An informal poll of Microsoft OEMs conducted by VR-Zone over at Computex last week has revealed that Windows RT licensing costs could be as high as $85 per device. The site spoke to numerous vendors interested in shipping the ARM-friendly version of Windows 8 on their future tablets, with the reported range spanning between $80 and $95, depending on the source. It's highly unlikely that any of the big Windows partners would have disclosed their anticipated costs to VR-Zone (or anyone else, for that matter), so what we're looking at is probably the price Microsoft charges to the smaller companies who are in a significantly worse bargaining position than the likes of Dell or HP. Additionally, Windows RT will ship with Office 2013 RT preloaded, adding to the upfront cost for OEMs.

Should this indeed be the range where Microsoft is aiming to price its new OS, it'll be remarkably difficult for the same companies that are today churning out sub-$200 Android tablets to emulate their efforts with Windows software. Once you factor in hardware manufacturing and parts, you're looking at competing more with the iPad's $499 than the Kindle Fire's $199 price.