Microsoft is reportedly making an allowance for OEM partners dropping Windows 8.1 licensing fees by 70% to battle with Chrome OS and Android.

There’s no denial of the massive Windows market share, in fact, Windows has been crushing the competition for decades. In addition to that, Microsoft could make a major change of strategy about the way it engages with its OEM partners.

In particular, those OEMs who want to manufacture low-cost devices with Windows 8.1, will have access to the Microsoft resources at a significantly discounted price so as to increase their margins and ditch on alternatives such as Chrome OS, Android and several Linux distros.

To date, Windows 8.1 is hampered for $50 per device, but now the Redmond developers will charge about $15 on a device under $250. Certainly, it will affect the low-end market and encourage manufacturers to cut the developing cost per device. These general theories have been reported by Bloomberg, and all information is still shrouded by rumors.

Though it appears a nice move for Windows ecosystem. However, it seems a defensive choice because Windows 8/8.1 isn’t going that way as Microsoft expected, furthermore the terms of pricing by Microsoft are also too restrictive, leaving an ample room for OEMs to offer alternative like Google’s Chromebook; on the other hand, it looks offensive to attack a declining PC market.

Lately, Microsoft shared the official sales figures citing that they sold 200 million copies of Windows 8/8.1 in past 15 months while Windows 7 reached about 240 million within 12 months since its launch. So it’s plain and simple, the adoption rate of Windows 8/8.1 has been quite slower than its predecessor; and Microsoft indeed want to change these numbers as soon as possible.

In all the way, it could be the first action by Satya Nadella to lead the Redmond group, in his way, to bring it back to its former glory.

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