If a new report is to be believed, Microsoft is willing to take a significant reduction in its licensing revenue by slashing Windows 8.1 license fees for low cost device manufactures by up to 70 percent. Apparently the company is making its move to counter the increasing popularity of Chromebooks as well as cheap tablets that are generally powered by Android. Low licensing fees should entice more low cost OEMs to opt for Windows 8.1.

The usual Windows 8.1 licensing fee that OEMs have to pay is $50, but people familiar with the company’s plans tell Bloomberg that this will be reduced to $15 for manufacturers that develop laptops and tablets that sell for under $250. It is said that there will be no restrictions on size or type of device and that this discount will apply to any and all products that meet the $250 or under price limit. They move may also help the company increase adoption of Windows 8, earlier this month Microsoft revealed that Windows 8 licenses have only crossed 200 million as yet, significantly slower than the adoption rate of Windows 7. Chromebooks are becoming increasingly popular, particularly in the education sector, primarily due to the fact that they’re relatively cheaper than conventional laptops. Microsoft’s line of defense against the onslaught of these Chrome OS powered notebooks might just be reduction of licensing fees, though it remains to be seen just how many OEMs it entices to jump onboard.

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