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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Microsoft Surface RT Prices Underwhelm

Posted by on Tue, Oct 16, 2012 at 3:59 PM

Microsoft finally released pricing this morning for its soon to be shipping Surface RT tablet, starting at $499 for the 32 GB model without a cover, rising to $699 for the 64 GB version with a "Touch" keyboard cover. The mechanical keyboard cover costs an additonal $129. All models are WiFi only.

I saw one of the TV ads for Surface last night, and it certainly looks like they're advertising the Touch cover as an integral part of the device. That means prices really start at $599 for the 32 GB model with the cover.

All of which is earning Microsoft a collective "eh" from industry analysts.

The specs look good on the 10.6 inch diagonal tablet, and they better be, because Microsoft certainly isn't attempting to compete against Apple's iPad based on price. My guess is there's room for two or three operating systems in the segment, and with a billion dollar advertising campaign behind it, no doubt Microsoft grabs that second or third spot. But it's hard to see this as an iPad killer, and it remains to be seen if Microsoft can make big profits off a segment where it doesn't hold a monopoly position.

 

Comments (14) RSS

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Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 1

Ridiculous.

We are entering a world of pocket calculator pricing for computers.

We need the $49 dollar tablet.

With built in Wimax...a tablet without a pervasive network is useless.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://www.you-read-it-here-first.com on October 16, 2012 at 4:03 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 2
And thus, let the haters hating on Microsoft commence!
Posted by Urgutha Forka on October 16, 2012 at 4:14 PM · Report this
3
These prices make no sense. Between the iPad and the profusion of Android tablets (from the Kindle and Nook entry-level tablets through to the Samsung and Nexus), you have good tablet options at prices from $200 to $500. So now MS enters the market starting at $600?
Posted by Warren Terra on October 16, 2012 at 4:17 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 4
Meh.

Only Microserf fanbois say "eh".
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on October 16, 2012 at 4:17 PM · Report this
5
The price is weird, what could it offer for that price that would make an impact on the tablet market? I feel like I'm missing something here.
Posted by bitwise on October 16, 2012 at 4:22 PM · Report this
balderdash 6
Those tablets look so good, relative to my computing wants, that I have been pretty stoked about their release. Even I'm more than a little taken aback by this, though. I'd heard rumors that the line was going to start somewhere around $200, and while I expected to pay more for the keyboard-cover, $600 definitely changes things somewhat.

:/
Posted by balderdash http://introverse.blogspot.com on October 16, 2012 at 4:30 PM · Report this
Cascadian 7
A fully-functional model for $400 would have been tempting. All I can think is that they are competing against laptops, not tablets. But if so, doesn't that just mean competing against their own installed base of operating systems?
Posted by Cascadian on October 16, 2012 at 4:51 PM · Report this
Dougsf 8
@5 - My thoughts as well. Maybe their hesitant to accelerate the decline of the PC market?

Totally a guess, but if they sold them at-or-under cost in an attempt to get a real share of the tablet market, it could cost them a fortune in other areas, not to mention pressure from their PC making partners not to cannibalize their business?

Or maybe they're just crazy enough to have so much faith in their product, and are so blind to the stigma their logo carries with some, they really think that's a competitive price.
Posted by Dougsf on October 16, 2012 at 4:55 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 9
Look, PC pricing is plummeting. A lot of why "sales are down" articles are out is the total cost per machine - PC, Ultrabook, Tablet, whatever - is dropping.

Most of the "cost" of a Microsoft tablet is the OS. In other words, profit for Microsoft.

Information just wants to be free.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on October 16, 2012 at 5:11 PM · Report this
Porcupine 10
The new iPad with 16GB is $499 so the Surface with 32GB at the same price is competitive, at least on paper. Of course the iPad is way ahead in mindshare and has a ton of apps but the Surface will enable you to do things that can only be done on a PC today (e.g. rich browser with Flash, full(ish) Office, hardware support such as plugging in your camera, etc.) We'll see...
Posted by Porcupine on October 16, 2012 at 5:15 PM · Report this
The Third Rail 11
Right or wrong, Microsoft seems to still be relying on it's traditional partners (Dell, HP, Samsung, Acer, Asus) to carry the lion share of the market. Surface will only be available in 8 markets - it seems clear they're not trying to market this as an iPad killer, but merely to be a high end option and hopefully to set the bar for the rest of the manufacturers. Time will tell if it winds up being a good strategy. Personally, I'd prefer to see a more aggressive approach.
Posted by The Third Rail on October 17, 2012 at 4:14 AM · Report this
Karlheinz Arschbomber 12
@10: this product is the RT version, will NOT run PC apps.

It is another DOA product.

At least SLOG is not beset with payroll patriots from the Mistake Across the Lake.
Posted by Karlheinz Arschbomber http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arschbombe on October 17, 2012 at 7:51 AM · Report this
Porcupine 13
Correct, the RT Surface will only run apps from the store. That's why I'm saying it has a fullish version of Office (which comes already installed) because it's missing some of advanced functionality of the PC version like macros.

I predict it will be moderately successful and will become more so as more apps are available. Every PC sold will be a potential customer for RT apps which will make this platform pretty attractive to developers.
Posted by Porcupine on October 17, 2012 at 8:57 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 14
If success means "large share of product price goes in OS coffers" then, maybe.

Most developers have already given up on HTML 5 and Microsoft C (etc) programs and are coding in Objective C ... for the iPhone and iPad.

But, hey, that's just news from five tech sites, all of which used to Microsoft fanbois.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on October 17, 2012 at 11:41 AM · Report this

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