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Microsoft to slash Windows RT licensing fees in effort to boost soft sales - report

post #1 of 70
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Unable to gain much traction against Apple's iPad so far, Microsoft is cutting the licensing fees for its mobile-targeted Windows RT operating system, hoping that if manufacturers are able to make less expensive devices, the platform could show signs of life.

surface


This week's Computex computer industry conference in Taipei will see Microsoft making a larger push to grow adoption of Windows RT, Bloomberg reported on Monday. The operating system currently holds less than a percentage point of market share, according to IDC.

Smaller tablets in the vein of Apple's iPad mini are apparently the Windows RT form factor of choice for Microsoft going forward. The price cuts for RT will be targeted toward that device segment. Microsoft will also try to grow consumer interest in Windows RT by improving the email capabilities built into the system.

While sources familiar with the company's plans were able to confirm the licensing fee cuts, Bloomberg notes that none were able to tell just how much manufacturers would be paying to license Microsoft's alternative system. Released alongside Windows 8 in October of last year, Windows RT was meant to give Microsoft a foothold in a mobile device segment dominated by Apple's iOS and Google's Android.

Instead, Windows RT hit the market with a thud. Reports had consumers confused by the platform's naming and styling, which are similar to Windows 8. The latter is able to run legacy Windows programs and runs on x86 chip architectures, while the former runs no legacy applications and runs on ARM chipsets.

Indeed, the only relatively successful Windows RT device to date has been Microsoft's own Surface RT. That device, though, has seen slow adoption, and Microsoft recently gave it an effective price cut by throwing in a $100 keyboard cover for free.

Other device manufacturers ? including HTC, Acer, and Asus ? have largely abandoned Windows RT as a platform, and some players in the PC industry are said to be less than happy with Microsoft for failing so far to give them a viable means to compete with Apple's iPad. Samsung, for example, nixed its plans for Windows RT tablets in the United States, citing "modest" demand for the platform.

Acer chairman J.T. Wang, who will often speak plainly regarding business matters, was less charitable than Samsung in speaking about Windows RT.

"We have some R&D projects [involving WinRT]," Wang said on Monday, "but we will be very, very cautious in deciding whether we will do the launch and mass production." Wang went on to call the Windows RT platform "very immature."

Other manufacturers appear to still be cautiously optimistic, or at least committed to releasing devices they've already developed. Dell is working on a Windows RT tablet, and HTC is working on a 7-inch device running the system. Beyond those, though, hardware companies are less specific on their plans going forward.
post #2 of 70
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

It won't work.

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post #3 of 70
RT just like Windows 8, and Windows Phone 8, is a complete and total failure. It has a horrible unusable interface and is way overpriced like all microsoft software. Oh, and did i say it was fugly and unusable?
post #4 of 70

And Microsoft's stock keeps continuing it's upward journey...
 

post #5 of 70
Microsoft's strategy is clear as mud: force a tablet interface on the desktop and field two incompatible tablet operating systems that have the same name. What could go wrong?
post #6 of 70

Unless Microsoft can suddenly find millions of color blind people with no taste and spare cash, their tablets are doomed. The great thing about this failure, is that hopefully I'll be spared from watching any more of their moronic commercials featuring dancing fools.

 

I've luckily never had the unfortunate experience of seeing a Windows tablet in person, but do they all come with fans? I know that some of them do, and I find that to be absolutely hilarious. What a damn joke. 

post #7 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by arch View Post

And Microsoft's stock keeps continuing it's upward journey...
 

This is the part I don't understand..... (atlhough some people attribute it to the Xbox, I am skeptical).

But then, I don't understand the valuations of GOOG or AMZN either.
post #8 of 70
I don't think they understand that even giving a product away for free doesn't automatically make it a better product. Bad is bad, regardless of price.
post #9 of 70
That should do it! The iPad is dead now /s
post #10 of 70

The platform was dead from the beginning. Once again, Microsoft was way late to the party and its too late to join in on everyone copying the idea of the iPad. And I don't mean that they copied the iPad like Samsung did...I just mean they're joining in the tablet game way too late and its simply too late for them. IMO, they did the same thing with the Zune. 

