One reason Windows 8 hasn’t been a big success is that the devices are just too expensive, Intel CEO Paul Otellini told analysts at Intel’s quarterly conference.
Microsoft’s own Surface Pro tablet starts at $899, and many other Windows Pro devices are over $1,000.
But that will soon change, Otellini predicts.
He expects to see Intel-based Windows 8 tablets in the $300-$400 range by the fall:
… I think people are attracted to touch, and the touch price points today are still fairly high, and they’re coming down very rapidly over the next couple of quarters. … [as] OEMs start looking at new form factors … the competitiveness of that platform is going to be substantially different, at price points down into the $300 to $400 range enabling touch. We didn’t have that last year.
He says that other Intel-based tablets are coming too, priced as low as $200, though he didn’t say what operating system these would use. He described them as “touch-enabled Intel based notebooks that are ultrathin and light using non-core processors.” These could be Android devices because Intel supplies chips for Android devices, too.
And he slipped in a light zinger at Windows 8 and its learning curve, too:
I’ve recently converted personally to Windows 8 with touch, and it is a better Windows than Windows 7 in the desktop mode … There is an adoption curve, and once you get over that adoption curve, I don’t think you go back. And we didn’t quite have that same kind of adoption curve in Windows 7 versus XP before it.
He’s certainly not alone in saying these things. Pundits have been telling Microsoft the same thing since before Windows 8 actually began shipping, while people were playing with the preview versions of it.
None of this will Otellini’s problem soon enough. After 40 years with the company, he is retiring in May.