their usually stuff and freaked out over it and started spreading hype and other such crap.
  • 0 Hide
    waethorn , July 12, 2012 9:23 PM
    belardoCharging for Office? For a while, Microsoft has been allowing vendors to install "Office 2010 Starter" for free. Its an AD-based Office-Home edition. No Outlook, and mostly functional version of Office 2010. Its a good deal.Very few people are going to spend $500~600 for a WART (Windows Arm RT) tablet which has almost no Apps and cannot run Windows x86 software that also has less stats than the iPad3 for the same price.


    You can't install Office Starter 2010 on Windows 8 directly due to compatibility issues with the App-V components in the package. Upgraders will need a hotfix to rectify this, but they are killing Office Starter 2010 for new PC's. They are already telling OEM's and System Builders to install a new Office OPK that substitutes Office Starter with an Office trial. Seems they didn't like the idea that if given something for free, people will use it instead of paying for the full version of Office. They are going to be updating the Office Web Apps on SkyDrive to replace Office Starter as the "free" productivity package, probably because they can get better ad revenue by using online services instead of installed software. The first update will bring more features that will put the Web Apps more in-line (but not completely) with Office Starter. Eventually when Office 2013 ships, the web apps will be updated again to match the standard software and will include the Cosmopolitan theme (that's what they call the Metro-like theme for desktop apps that Office 2013 will share).
  • -5 Hide
    Anonymous , July 12, 2012 9:29 PM
    Windows Store software cannot be pirated. This will make the RT version much, much less popular than the Pro.
  • 0 Hide
    pedro_mann , July 12, 2012 9:35 PM
    blazorthonThat's why you're installing a new one with those programs instead of trying to re-enable MS's start menu which MS is getting rid of completely anyway.

    So much for standardization.
  • 0 Hide
    kartu , July 12, 2012 9:37 PM
    Considering PCs don't cost much more than 10" Tablets, be glad, that Microsoft has failed to get much traction on mobile market.
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