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MS to slash Windows 8 OEM price by 70%, update coming soon

Microsoft will cut the price of Windows by 70% for manufacturers of low-cost devices. According to Bloomberg News, Microsoft will reduce the OEM license for Windows 8 from $50 to $15 for bundling with devices that cost less than $250 retail. The discount will apply to low-end netbooks as well as tablets.

The adoption of Windows 8 on PCs is growing at about half the rate that Windows 7 did. PC sales are still slowing and Google Chromebooks running ChromeOS are gaining popularity on the low end. In fact, Google may end subsidies to Chromebook manufacturers due to a surge in sales, according to DigiTimes. Sales of Windows 8-based tablets have not made a dent in the tablet market dominated by Apple and Google.

Microsoft said this weekend that it would release Windows 8.1 Update 1 this spring, and that the update would make it easier to use with a mouse and keyboard. Most Windows PCs being sold today do not have touch screens, which the Windows 8 Metro interface is designed for.

Neither the OEM price cut nor Update 1 is likely to entice more users away from Windows 7. An upgrade costs up to $200 retail, which is a built-in barrier.