Microsoft Reveals Windows 8 OEM Licensing Prices

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
  • dimar
    My screen doesn't like it when I touch it :-)
    20
  • CaedenV
    ... Win8 Pro AND Office? not a bad deal at all considering most products pack Home without office.
    19
  • sabarjp
    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.
    15
  • Other Comments
  • CaedenV
    ... Win8 Pro AND Office? not a bad deal at all considering most products pack Home without office.
    19
  • 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.
    9
  • DRosencraft
    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.
    6