In this article from the Verge titled “Microsoft combats Chromebooks by cutting Windows licensing fees by 70 percent” they postulate that Microsoft had to reduce the price of certain kinds of Windows licenses to protect their turf. A Windows license is $50 and they’ve reduced it to $15.
I would wonder if they weren’t feeling pressure from Apple’s new model of just giving away the OS. Regardless, Windows pricing may shake. What this would mean for Microsoft long term remains open to consideration as there is evidence that companies benefit from this type of move.