Microsoft allegedly will open up Windows RT licensing restrictions in January

In a new published rumor, it seems that Microsoft may be lifting Windows RT licensing restrictions in January of 2013. This would effectively open up the new operating system to additional OEMs for ARM-based tablets.

Due to the reportedly high licensing costs of licensing Windows RT ($85 per device), it seems like a bunch of hardware makers have opted out of licensing this OS.

At this point, the only companies that are definitely developing Windows RT devices are Asus and Microsoft. There have been rumors about Dell and HP but at this time, they remain rumors.

It will be interesting to see whether Microsoft will do more to get OEM’s behind this OS. I personally wouldn’t be shocked to see Microsoft lower or even suspend the licensing fee to get more OEM’s on board, at least in the short term.

Stay tuned…

3 Comments

  1. Rex

    July 26, 2012 at 7:36 am

    This rumor seems unlikely to me. Blocking down for only three months seems meaningless. It takes at least 6 months to familiarize customers to a new product. I would expect them to put in tight control for at least a year. 3 months would pass so quickly they may as well drop the restriction from the beginning.

    • grs_dev

      July 26, 2012 at 9:35 pm

      I agree. It also makes no sense considering the timing and the CES exit they announced last January.

      I think announcing the Surface at the time they announced it was simultaneously a blessing and a curse. On one hand it raised the bar for the OEMs on the other hand it alienated them. Just a short 5 months prior, OEMs like Dell, HP, and Lenovo showcased their lineups at CES in January. The surface practically rendered their devices obsolete before they even launched.

      Microsoft had to have seen OEM adoption data that concerned them. If anything, they are giving HP and Dell more compelling reasons to assess Linux alternatives. These are the guys they need to win over not the end users.

      Microsoft could be hedging here that none of the Linux flavors publishers are equipped to handle a large scale rollout and OEMs really have no real and viable alternative. A large scale Linux rollout would exponentially increase HP’s and Dell’s support operations and budget since they would essentially have to own desktop OS support. While they have a lot of mileage on Windows on the desktop, supporting Linux at scale on the desktop for enterprise and personal users is a risky proposition for an already struggling sector.

      At any rate, it’s a one time gamble for Microsoft. It either works or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t then the PC market will never look the same ever again. If it does, then it’s 1984 and 1995 combined all over again.

  2. Aaditya Menon

    March 1, 2014 at 10:22 pm

    Which is that app running on the desktop??

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