"If you look at touch-enabled Intel-based notebooks that are ultrathin…those prices are going to be down to as low as $200," said Otellini, hinting perhaps at more affordable Windows 8 tablets on the horizon.
Such claims on $200 Windows 8 tablets may however hinge on the success of the chipmaker’s next-generation Atom chip, codenamed ‘Bay Trail’.
The quad-core chip marks a total redesign of Atom – Intel’s current low-power processor – and is also expected to allow tablet makers to push models with an all-day battery life and a chassis as thin at 8mm. Bay Trail chips are also said to offer twice the performance of the Clover Trail chips, which are currently used in high-end devices like HP's Envy x2.
While most Windows 8 tablets typically range from $499 to up to $999, there have been the first few signs that sub-$300 models may be possible in future.
Topeka Capital analyst Brian White recently said that Microsoft is set to reduce the Windows 8 tablet licensees to OEMs by up to 40%, while Creative Strategies’ Ben Bajarin told TabTimes that licensees for Windows Blue – the next Windows update – will costs $40-50, which is some $20 cheaper that the license for Windows 8.
The analyst concluded that this discount to OEMs could see the price of Windows 8 tablets fall to as low as $199 in future.