Report: Microsoft To Charge Manufacturers Up To $95 For Windows RT

Windows RT

The expected cost of Windows RT for tablet makers was reported late Tuesday by the VR-Zone Web site, which based its conclusions on discussions with tablet manufacturers attending this week's Computex Taipei show in Taiwan.

Windows RT is a version of the upcoming Windows 8 operating system specifically developed to run on devices built on ARM microprocessors. With sales of mobile devices -- smart phones and tablet computers -- out-selling traditional desktop PCs, Microsoft is in danger of losing its market relevance unless it can become a major player in tablets and smartphones.

[ Related: Review: Windows 8 Release Preview Has More For Tablets Than Desktops ]

Windows RT tablets will be competing against Apple's popular iPad and tablets from a number of vendors that run on Android. Microsoft runs the risk of making Windows RT tablets less competitive if it charges manufacturers too much and tablet vendors have to charge a higher price for their products.

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VR-Zone said that in meetings with "multiple" vendors at Computex, Microsoft appeared set to charge manufacturers between $80 and $95 for each copy of Windows RT with $85 being the most commonly quoted price. The site said there have been rumors that Microsoft had been considering charging as little as $35 for the operating system.

Microsoft did not immediately return a request for comment on the report.