Oct 16 AT 10:57 AM Taylor Wimberly 83 Comments

Microsoft opens preorders for Surface RT tablets, not quite what we hoped for

microsoft-windows-surface-r

Everyone knows this is a blog dedicated to all things Android, but some might be surprised to learn that the majority of our visitors come from Windows devices. Over the last 30 days, we have seen 52% visits from Windows, 30% from Android, 8% from Mac, and 5% from iOS. For this very reason, we have been following the launch of Microsoft’s Surface RT tablet.

Early rumors suggested the Surface RT might launch for as low as $199, but the pre-orders just went live and the base model starts at $499. Microsoft has three pricing options including $499 for 32 GB without touch cover, $599 for 32 GB with touch cover, and $699 for 64 GB with touch cover. The Surface touch cover keyboard can be ordered separately for $119, and the Surface type cover can be had for $129. Surface RT will be available October 26th.

Highlights of the Surface for Windows RT include:

  • SoftwareWindows RT + Office Home & Student 2013 RT
  • Processor: NVIDIA Tegra-based ARM chip
  • Display: 10.6-inch ClearType HD capacitive touchpanel
  • Capacity: 32 GB or 64 GB storage, 2 GB RAM
  • Weight: 676 grams
  • Thickness: 9.3 millimeters
  • Battery: 31.5Wh
  • I/O: microSD, USB 2.0, Micro HD Video, 2×2 MIMO antennae
  • Accessories: Touch Cover, Type Cover, VaporMg Case & Stand
  • Apps (included): Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 RT Preview (2) (Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote), Windows Mail and Windows Messaging, SkyDrive, Windows Internet Explorer 10, Bing, Xbox Music, Xbox Video, and Xbox Games

We think the Surface features an awesome design, but we don’t see any compelling reasons to get this tablet over a competing Android tablet or even the iPad. Surface with Windows RT works exclusively with apps from the Windows Store, so chances are the current native apps you are using might not be compatible. Also, Windows RT only supports Internet Explorer, so don’t expect to ever see the Chrome browser.

Microsoft plans to sell 3 to 5 million Surface tablets this year, but we have a hard time believing they will hit those numbers at these prices. What do you think about Microsoft’s chances for success? Will any of you be buying a Surface RT tablet as a companion device for your Windows PC?

Source: Microsoft Surface

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • http://www.jaxidian.org/update/ jaxidian

    This is a failure on Microsoft’s part for the following reasons:

    1) Resolution is too low. It needs a bump up.
    2) No connectivity options. At least let me pay an extra $100 to add a SIM card.
    3) Keyboard case is now considered an “optional accessory”. That’s part of what makes this product what it is – it should be bundled in (at these prices, anyways)
    4) Price is too high. Really, a $500 entry-level option without the defining accessory and no connectivity?

    Ultimately, Microsoft just priced themselves out of a potentially massively-successful product.

    • http://www.jaxidian.org/update/ jaxidian

      I just read this article at TheVerge and I’ve changed my mind a little bit…

      First off, I’m willing to pay a $100 premium if the device (beyond specs) is truly built with such a superior quality that it’s better than the typical “plastic plus a screen” device. The Surface RT really may be just that (I’m not sure but this article has convinced me it’s possible). So that almost makes me okay with the price if this truly is such a premium-quality device.

      HOWEVER, this device is only going to be good if/when there is a large enough adoption rate of it (or other Win RT tablets) to get a large number of quality apps made and available by Microsoft’s app store. And while I am willing to pay a bit of a premium, the average Joe isn’t. So this device isn’t going to be the one that gains Microsoft its market share or Win RT users the apps that they want.

      Since this device won’t get that market share and another device (or many of them) must, that means it might make sense to wait for a Surface 2 if I’m going to pay a premium because a higher-quality device with no apps is really not a whole lot better than a higher-quality web browser. And this is too expensive for just that purpose.

      • http://htcsource.com Nick Gray

        The beauty of this is that we’re talking about Windows. Microsoft is encouraging developers to make Windows 8 Apps rather than the full apps we see today. Since Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 apps can be fully compatible, I have a feeling we will see increased development for this platform since the user base will be huge simply because Microsoft controls 90% of the computer market.

        • http://www.jaxidian.org/update/ jaxidian

          Oh, I know that there WILL be plenty of apps. But why buy a premium device now *before* those apps exist when there might be a premiumer device I can buy when those apps DO exist? That’s my remaining issue. To wait for a Surface 2 or not.

          Either way, I’m getting a Windows 8 (not Windows RT) tablet around the beginning of next year. I need a new laptop that runs full Windows for work and I might as well get a hybrid tablet to serve that purpose since there will be tablets with i7 chips in them and all sorts of normal hardware. :-)

          • NamelessTed

            For me it is an extremely hard sell to have a “premium” device but still have it using a gimped version of Windows. If it were $500-600 and it ran full on Windows 8 then I totally get that. But having it run the stripped down version of Windows RT, no thanks.

            If they are selling this for $500-700 then I imagine real Windows 8 tablets are going to push into Ultrabook territory in terms of price. For now, I will stick with the $250-400 tablets. It just makes way more sense to me to spend half the money and be able to upgrade more easily down the road. We all know that the hardware of the Surface is going to be a joke a year from now.

          • http://www.jaxidian.org/update/ jaxidian

            @NamelessTed:

            Think of the “watered-down Windows” versus “full Windows” as this: One is more powerful yet generalized with laptop-quality battery life while the other is a bit weaker but more focused with tablet-quality battery life. Or perhaps another way to think about it is that one is a “laptop replacement” while the other is a “computing gadget”. Even the watered-down Windows will have benefits that you can’t get out of the full-blown Windows. Personally, I suspect the RT would be good for my wife (she doesn’t need much more than a good, tabbed web browser) while the Pro version is what I’ll need (I need to run VMs on mine).

