Windows RT tablets could be an expensive proposition when they arrive this fall. VR-Zone spoke to multiple tablet vendors at the Computex trade show last week, and it was told the Microsoft OS costs $85-90. That’s the cost to device makers, the site says; Windows RT won’t be sold as a standalone product.
Android is reportedly free for those folks, so the price difference between tablets based on Windows RT and Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean, or whatever dessert Google is up to by then could be substantial. VR-Zone is saying Windows RT tablets will cost $549-799 at launch, with premium models hitting $899. For perspective, the latest iPad starts at $499, and that includes a high-res Retina display.
We didn’t hear prices quoted for any of the Windows RT tablets we saw, but I must admit, the Metro interface is quite pleasant to use on touchscreen devices. I’m just not sure I’d pay close to $100 for the experience—especially since it’s not backed by a desktop environment with all the traditional conveniences of Windows.