The tablet market is expanding rapidly at this point and multiple vendors are now in a fierce competition to bring down their costs, trim their profits and bolster their sales. To this end, it is expected that we may soon see Android, Chrome OS and possibly Windows 8 arrive on top of cheap Intel-based devices, priced somewhere near $200.
Curating an Intel-based Chrome OS laptop or Android tablet shouldn’t exactly be a problem. Both Android and Chrome OS are open-source, so that significantly brings down the software costs of a machine. Intel may ship low-end hardware in a machine to bring down the costs and still provide a quality Android or Chrome OS experience.
According to an inside source, “There are design wins for Android tablets at that $200 price point. Intel will be participating in that market this year.” If Intel is able to pull this off by dishing out an Android-based sub-$200 tablet, this can significantly support the PC industry that is currently in a nosedive.
However, Windows 8 is an altogether different story. The software costs of the OS, alone, are fairly high and it would be a very pleasant, and unexpected, surprise if Intel is able to create a Windows 8 laptop or tablet priced under $250. HP has worked on creating cheaper Windows 8 machines before, but the arena of touch-supportive Windows 8 laptops still features very expensive notebooks.
The good part is that Microsoft is well cognizant of the situation and is apparently willing to work it out. According to the company’s outgoing CFO, Peter Klein, “We are…working closely with [PC makers] on a new suite of small touch devices powered by Windows. These devices will have competitive price points, partly enabled by our latest OEM offerings designed specifically for these smaller devices, and will be available in the coming months.”