With Apple's iPad besting Windows 8, Microsoft slashes prices & alters tactics

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
With Apple's iPad dominating the new wave of computing, Microsoft's Windows 8 is floundering and the software giant is slashing prices even as its manufacturing partners are dropping some Windows devices.

Windows 8


The Wall Street Journal carried a report on Tuesday that Microsoft has begun offering price breaks to manufacturers in order to jumpstart development of small, touch-enabled laptops. In late February, sources say Microsoft began offering PC makers Windows 8 and Office for $30 for touchscreen devices under 10.8 inches, down from a previous point of about $120. The company is also discounting Windows 8 for touchscreen devices above 10.8 inches, though Office isn't included in the deal for those units.

That 10.8-inch screen size distinction is important to Microsoft because it's around the size of Apple's standard iPad, which ? when counted along with regular PC sales ? has made Apple into one of the only computer manufacturers to see sales growth even as the larger PC market has slumped. Consumers are increasingly opting for smartphones and tablets, specifically the iPad, over traditional PC form factors, leaving Microsoft and most of its PC maker partners in the lurch.

Microsoft developed the touch-enabled Windows 8 in an effort to counter this trend. It also developed Windows RT in parallel to deliver much of Windows 8's functionality on power-sipping ARM processors. Late in 2012, more than two years after the debut of the iPad, Microsoft announced Windows 8's launch with the start of a $1 billion ad campaign.

surface pro


Shortly thereafter, though, reports emerged that initial sales were "well below" Microsoft's internal projections. Microsoft sold millions of licenses to PC manufacturers for the OS' launch, but public interest post-launch seemed to be lagging, with a soft economy keeping consumers tied to their current, Windows 7-running PCs or opting for mobile devices running Android or iOS.

Microsoft's own Surface RT and Surface Pro hybrid tablets, despite the hype the company built around them, debuted to middling critical receptions at best. Maligned for being neither great laptops nor great tablets, the devices have seen weak sales considering the marketing push behind them.

The Journal quotes Asus CEO Jerry Shen as saying that Microsoft is taking steps to stimulate demand for Windows 8 devices, though Shen would not elaborate on what such steps might include. Shen did say, though, that Microsoft's efforts will be aimed at helping Asus produce more mainstream-priced touchscreen Windows 8 devices in the third and fourth quarter of this year.

Meanwhile, German publication heise online claims (via Engadget) that Samsung will stop selling its Windows RT-based Ativ Tab in Germany, due to weak demand. Samsung already confirmed in January that it would not be launching Windows RT tablets in the United States, with an executive pointing to "modest" demand for the stripped-down ARM Windows.
«13

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 48
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,600member
    Steve Ballmer should have seen this failure coming. Everyone else could. He is drinking too much of his own Kool-aid.
  • Reply 2 of 48
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member


    Double-Down on advertising. Yea!

  • Reply 3 of 48
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    In addition to small, touch-enabled laptops, I hope they have small, padded baskets you can set behind your desk to catch them when the tumble off.

    (Just kidding. I know there are solutions. This is the best I've seen: http://www.logitech.com/en-us/support/ultrathin-keyboard-cover )
  • Reply 4 of 48
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member



    Windows 8 and Office for $30 for touchscreen devices under 10.8 inches



     


    If these are the type of restrictions they're using, they deserve the unimaginable failure that is about to befall them.

  • Reply 5 of 48
    dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 12,527member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post






    Windows 8 and Office for $30 for touchscreen devices under 10.8 inches



     


    If these are the type of restrictions they're using, they deserve the unimaginable failure that is about to befall them.



     


    Those discounts only apply for months with 'R' in them...


     


    2, 4, 6, 8... Who do we appreciate?  Rah! Rah Rah!...  Windooooose 8!...  Nowhere!


     


    3, 6, 9, 12... Who do we like as much as ourself?  Rah! Rah Rah!...  iPad, iPad, iPad!

  • Reply 6 of 48
    wonkothesanewonkothesane Posts: 1,549member
    If these are the type of restrictions they're using, they deserve the unimaginable failure that is about to befall them.

    I'm not sure I get you. But if you hint at different price points for the same app for different screen sizes then maybe someone could explain to me why exactly apps for iOS/Mac scale with screen size (from iPhone to iPad to Mac, that is). Never understood that one.
  • Reply 7 of 48
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member


    I just hope that the billion dollar ad campaign money is soon used up, because I'm getting mighty tired of seeing those ridiculous commercials whenever I'm watching a series on TV that I follow (like the Walking Dead). The money has got to be used up soon right?


