It's no secret that Windows 8 PCs, especially tablets, aren't flying off store shelves. I expect the problem is two-fold: one, the hardware isn't quite there yet, and two, prices aren't quite low enough yet.
Well, we're still waiting for Intel and AMD to do something about the former, but it looks Microsoft has addressed the latter. At least, that's the word from "people familiar with the situation" quoted by the Wall Street Journal. Those people say Microsoft is offering Windows 8 at a discount to PC makers building small, touch-enabled systems:
In late February, Microsoft offered PC makers the deal of Windows 8 plus Office for $30 for touch-screen devices under 10.8 inches, according to one person familiar with the situation. This compares with around $120 previously. Touch-screen devices above 10.8 inches can still get the discounted Windows 8 price, but Office isn't included, this person said.
That's a $90 discount per system, which is pretty substantial. For reference, the cheapest Windows 8 tablet listed at Newegg—an Asus VivoTab Smart with an Atom processor and a 10.1" screen—is selling for $489.99. Similar offerings from Samsung and Acer both start at $549.99. If more PC makers can undercut Apple's $499 iPad with Atom-powered convertibles that also run regular PC software... well, I'd say Windows 8's adoption rate could speed up quite a bit.