Windows 8 device sales haven’t been very good, but if anything has kept them in the running against popular Apple and Android devices, it’s been the reasonable prices. Microsoft has decided that it’s time to take advantage of that particular market and is planning on significantly slicing the prices of Windows 8.1 licenses for OEMs.
Currently, the plan is to slash the prices of licenses significantly for devices under the $250 mark. The large software company has decided to change the price, per device, from $50 to $15 if the device is priced regularly under $250. Rumor has it that Microsoft is making this change to compete with Chromebooks, which have taken a lot of the lower-end business that Microsoft is now aiming to dominate.
This isn’t the first time Microsoft has been in the news for slashing licensing costs, and in fact, less than a year ago they did so to help smaller, less established companies produce Windows 8 products. While these claims were never actually confirmed, many products hit the market after the alleged cut that would seem to support the claim.
In addition, Microsoft is also looking to bring people to Windows 8 in the first place, as only about 11% of Windows users have actually embraced Windows 8. Most users are sticking with Windows 7 – 47.5% of them – and a whopping 29.2% are still using Windows XP.
So what does this mean for you? Again, Microsoft is presenting SMBs with an excellent opportunity to start stocking their offices with the newest version of Windows. When Windows XP heads out of support, it’s likely there will be a rise in hacking and phishing attempts on machines that have XP, protected with a virus fighter or not. Because of this, it’s more important than ever that small business owners hop onto a more modern Windows boat before the sinking ship of XP is completely under water.
In addition, Microsoft is redesigning Windows 8 shortly, and the company hopes to make the update available to all that wish to use it. The update will include a major overhaul to the touch-oriented OS, making it easier for keyboard and mouse users to navigate between screens and applications. It’s likely Microsoft will also include a more intuitive interface as well as “Live Tiles” that respond well to mouse and touch. In short, the newest version of Windows will begin to look more like Windows 7 so that it’s easier to navigate for those who may less adaptable to the large changes that came with Windows 8.
Windows 8 is about to become more affordable, more secure, and more user-friendly: there has never been a better time to upgrade your machines.