Bloomberg is reporting that Microsoft is set to cut Windows licensing costs from $50 to $15 on devices retailing for less than $250. We may be about to see even cheaper Windows laptops.

The move appears to be designed to fend off the challenge from Google’s Chromebook which has taken a significant chunk out of Windows’ market share in the last 12 months, particularly in education.

Google’s Chromebook licensing structure has forced OEM manufacturers to product a range of extremely low cost laptops, something which Microsoft has struggled to compete with.

Last year, for example, HP released a two variants of the same laptop hardware, one running Windows and one marketed as a Chromebook. While the specification of the two machines was almost identical, the Chromebook was priced significantly lower than the Windows alternative, primarily as a result of Microsoft’s higher licensing costs.

Whether Microsoft price adjustments will make any difference to Windows 8 sales remains to be seen, but this seems like a good step in the right direction for the company, and can only be good for school budgets. How this will affect Microsoft Schools Agreement licensing isn’t certain.

Source: Bloomberg


About Author

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Karl is an award winning Director of IT for the Royal Grammar School Guildford, based near London, England. He has been working in education for more than ten years and founded ClassThink in 2013 to share technology best practice with other schools. In 2014 he won the NAACE Impact Award for support services in schools, and writes edtech articles for Education Executive Magazine.

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