Microsoft and Intel are no stranger to the hardware game, though one barely creates devices, while the other had just started to. More importantly though, both are force behind Wintel.

Wintel, in this case being the larger Windows and Intel ecosystem.

And this unofficial partnership now extends well and truly beyond the PC. Intel has been talking (PDF link) about $99 tablets for some time now, and while many thought the company meant Android slates, it appears that the company wants to push Windows powered tablets to this price mark too.

Now affordably priced tablets from makers like Dell, Lenovo, Toshiba and ASUS are not exactly a novelty, in fact these vendors have been selling 8-inch slates that are selling in the price range of $229 all the way up to $299.

But this new wave of $99 devices would remarkably be push them to white label territory.

At the Intel Developer Forum in China, the company’s VP Hermann Eul talked about the looming arrival of such devices, saying that customers the world over would soon be able to pick up tablets from brand vendors at this remarkable a price range. $99 to $129.

Obviously, the fact that Microsoft is now offering Windows 8 free of cost to device makers that create devices that are up to and under the 9-inch display size also plays a part in this price drop.

Now, while both Intel and Microsoft are not giving up on premium devices, but are instead ready to give a firm push to these affordable tablets, it could mean customers will now be forced to at least consider a very valid alternative to Android.

But $99 Windows devices, who would have thought?

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  1. I have mixed feelings. It’ll be good for people who want tablets and don’t want to spend a lot of money or can’t afford more expensive. It will get a lot of business in that aspect. On the other hand, it does seem like a lot of people will take this as an “inferior” product. If it’s good quality tablet for $99, I’ll be all for it.

    • Hopefully this will only attract those type of people who only shop by price. I’ve seen people buy some little 7in quite old Windows tablet just because they need a cheap computer

  2. If this gets them ahead of android and shows people how great these tablets truly are, then I’m all for it. Cheap doesn’t always mean worse.

  3. It seems pretty cheap to not have to compromise some quality. But if they can pull this off, it could be very popular and successful for business. This one is a wait and see. I won’t judge until it comes to fruition.

  4. Competitive pricing is not always a bad thing for established companies. People are less likely to assume it’s bad quality because they know the Microsoft brand. On the contrary, competitive pricing for a startup is very risky.

    • You’re on the money, Ted. I do think this could still be risky for Microsoft. Amongst younger people, I think the perception is apple and android are a better quality, even though I don’t think it’s the case. This could just further perpetuate the perception.

  5. I have heard people talked about $99 laptops before but they never showed up in NA. For this $99 tablets, I wonder the same thing will happen again.

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