According to The Wall Street Journal, Best Buy is kicking off a two-week promotion on February 24 that will cut Windows 8 touchscreen laptop and desktop prices by $100.
The Journal said that Best Buy, PC makers, Microsoft and Intel are absorbing the impact of the cut. (The Journal got this information from an interview its reporters conducted with Best Buy.)
The cut won't apply to Microsoft Surface RTs or Surface Pros. It also won't apply to Windows 8 or Windows RT tablets, the Journal reported. Microsoft has been having trouble keeping the 128 GB version of its Surface Pros in stock.
Best Buy officials are attributing the decision to launch the promotion to a Best Buy-conducted survey showing that recent purchasers prefer Windows 8 more on touch-enabled hardware than non-touch-enabled machines.
Microsoft officials have said that demand for Windows 8 has been in line with that for Windows 7. As of early January, Microsoft officials said they had sold 60 million Windows 8 licenses.
(A related aside: Google took the wraps off a new, $1,299 touch-enabled Chromebook this week, the Pixel, which also is being sold at Best Buy.)
I asked Microsoft for the Windows team's take on the promotion and received this statement from a spokesperson:
“Touch unlocks an entirely new way to interact with Windows that we believe represents the future of computing. We’re pleased to see how retailers such as Best Buy are promoting this at their stores, including their latest promotion that starts this weekend.”
It's going to be interesting to see whether Best Buys and Microsoft Stores themselves become more of a place to try/compare Windows PCs and tablets than an actual place to buy them. Microsoft officials have said they are committed to transforming the Windows buying experience at retailers like Best Buy and Staples. But it seems as though more and more PC and tablet buying (as opposed to "trying") is happening online....