Microsoft intends to charge tablet manufacturers between $US80 and $US95 for each copy of Windows RT, a relatively high price that could make Windows-based tablets less competitive with devices running Google's free Android mobile operating system.
The expected cost of Windows RT for tablet makers was reported late Tuesday by VR-Zone, following discussions with tablet manufacturers attending this week's Computex Taipei show in Taiwan.
Windows RT is a version of the upcoming Windows 8 operating system specifically developed to run on devices built on ARM microprocessors.
With sales of mobile devices – smart phones and tablet computers – out-selling traditional desktop PCs, Microsoft is in danger of losing its market relevance unless it can become a major player in tablets and smartphones.
Windows RT tablets will be competing against Apple's popular iPad and tablets from a number of vendors that run on Android.
VR-Zone said in meetings with "multiple" vendors at Computex, $85 was the most commonly quoted price.
Microsoft did not immediately return a request for comment on the report.