Microsoft is reportedly working on low-cost Windows tablets and is likely to launch these sometime in the middle of the year. The Times of India has reported that these Windows tablets will cost as low as Rs 10,000, and will be pitched against the low-range Android tablets in the price-conscious markets like India.
Microsoft had recently announced partnership with local vendors like Lava, Karbonn and Xolo for making low to mid-range smartphones. It is likely that these players will also make the low-cost Windows tablet with Microsoft. Others like HP and Dell have also been expected to be the hardware partners for these low-cost tablets.
Amrish Goyal, director of Windows business group, told the publication that, “We are reducing our required hardware specification for Windows to bare minimum that is needed for good experience. We want to be price competitive with Android. We want to get the bill of material for Windows tablets down.” Goyal added that the company does not plan to enter the entry-level tablet segment, however is expecting the tablets to be priced around Rs 10,000.
“A Rs 15,000 Windows tablet with decent build quality and touch response will also interest a lot of enterprises that are looking to get tablets for their employees”, Goyal added to hint that with these low-cost tablets, the company is also pitching enterprise segment.
Microsoft is believed to be slashing licence fee for the Windows 8.1, which would help the hardware vendors in creating low-cost tablets by cutting the prices by up to 70 percent. Also, Microsoft has been expected to charge a fee of merely $15 instead of usual $50 for devices that cost less than $250.
According to a recent report by Gartner for tablet market in 2013, Microsoft accounted for 4 million tablets sold worldwide and has a market share of 2.1 percent. Apple on the other hand sold 70 million tablets, while the Android tablets accounted for 121 million tablets worldwide.
With these low-cost Windows tablet, Microsoft might gain interest of consumers but will have to go a long way to affect Google’s Android share in this segment. Recently, Apple too started a buyback offer on its first generation iPad mini to promote its iPad sales as well as clear its stocks.