 

You can't beat Apple by basically doing the same thing Apple does. You have to do something innovative...something completely different and make people think they need it. This is what Apple does better than anyone. 

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post #11 of 70
MS, it's not OEM's ability to create cheap tablets thanks to lower licensing fees that is effecting your "soft" sales!...
/
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post #12 of 70
There just doesn't seem to be any pride in workmanship at MS. Everything just seems cobbled together willy-nilly.

It may have worked well in the 90's but not now. Google is the same. Both are providing second-rate hardware and second-rate software.
post #13 of 70
Google is already getting a refresher review by several big firm leading analysts who aren't seeing the innovation nor are they impressed with 12% growth as anything to rave about.
post #14 of 70
Yes. This is the answer. I'm sure these devices aren't selling simply because the price point is $50 too high...
post #15 of 70
Free? Interesting.
post #16 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by arch View Post

And Microsoft's stock keeps continuing it's upward journey...
 

 

Of course it will. Imagine if Apple released something like the surface and it was a complete sales disaster, how the stock would utterly vaporize. Apple stock gets hammered when Apple announces the most successful quarter in corporate history, or the most successful phone launch in history, record breaking sales in all their product lines, etc. 

 

Oh, and Windows RT is a clusterfuck- all the disadvanatges of Windows 8 Metro and lack of apps, and none of the advantages of being able to run classic Window applications. Not sure who in their right mind would choose that over other platforms. 

post #17 of 70
Yeah, like the fire sale that saved the Zune!
post #18 of 70

The next 'major' announcement is probably going to be Windows 9 release a few years later. MSFT has probably pretty much nothing else. They are seriously lacking behind Apple and Google.

 

I think Apple has hit the right strategy of pricing it's OS upgrades free (iOS)/ cheap(OS X) and making annual changes to it.
 

post #19 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by djames4242 View Post

Yes. This is the answer. I'm sure these devices aren't selling simply because the price point is $50 too high...

 

No, you're wrong.

NOT. ENOUGH. BREAKDANCING.

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post #20 of 70

I don't think price was a barrier to entry for this POS OS. 

post #21 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

Oh, and Windows RT is a clusterfuck- all the disadvanatges of Windows 8 Metro and lack of apps, and none of the advantages of being able to run classic Window applications. Not sure who in their right mind would choose that over other platforms. 

 

"But but but... Offfffice. Keeeyboard cover." /s

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post #22 of 70

They can slash licensing prices or slash retail prices but the Surface in it's present form will never challenge the iPad

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post #23 of 70

It will be the Zune in one year. A brown turd flushed by consumers.

post #24 of 70

If they slashed prices to zero, they'd be on-par with Android, except they still wouldn't have any apps, or allow for GUI customization (i.e. nook or Amazon fire). So, pretty much RT is screwed. Users don't want it, it doesn't offer any real advantage. About the only way that I could see RT catching on is if MS killed their (unreleased) iOS and Android versions of Office and made RT the absolute best platform for MS oriented documents on the go. If they did that it's possible they'd gain some traction with business travelers and in companies where people need to move around all day long updating documents... But that's where they should have been a few years back. The whole thing may be slipping away from them. Google docs are looking awfully appealing for this sort of highly-mobile document collaboration.

post #25 of 70

What is the point of Windows RT?  It's one thing if Microsoft wanted to create a new tablet operating system with their mainstream Windows 8, but what's the point of creating a separate Windows RT?  What can it do that Windows 8 cannot do?

 

There are Windows 8 tablets out there, but I don't get why anyone would buy Windows RT over standard Windows 8.  The Win 8 and Win RT tablets cost the same.  Maybe because you get Office (minus Outlook) included?

post #26 of 70
so the way to win is for Ballmer to create a race to the bottom. LOL!
So take a crap Win 8, slash the "pimp fee" and watch sales soar even though the product is garbage.
I can't stop laughing!!
post #27 of 70
When will Microsoft understand that they are a software company? Cut the BS and port Office to iOS you stupid tards.... Oh, and while you are at it, port .Net to Mac OS also...

