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Wintel tablets may cost $600+ because Microsoft and Intel are unwilling to take a pay cut

Kupa Windows 8 tablet

Have you ever wondered why your PC is so expensive? Well, a good portion of that cash goes straight into the pockets of Intel for its processors and Microsoft for Windows. Unfortunately, while the market has seen that the days of expensive PCs are over, executives at Microsoft and Intel may fight to retain high PC prices as we move into the next era of the PC: tablets.

Tablet PCs are slowly taking over the market. With Windows 8, even Microsoft is pushing for a tablet-like future, and it’s no secret that Intel is threatened by ARM processors, which power almost all mobile devices outside of laptops these days. As such, it’s surprising to think that either of these parties would prevent Intel + Windows 8 tablets from competing with ARM, Apple, and Android on price, yet here we are. DigiTimes reports that neither company is willing to drop its prices, and it may mean that Intel-powered tablet PCs may cost between $600-$900, well over the $500 price of the iPad.

The problem is that Windows 8 is attempting to merge the tablet and laptop market, so if Microsoft and Intel lower their prices, they may gain market share, but they would also be cutting the price of traditional PC laptops as well. And once prices are cut, it could be some time, if ever, before they’re able to charge such a price again. 

Still, it’s difficult to see a majority of people walking into a store (or going online), looking at two capable tablet PCs, one running Android and one running Windows 8, and deciding that Windows 8 is worth an extra $200-$600, especially if that Wintel tablet is thicker and has a fan on it. Microsoft is putting itself in a brand new predicament.