     


    These Windows hybrid/frankenstein contraptions were doomed to fail from the start. Many people saw this coming.

  • Reply 8 of 48
    mstone wrote: »
    Double-Down on advertising. Yea!

    $1 billion for break dancing actors? Bring back Seinfeld and Gates.
  • Reply 9 of 48
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by WonkoTheSane View Post



    I'm not sure I get you. But if you hint at different price points for the same app for different screen sizes then maybe someone could explain to me why exactly apps for iOS/Mac scale with screen size (from iPhone to iPad to Mac, that is). Never understood that one.


     


    I think what MS is doing is discounting the software to the OEMs for lower cost 'tab books' but not as much for the larger premium models. The software is the same.

  • Reply 10 of 48
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

    $1 billion for break dancing actors? Bring back Seinfeld and Gates.


     


    See, that never worked. Jerry had whatever model of Mac was newest in his apartment for nine years. People don't just forget that.

  • Reply 11 of 48
    joshajosha Posts: 901member


    When MS are willing to sell me the current Mac Office for $30;   I'll buy it to supplement  Open Office.


    Come on MS, that's better than NOTHING!

     

  • Reply 12 of 48
    macsavymacsavy Posts: 15member
    The sad part is windows is actually close to making something great. One of the major problems IMO is that to many people are making decisions at a high up level. They best start working to fix the holes in windows 8's aprouch or the bell l will soon tole for windows.
  • Reply 13 of 48
    hodarhodar Posts: 337member
    [quote]...with a soft economy keeping consumers tied to their current, Windows 7-running PCs or opting for mobile devices running Android or iOS.[/quote]

    Yet, Apple keeps selling more iPods the soft economy. Could it be that the public is overwhelmingly REJECTING the Surface products?

    I know, instead of showing adverts demonstrating what you can do; how about some more dancing? Nothing sells a product like some dance numbers .... especially a product that has nothing to do with dancing at all.
  • Reply 14 of 48
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    I'm getting mighty tired of seeing those ridiculous commercials whenever I'm watching a series on TV that I follow (like the Walking Dead).



     


    Microsoft just need to customise their ads more to the programs they're being advertised during:


     


    Windows 8


    The operating system for people with no...


  • Reply 15 of 48
    bdkennedy1bdkennedy1 Posts: 1,459member
    I'm a tech guy. I have met no one that like Windows 8. I've even been paid to downgrade peoples new laptops from Windows 8 to Windows 7. Microsoft can't see outside of Ballmer's bubble.

    If Microsoft is going to survive, they need to get rid of Ballmer and promote the XBox division.
  • Reply 16 of 48
    creepcreep Posts: 80member


    Does a $90 price break entice consumers to pick up a Windows 8 device?  Or, is the thinking that manufacturers will keep prices the same, but add $90 of enhancements?

  • Reply 17 of 48
    maccherrymaccherry Posts: 924member
    MS scores another lost. Can't say We're surprised.
  • Reply 18 of 48
    creepcreep Posts: 80member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post



    I'm a tech guy. I have met no one that like Windows 8. I've even been paid to downgrade peoples new laptops from Windows 8 to Windows 7. Microsoft can't see outside of Ballmer's bubble...

     


    I've been using W8 at work for the better part of two months as part of a pilot program, and I have to admit that it's growing on me.  I'm not using a touch-enabled PC, but the OS stays out of your way and does seem pretty quick.  I'm using it with Office 2013, which took longer to get used to that the OS.  Now that I have, I do like the fact that I can hide all of the toolbars and menus (a la iAWriter) and just write.  To MS's credit, this version seems to be less needy, and doesn't require as much in the way of administration.  It actually is a decent OS, but I'm afraid that they were just too darn late to the party.


     

  • Reply 19 of 48
    Microsoft in the OS arena has always gone for cheap copies. Windows 8 is no exception. They can't sell OSes because they're the best, only because they're the cheapest and available on cheap clones.

    This is in contrast with one of the greatest classics of personal computing: Excel, which incidentally was available on Mac long before it came to the PC.
  • Reply 20 of 48
    apple ][ wrote: »
    I just hope that the billion dollar ad campaign money is soon used up, because I'm getting mighty tired of seeing those ridiculous commercials whenever I'm watching a series on TV that I follow (like the Walking Dead). The money has got to be used up soon right?

    You didn't like the little girl who is rescued from boredom by Fresh Paint on her Windows 8 PC?
Sign In or Register to comment.