Was this inevitable? In my mind, yes it was. A story from the Wall Street Journal today has indicated that Microsoft has now lowered it’s price to manufacturers so that the price point of the small Windows 8 laptops can drop further. This only really applies to the netbook sized laptops. Here is a quote from that news story:
“In late February, Microsoft offered PC makers the deal of Windows 8 plus Office for $30 for touch-screen devices under 10.8 inches, according to one person familiar with the situation. This compares with around $120 previously. Touch-screen devices above 10.8 inches can still get the discounted Windows 8 price, but Office isn’t included, this person said.”
So as much as Microsoft and partners pushed away from the netbook pricing model, it does appear that they are having to move toward that pricing model in an attempt to spur sales. We will have to see just how low the pricing ends up being. When you consider the sparse apps for Windows 8, a lot of consumers will have to think hard about updating their current laptops. Do consumers fear a touchscreen laptop? Will consumers opt for an Apple laptop in the 11-inch size and live without the touch screen?
Life is not going to get easier for Microsoft with this new pricing strategy. The reason is Google. The Google Chromebook isn’t going away and I’m quite sure that they will do everything in their power to be a thorn in the side of Microsoft. So when those small Windows 8 laptops drop in price, so will the Chromebooks. If Google actually came out with Android laptops then I think Microsoft will really having something to fear. People love their apps and if those start crossing over to the ultraportable laptops, Android by far crushes the Windows 8 apps offerings so far.
Whatever the case, when we read stories about cheaper laptop pricing we should all be happy. Start saving because the lead up to the 2013 holiday shopping season is going to be a good one for cheap laptops.