Microsoft will slash the price of its Windows 8.1 operating system on devices that retail for less than $250, according to sources at Bloomberg.
Currently, laptop and tablet makers pay $50 for every copy of Windows 8.1 installed on a device. With Microsoft's price reduction, these manufacturers will pay only $15 when they install the OS on devices with price points under $250.
Microsoft's biggest competition in the low-cost computing market is Google, which installs its Chrome OS on all Chromebook laptops. Chromebooks typically retail for under $300. Giving low-end Windows PC makers a cheaper OS allows them to spend the savings on more attractive hardware features, theoretically increasing Microsoft's market share.
This news comes shortly after Microsoft revealed sales for Windows 8, which has been on the market for about 15 months and sold 200 million licenses. While those numbers appear strong, they can't compete with Windows 7, Microsoft's previous OS: It sold 240 million licenses in just 12 months.