EGlasheen
post #28 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

This is the part I don't understand..... (atlhough some people attribute it to the Xbox, I am skeptical).

But then, I don't understand the valuations of GOOG or AMZN either.

Vapor earnings somehow is greater than actual earnings.
post #29 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by geekdad View Post

They can slash licensing prices or slash retail prices but the Surface in it's present form will never challenge the iPad


There is really no challenge, since on review Windows RT is trying to compete in two areas of computing, the tablet and notebook arenas. Again Microsoft have tried to attack the franchise in these 2 areas, instead of focusing on one. I would not buy this not because it is Microsoft (God help those people that use Windows 8 for pleasure and I understand the feeling, the frustration it causes at work), but why would I carry this equipment, when I can carry MacBook Air, slightly heavier with LOT MORE PERFORMANCE, If I require to do more labor intensive work, then on my iPad.

 

Ballmer is lucky corporate world has not found a way to get rid of Microsoft Office or that company would be screwed royally.


Edited by souliisoul - 6/4/13 at 12:02am
post #30 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Unable to gain much traction against Apple's iPad so far, Microsoft is cutting the licensing fees for its mobile-targeted Windows RT operating system, hoping that if manufacturers are able to make less expensive devices, the platform could show signs of life.

Somehow... to me this conjures up the image of someone trying to revive a beached whale by French-kissing its blowhole...
Edited by Dick Applebaum - 6/5/13 at 11:20am
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"...The calm is on the water and part of us would linger by the shore, For ships are safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."
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post #31 of 70

They need to trashbin the whole RT program, it confuses consumers and damages the brand.

 

IIRC, they promised to support it for 3 years?

post #32 of 70
Windows Server is very immature too, in fact every Microsoft OS is because they're all shit from the ground up. Yet IT managers still shell out $800 for each license when superior alternatives are available for free. Any administrator that buys Microsoft should hang their head in shame. Microsoft sell themselves on compatibility and existing tools and software but building reliance on this closed source corporation is worse in the long run in comparison to building your own software and tools. And don't get me started on visualisation. Bill Gates and Microsoft are probably the world's biggest environmental vandals when you look at the general quality and efficiency of their software.

At some point there has to be a major shift in momentum away from Microsoft...there just has to be. I feel there's the mood to and that's why Microsoft can't make it in the mobile arena. I just really hope we start to see a seismic shift from the desktop as well.
post #33 of 70

stick a fork in it.

post #34 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by arch View Post

And Microsoft's stock keeps continuing it's upward journey...

 
Thats what happens when your new OS keeps selling at the same rate as your record breaking last OS. Hardware vendors sales may be down, but the funny thing is Windows sales are massively up. If hardware vendors want there sales up they need to make better hardware, otherwise people are just going to continue the move to just upgrading there current machine.

MS has improved the OS and it sales show that. But the guys selling hardware cant rely on the OS selling there machine, as the OS hardware requiremnts are going down not up.
post #35 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by timgriff84 View Post


Thats what happens when your new OS keeps selling at the same rate as your record breaking last OS. Hardware vendors sales may be down, but the funny thing is Windows sales are massively up. If hardware vendors want there sales up they need to make better hardware, otherwise people are just going to continue the move to just upgrading there current machine.

MS has improved the OS and it sales show that. But the guys selling hardware cant rely on the OS selling there machine, as the OS hardware requiremnts are going down not up.

 

All good points, but there are two things to bear in mind:

 

  1. Cost. Windows7 was over a hundred dollars when it was released. Microsoft saw that Windows8 was facing adoption problems on launch and so immediately dropped its price to $40, which is more palatable for folks who want to just try it out to see if it meets their needs. 
  2. Counting. Microsoft figures include OEM purchases and end user purchases in the figures. If you do buy a new machine then you have to have Windows8 on it, though you can downgrade for free. The question is how many of these machines are being downgraded?

 

I think MS should have kept the desktop and tablet metaphor entirely separate, personally. Having used Windows8 on a laptop, I find the massive buttons more of a hindrance than a help (great on a tablet though). If things were going as well as they'd hoped then I'm not sure they would talking about restoring the start menu and including an option to start up in desktop mode; as climb-downs go it doesn't get much bigger than that.

