As of March 1, 2017, Microsoft’s licensing rates for Windows 10 to OEMs of Notebook PCs will be significantly cut. According to sources, the license pricing will be lower for all notebooks that are under 14.1 inches, and will depend on various factors including model type and the market they will be sold in.
Windows 10 saw relatively soft adoption rates through 2016, before and after the free upgrade deadline of July 2016. After a year and a half since the new operating system was launched, adoption in the consumer and commercial segments still stand at under-25% levels, according to the best estimates.
RELATED: Win 10 Adoption Rates Still Low
This move to cut licensing costs could be seen as a pre-emptive move against Google’s Chromebooks, which already overtook MacBook sales as of early 2016. Obviously, with the need for greater Windows 10 adoption across the world, Microsoft would want to undercut itself and absorb the losses in exchange for a bigger user base. With Chrome OS being open source, Chromebooks are generally cheaper than Windows notebooks because of the zero licensing cost, and Microsoft may want to address that difference in an aggressive manner.
One of the things that this move validates is the fact that Microsoft needs Windows 10 to succeed. Much of their device-agnostic approach to the mobile space depends on this. Their push with Surface Phone, Surface Pro 5, Surface Studio and the rest of the Surface family of devices is directly related to their efforts to promote the Continuum concept of a device-agnostic experience.
Another validation of Microsoft’s need to promote Windows 10 and get it installed on as many PCs, laptops, hybrid 2-in-1s and smartphones as possible is the fact that they’ve left the back door open on the free Windows 10 upgrade.
You can still get it for free, and we’ve explained how to do that in this article linked below:
If this license fee reduction for Windows 10 is successful, we could see a lot more notebooks this year running on Windows 10 from top notebooks manufacturers from all over the globe.
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