If reports from Taiwan are to be believed, hardware manufacturers are struggling to create Windows 8 on ARM (Windows RT) devices that are competitively priced against Apple’s iPad and Amazon’s Kindle Fire. The reason? According to Digitimes, OEMs have to pay Microsoft $90-100 for a Windows 8 license.
While that $90-100 figure sounds a little bit on the high side (Microsoft historically charges OEMs around $50 for desktop licenses and $30 for Windows Phone 7 licenses), it doesn’t really matter: Even at $10 or $20, Microsoft (and OEMs) would be hard pushed to compete with Amazon and Apple on price. Apple effectively gives iOS away (it’s a hardware company, after all), and Amazon gets Android for free. Microsoft has to charge for Windows 8 and Windows RT because it’s a software company; if it didn’t, it wouldn’t make any money, which shareholders might see as a bit of a problem. Read More