Windows 8 tablet makers heading for price shock

Windows 8 tablet makers heading for price shockWindows Phone 7 launched well over a year ago now, and in that time Microsoft has said a lot, and spent a lot, and achieved... well, not all that much, if we're honest.

But Redmond's efforts in the smartphone arena might end up looking like a hands-down success compared to what awaits Windows 8 in the tablet market, some are predicting.

For starters, Microsoft is giving the competition a pretty serious head start by waiting until now – or later this year, to be more accurate – to finally produce a tablet platform worthy of the name.

And when the very best efforts of Samsung, HTC, Motorola and the like can't collectively make much of a dent for Android in the iPad's seemingly impregnable dominance, you have to wonder how things are going to be different for Windows 8, an OS hitting the market from a standing start.

But this week came freshly troubling news from Taiwan's DigiTimes that the combination of Windows 8 and Intel's Clover Trail processors could see tablet prices coming in as high as £600.

DigiTimes' source reckons both Intel and Microsoft are refusing to budge on the prices they're charging vendors, and the combination could result in a tablet that's simply too expensive to be competitive.

That scenario is worse for Intel than for Microsoft, as it would simply price Clover Trail processors out of the game, but we can't help but feel there's a fairly serious reality check waiting down the line.

It's the kind of reality check Android tablet makers experienced around a year ago when it became clear that their tablets simply weren't selling at the price levels they were at. Which come to think of it is a fairly accurate barometer of just how far behind Microsoft actually is in the tablet game.

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8 comments

CTPAHHIK  Jan. 17, 2012 at 10:39

iPad sells for £600. If Clover Trail can deliver notebook performance it will worth the price. If it will be on par with Atom - it would be quite useless.

blizzard7  Jan. 17, 2012 at 10:43

iPad sells for £600. If Clover Trail can deliver notebook performance it will worth the price. If it will be on par with Atom - it would be quite useless.

Agree fully. We're talking about a full fat OS here, so I wouldn't be surprised if people spend £1000 on Windows 8 tablets. Even at that price, if you've got a 1080p screen and something like a high-end AMD Trinity and a 256 GB SSD, it'll definitely be worth the price of admission.

Smiff  Jan. 17, 2012 at 11:57

hardly anyone is going to spend £1000 on a tablet in the foreseeable future. agree with M James on this.

Stelph  Jan. 17, 2012 at 11:59

@blizzard7 and CTPAHHIK

Alsso agree here, something like the Asus Transformer that boots in "tablet" mode which the keyboard is seperated and "desktop" mode when the keyboard is added for £600-£700 would be a bargain for all the additional functionality and legacy support you would be buying

MDrX  Jan. 17, 2012 at 12:29

That price point (and higher) suggests people will be ditching their laptops for one of these rather than keeping their laptop and having a cheaper (arguably more suited mobile-OS) tablet. Can't see it happening by the bucket-load.

blizzard7  Jan. 17, 2012 at 12:34

hardly anyone is going to spend £1000 on a tablet in the foreseeable future. agree with M James on this.
£1000 isn't going to be the mass market price clearly but a lot of people will definitely buy at that price point. The 11 inch MacBook Air is the same price and I alluded to it offering more (1080p touchscreen, 256 GB SSD for example). Then as Stelph said it could be a hybrid where you can ditch the cumbersome keyboard while you're surfing on your sofa then add a keyboard (or use a wireless one) for hardcore work-mode.

@MDrX
That's pretty much the whole point of Windows 8. Instead of people having an iPad 2 for casual use and a Windows machine for everything else, a Windows 8 tablet becomes your main portable machine, because it's a full OS with all the legacy support that comes with owning a Windows machine.

Smiff  Jan. 17, 2012 at 13:17

aren't most people getting fed up with Windows though? i mean, i can do almost everything on Android and like not having all the maintenance issues. for others, iOS offers everything they need.

then you still have the keyboard question - i still think people want keyboards for real work.

i am aware these two statements are contradictory. i still think tablets are basically toys, so they need to be cheap.

blizzard7  Jan. 17, 2012 at 14:30

aren't most people getting fed up with Windows though? i mean, i can do almost everything on Android and like not having all the maintenance issues. for others, iOS offers everything they need.

then you still have the keyboard question - i still think people want keyboards for real work.


True! There are a lot of people who can get by with just iOS and Android. My sister barely touches her laptop now she has an iPad 2. As you say some people are bored of Windows too, but then there's still a lot of people in the mainstream that'll just hear "Windows" and wonder why they'd bother with anything else because Windows is all they know about.

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