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Microsoft Slashes Retail Store Prices Of Windows 8 Ultrabooks

Microsoft has cut the prices of several Windows 8 Ultrabooks. Are Ultrabook prices too high, or is Windows 8 demand too low?

The price reductions, first reported by CNet, cover several touchscreen-based Ultrabooks running Microsoft's latest operating system. The Acer Aspire S7, for example, was reduced from $1,649 to $1,299, while Sony's Vaio T Series 13 Ultrabook dropped from $1,299 to $999.

The cuts could be a result of Intel's strategy to bring down the price of Ultrabooks. The chip maker said last month that it plans to have new Ultrabooks priced at $599 by the holiday season.

The price cuts could also be a reflection of Windows 8 demand in the market. Microsoft's retooled operating system hasn't been as well-received as previous Windows versions, thanks to its new interface and lack of a "Start" button.

Glen Coffield, president and owner of Smart Guys Computers in Lake Mary, Fla., said his company is seeing greater demand for Windows 7 systems. "Clients are telling me they don't want Windows 8," Coffield said. "They're telling me they've returned their Windows 8 systems to retailers and want Windows 7."

Earlier this month Microsoft also reduced the price of some Windows 8 tablets and convertible notebooks, including the Acer Iconia tablet and the HP Envy X2. Microsoft's Surface tablets were not among them.

Microsoft's retail store business has come under fire over the last year from partners, who have fumed about the software giant's retail-only strategy for its Surface tablets.

"It was a big mistake on Microsoft's part to keep Surface out of the channel," said Marty Lantz, chief technical officer of MapleTronics, a solution provider based in Minnetonka, Minn. "The Surface is tailor-made for companies like us that want to resell OEM tablets to businesses."


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