Microsoft Corp. is reportedly offering price-cuts on Windows 8 operating system and Office productivity suite for notebook PCs equipped with touch-screens. The move is projected to increase appeal of Windows-based personal computers and thus to help Microsoft to better compete against Apple and its iPad media tablets as well as various Google Android-powered devices.
The world’s largest software developer is particularly interested in popularization of small, touch-enabled laptop computers with Windows 8 operating system, which features user interface tailored for touch-based input, and the new Office productivity software. In a bid to promote such mobile personal computers, Microsoft is projected to make hefty discounts on the OS and Office, which will eventually make those systems more affordable.
"As we have said before, Windows 8 was built to scale across all sizes of PCs and tablets – large and small. We continue to work with partners to ensure that Windows is available across a diverse range of devices," said a Microsoft spokesperson, who neither denied nor confirmed the plans to cut the price of its software.
In late February, Microsoft offered PC makers the deal of Windows 8 plus Office for $30 for touch-screen devices under 10.8”, according to the Wall Street Journal. This compares with around $120 previously. Touch-screen devices above 10.8” can still get the discounted Windows 8 price, but Office is not included, this person said. The size targets suggest Microsoft is hoping to spur the small-computing segment, either tablets with keyboards or netbooks with touch screens.
This is not the first time when Microsoft attempts to popularize mobile platforms powered by its software.
"Microsoft has been making many efforts lately that I cannot talk about in specific, but that will help give momentum to the notebook and netbook and Eee PC area. I believe Asus will have the opportunity in the third or fourth quarter to get back this sector, with a better selling price than before," said Jerry Shen, chief executive officer of Asustek Computer.