Microsoft pulls last lever, discounts Windows 8 to OEMs to spark sales
Reports claim Microsoft's slashed Windows prices for smaller touchscreen notebooks and tablets
By Gregg Keizer
March 6, 2013 12:28 PM ET
Computerworld - Microsoft has done something it's historically been loath to do: discount prices for the copies of Windows it sells to computer makers, online reports said today.
Both the Wall Street Journal
and the Asian electronics supply chain publication DigiTimes
published reports claiming that Microsoft has cut prices of Windows 8 and Office 2013 in an attempt to spark sales.
"They've always held [pricing] close to the vest," said Allan Krans, an analyst with Technology Business Research, in a Wednesday interview. "They've always been insistent on maintaining that pricing, but a discount makes sense, given the holiday season, the back-and-forth with the OEMs and the slow start to the Surface."
Windows 8, which launched in October, has struggled to gain traction
, and failed to trigger a boost in PC sales, as new editions have done in the past.
Earlier this week, for instance, research firm IDC said global PC sales would contract 1.3% this year
, a drop atop 2012's even-larger slump of 3.7%. IDC cited an "underwhelming reception" to Windows 8 as one of several factors that will lead to a second-consecutive year of declining PC sales.