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DigiTimes reports that neither Intel nor Microsoft are willing to cut their prices, forcing Windows-based tablets to start at $600. Intel’s dual-core Clover Trail hardware and Microsoft’s Windows 8 software, could show up on $599 tablets late this year.

The relatively high price could send manufacturers looking for lesser-expensive ARM-powered hardware, creating tablets incapable of executing the current gamut of x86 Windows software, notes Engadget.

Intel at CES introduced new smartphone and tablet designs using their latest Atom processor designs. Intel’s Atom may be splitting into two; Medfield for phones (with the Atom Z2460), and a dual-core version called Clover Trail for tablets that runs Windows 8 and Android 4.0. Intel demonstrated Atom-based tablets at CES last week. In addition to adding a core, Clover Trail has an upgraded GPU.

ARM solutions using Nvidia’s Tegra 3, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 and Texas Instruments dual-core OMAP 4470 will run Windows 8 on tablet PCs, but may not run legacy x86 software.

Unlike Windows 8 for Intel-compatible machines, the ARM version of Windows 8 will not be sold to the public. To purchase an ARM version of Windows 8, the consumer will have to purchase a device with it pre-loaded.

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