Microsoft hoping Windows 8 Price Cuts Will Help Future Sales Numbers

March 18, 2013

In an effort to encourage its customers' migration to Windows 8, Microsoft is taking decisive action by offering discount prices, according to Digitimes.

Windows 8 should boast especially low prices for smaller devices – for hybrids, tablets and notebook computers below 10.8 inches, Microsoft is prepared to offer a $20 discount. Licensing rates currently stand in the $80-$90 range. The new discount will likely be available in April or May, while another price cut for 11.6-inch notebooks is expected in June.

IDC's Bob O'Donnell told CNET that because of market forces behind different-sized devices, we may soon see a movement toward smaller devices that prove more cost-effective.

"The manufacturing yields for [larger] touchscreens is very low, which makes the cost high," O'Donnell said. "While the [smaller] 10- and 11-inch inch class touch-screen supply is better, which allows lower prices. Put all of that together and you can imagine seeing much more aggressive small Windows 8 touch-based products."

CNET also reports that sales of Windows 8 computers have been weak since the October 26 debut of the operating system – because conventional laptop and desktop computers lack the requisite touch screens to take advance of the new OS' features, Microsoft is hoping to channel more sales into the market for smaller devices like touch-based notebooks.

Microsoft's sales numbers lagging
Pacific Crest analyst Brendan Barnicle told CNET that he's not expecting Microsoft's sales to meet expectations – he projects the corporation will likely sell around 600,000 Surface units for the current quarter, well under the forecast of 1.4 million. For all of fiscal 2013, he says, their sales should be around 3 million, versus a projection of 4 million.

Windows 8's market share is still just a tiny blip on the radar compared to other, more established products on the OS market. ZDNet reported that Windows 8 migration rose from 2.26 percent in January to 2.67 percent in February – it's an increase, but not nearly as large as Microsoft was hoping. Its other products are still dominating the market, with Windows 7 owning 44.55 percent of the pie and Windows XP checking in at 38.99 percent.

Businesses are being careful with their spending in 2013, and an operating system upgrade isn't at the top of everyone's to-do lists. But price cuts should help, so it's not unreasonable to expect healthier sales numbers for Windows 8 in the months to come.