In an attempt to compete with low cost Android devices in the Indian market, Microsoft has announced it will soon be launching low-cost Windows tablets with a price tag of as low as £97 (INR 10,000) specifically for the Indian consumers.
Microsoft is likely to go with traditional computer partners including HP and Dell as well as local Indian firms like Karbonn and Lava to manufacture the tablets.
Android based devices are currently dominating the Indian market as they are cheap, affordable and easy to find. In other developed countries like the US, the second generation Surface tablets have managed to sell well. However, the same Surface devices won’t be able to garner enough sales in markets like India because they are too expensive.
In an interview with the Times of India, Amrish Goyal, director of Windows business group, said that “We are reducing our required hardware specification for Windows to bare minimum that is needed for good experience. We want to be price competitive with Android. We want to get the bill of material for Windows tablets down”.
“We will probably not sell a tablet for Rs 5,000. But yes, we will sell tablets with a price of around Rs 10,000 by middle of this year,” Goyal added.
However, Goyal refused to comment on the authenticity of reports claiming that Microsoft had slashing license fee it charges from its hardware partner for Windows 8.1 by up to 70 percent to help companies create low-cost tablets. The reports claimed that the company would reportedly be charging $15 for Windows instead of usual $50 for devices that cost less than $250.
By far Microsoft has not been able to make its mark in the tablet market. Most of the Windows tablets currently available in the market currently are selling for a big premium as compared to Android tablets.
While most of Windows tablets cost around £300 (INR 30,000) or more, Android tablets are available for less than £97 (Rs 10,000).