As the industry waits for Microsoft Corporation(NASDAQ:MSFT) to reveal the prices of its latest version release of its Windows operating system software, analysts appear to have uncovered some dead-shot pointers.

The facts which are indicative of likely ball-park pricing estimates are the company’s OEM Partner Center site publications. In a section of the document Microsoft offers detailed table of prices it charges PC manufacturers to install its proprietary Windows 8.1, the previous version of the OS. Notably, the prices are for Tablets which run with an Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) -inside.

Windows 8.1 pricing set the benchmark for Win 10 price

At the time of release of Windows 8.1, Microsoft had opted prices which varied with the size of the display screen of the devices.

In the meanwhile, Microsoft chose to twin the software version release of 8.1 with an irresistible offer, which would earn OEMs 10% discount. The discount nearly brought down the price factor to ‘zero’ on tablet models running on Intel with display screen size of lesser than 9-inches.

Windows 8.1 with Bing SKU

For models which had screen display of 9-inches and more, a new version of Windows 8.1 with a Bing SKU default included.

All OEMs had to do was to set Microsoft’s own search engine, ‘Bing’ as the factory setting or default setting on their devices. The option for buyers to reset to competitor search engines at the time of use was also part of the deal.
The twinning offer of Bing SKU was touted b y Microsoft executives as being at ‘low cost’ to OEMs and required that MSN is also the homepage/browser (with option to be changed by users later).

The ‘free’ or ‘zero dollar’ Win 8.1

Microsoft charges OEMs which chose to bundles its Bing at $0, a price which discounts by 10% the $10 charge it usually charges. This is for the under 9-inch tablets. For screen sizes that are larger, the discount which includes a ‘configuration discount’ of $10, with OEMs billed $15 against original price of $25 per copy of the Windows 8.1 they install.

Windows 10 is expected to follow the same structure, and include lucrative added-services charges to make-up for the discounted prices!