Whether you rant or rave about the merits (or lack thereof) of the Windows operating system, there is no doubt that it contributes largely to the cost of a new computer. When manufacturers ship their devices with Windows pre-installed, they have to pay for the license, which Microsoft dictates, of course.

Based on a report by Bloomberg, Microsoft is making some concessions in this regard by slashing the license price of Windows 8.1 by a huge 70 percent, from what is usually $50 to $15.

Microsoft To Slash Windows 8.1 Price By 70 Percent

While those numbers are no doubt eye catching, there is one very important detail to reveal: This “discount” will only be applied to low-end devices, in particular, devices that for for less than $250.

According to the source of the report, the heavily discounted price will be applicable to all and any kind of devices, as long as they meet that retail price limit.

So what’s up with this move now? Are consumers going to directly benefit from the discount? The savings should somehow be passed on to the consumer, sure, but analysts are thinking that the rationale underlying this move of Microsoft’s is simple economics and competition.

They say that by heavily lowering the price of Windows 8.1 (for low-end devices – this can’t be emphasized enough), Microsoft has given itself a fighting chance with computer manufacturers; a fighting chance against competitors who offer cheaper wares (read: Google’s Chromebooks).

Then there’s all that talk about how the adoption rate of Windows 8.1 not being all that good, and Microsoft taking on an aggressive stance in pushing people to get off Windows XP.

With this discount, Microsoft may indeed be increasing its chances of getting the software pre-installed on more devices, devices that will cater to more people considering the lower prices involved.

One last thing that ought to be considered, though, is that Microsoft also offers incentives (for example, marketing funds) for large computer manufacturers, so they in fact pay less than $50 for the license. With this new pricing, though, the incentives will not be applicable anymore.

[Image via digiex]