 

Still, I think another problem is the press: they make up a lot of stuff. I never thought Vista's problems were anywhere near as big as the press made out.

post #36 of 70

The only way to bring this puppy back to life is with a defibrillator 1wink.gif

 

The smell of blue smoke will be more entertaining than using one.

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post #37 of 70

Interesting you should say that. Apple used to get that a lot, and still does to some extent. Their failures were always grossly exaggerated. But also their successes are excessively hyped. That's the media for you. Nothing by half measures.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rayz View Post

 

All good points, but there are two things to bear in mind:

 

  1. Cost. Windows7 was over a hundred dollars when it was released. Microsoft saw that Windows8 was facing adoption problems on launch and so immediately dropped its price to $40, which is more palatable for folks who want to just try it out to see if it meets their needs. 
  2. Counting. Microsoft figures include OEM purchases and end user purchases in the figures. If you do buy a new machine then you have to have Windows8 on it, though you can downgrade for free. The question is how many of these machines are being downgraded?

 

I think MS should have kept the desktop and tablet metaphor entirely separate, personally. Having used Windows8 on a laptop, I find the massive buttons more of a hindrance than a help (great on a tablet though). If things were going as well as they'd hoped then I'm not sure they would talking about restoring the start menu and including an option to start up in desktop mode; as climb-downs go it doesn't get much bigger than that.

 

Still, I think another problem is the press: they make up a lot of stuff. I never thought Vista's problems were anywhere near as big as the press made out.

Philip Machanick creator of Opinionations and Green Grahamstown
Department of Computer Science, Rhodes University, South Africa

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Philip Machanick creator of Opinionations and Green Grahamstown
Department of Computer Science, Rhodes University, South Africa

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post #38 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by macxpress View Post

The platform was dead from the beginning. Once again, Microsoft was way late to the party and its too late to join in on everyone copying the idea of the iPad. And I don't mean that they copied the iPad like Samsung did...I just mean they're joining in the tablet game way too late and its simply too late for them. IMO, they did the same thing with the Zune. 

 

You can't beat Apple by basically doing the same thing Apple does. You have to do something innovative...something completely different and make people think they need it. This is what Apple does better than anyone. 

Well, Microsoft was innovative and completely different, but I think you meant that the difference should be in a GOOD way, not in a Fisher Price way.

"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #39 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by s.metcalf View Post

Windows Server is very immature too, in fact every Microsoft OS is because they're all shit from the ground up. Yet IT managers still shell out $800 for each license when superior alternatives are available for free. Any administrator that buys Microsoft should hang their head in shame.  

You totally miss WHY IT managers buy Microsoft OS: Job security. They are indispensable because only they have the training and experience to keep the shitty network of cheap hardware and buggy OS software running. 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by s.metcalf View Post
Microsoft sell themselves on compatibility and existing tools and software but building reliance on this closed source corporation is worse in the long run in comparison to building your own software and tools. 

 

 

Fortunately one doesn't have to build one's own software. Corporations have alternatives to Microsoft servers and software, it's not easy to switch away from Microsoft but it is going on at an increased rate over the last few years. 

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by s.metcalf View Post
At some point there has to be a major shift in momentum away from Microsoft...there just has to be. I feel there's the mood to and that's why Microsoft can't make it in the mobile arena. I just really hope we start to see a seismic shift from the desktop as well.

 

It's unlikely that MS Win 8 will get much of any use in the enterprise and institutional environments. The conversion to Win 7 is in progress yet, and there is no reason to make another move. Win 7 is proving to be" good enough" to do the job. I doubt MS for tablets will catch on as the Pro OS requires a ton of RAM and power just to operate (and RT is just not compatible with anything)... and finally iOS by Apple on the phones and iPads have proven to be "good enough" as well. BYOD is in full swing and acceptable to most customers. 

"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #40 of 70
I think I'm one of the few on this board who actually uses and enjoys Windows 8 and even I don't really understand the benefits of RT. The Atom versions have the same battery life, faster, run standard apps and are at the same price point.
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