            One thing I absolutely do NOT like about the RT (and general Metro experience) is how locked-down it is. This reminds me FAR too much of an iOS environment and I REALLY don’t like that as a software developer!

        • Gabe

          Windows XP and Windows 7 ARE 90% of the computer market, not Windows 8. At least not yet… aaaand by the looks of it, not ever. Oh, and most of that 90% comes from pirated software, aaargh matey, wich i’m pretty sure won’t have access to the MS app store.
          So what we will have is a bunch of great, great developers, because the best app developement is still done for windows, with some great, great apps that work on windows 7 and, by extension on every windows 8 pro. And because of said compatibility they will be in no hurry to fork over cash just to adapt them to metro.
          On the other hand we have surface with windows 8 RT wich translates as “overpriced hardware with limited software”. Remind you of someone? How many games run on macs after all these years? But who buy these will be very few. So few that they won’t attract developers to port their windows 7 compatible apps to metro.
          And where does that leave us? With no one buying W8 RT or WP8 hardware because they are too expensive and offer too few apps compared to the competition and with no developers jumpstarting the MS app store because they already have compatible apps and simply don’t care about the handfull of people who use incompatible devices.
          Sorry but…. Microsoft will fail.

          • http://www.jaxidian.org/update/ jaxidian

            “most of that 90% comes from pirated software”

            You’re telling me that over 45% of the PCs in the world are running a pirated copy of Windows XP or Windows 7? Please show me that source.

        • Jimmy_Jo

          Yes, MicroSoft owns 90% of the computer market, they own somewhere between 0-15.9% of the tablet market share which Apples holds a 64.4% death grip on. There is no way the MicroSoft will beat out Android tablets that cost 3 times less not to mention Apple which costs the same but also has a huge and strong ecosystem. Apple changed the game with the iPod Touch which birthed the iPhone which birthed the iPad. And then the whole idea was evolved further by Android. As an owner of an IPod Touch, iPad, EVO 4G and Galaxy S III, who’s actually in the market for something just like this since my laptop recently died, it’s sad to say I have nearly zero interest in this device. I say nearly because if reviews blow up and the Apps are legit and they sell 3 million then drop the price to $300 with the Type cover, I may look into it.

          • http://www.jimtravis.com jimtravis

            The iPhone was released before the iPod touch if I remember correctly. I passed one the iPhone 1, and remember purchasing the original touch when it was released months later.

        • Ardrid

          There’s a slight problem with that argument. Unless something changes on Microsoft’s end, Windows RT and Windows 8 applications are incompatible with each other. Windows 8 has the potential to hit 90% of the market due to Microsoft’s current position; the same cannot be said of Windows RT. That naturally limits Windows RT Surface’s viability. It’s a different story if we’re talking about Windows 8 Surface, but then we’re also talking about much different price points.

        • clocinnorcal

          This is a Windows RT product and will be compatible with Windows Phone 8, but not Windows 8. When the surface 2 comes out your argument would hold more bearing, but the pricing will be much more I’m sure.

      • tN0

        Apps won’t be an issue. There are already some nice apps available and the Store didn’t even opened officially.

        We need to remember that the Surface RT is not competing with the Nexus 7 directly but more with ultrabook PCs.

      • ags29

        You prompted me to go find that article and if it’s this one you’re talking about (http://www.theverge.com/2012/10/16/3511002/microsoft-surface-inside-look-history) then I’m even more sold into it :-D

        • ags29

          Whoops. I just noticed you already had a link to the article.

        • Joshua

          The interesting thing I found in this article is how poorly thought out Microsoft decided on pricing with this. One of the project managers states that the keyboard cover is a crucial part of the experience. How can you rationalize selling the product without it when you have already admitted it limits the functionality. That kind of thinking is just embarassing. IF only he actually listened to what he said.

          At least you know the Asus tablet can function fine without a keyboard, but this guy gives the impression you are getting an inferior product if you don’t shell out extra cash for the keyboard.

          Not really sure how this makes you want to purchase the product even more, even if you are going to get the keyboard.

          • seb

            Just so you can buy the colour that suits you better. Since it comes bundled with black, it would not be my first option. So I’m getting the tablet on its own and wait for some different colours to surface. See what I did there?

    • Tammy1990

      Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

      • http://ArtisticAbode.com BetterWithRoot

        “Sell like Justin Bieber tickets”

        If you mean to little girls, with their parents money, than you are correct.

      • Nate B.

        So your going to buy two of the same thing?

    • cobaltleo

      I’ll add to that. making the device dependant on a closed market (their app store) and seeing how they treated their app store from the zune & zune hd line. theres no real reason to trust that your purchase will even be useful since they tend to just walk away from their products. and I agree having such a high entry level product with a bad track record. is the reason im staying away from this. and when are they gonna realize that having such a “limited” device seems kind of dumb to put it in at a higher price than a laptop. hell its 2/3rds the cost of there own marketed Ultrabook.

  • Manuel Melgar

    I’ll wait for the Pro version…

    • thekaz

      I agree. When I can replace my developer laptop and actually code on this tablet, then I will be excited.. especially since I can then make a good case for work to pony up the money for it :)

  • GreyCelt

    It’s not gonna happen! Not at those prices. I was going to possibly buy one for my wife because she like the look of the Windows Mobile or Windows 8 (or whatever we’re calling it now) OS. At those prices though, HELL NO! Microsoft just killed themselves with that one.

  • Robert

    definitely not at these prices or that screen resolution

  • ags29

    I’m getting this for two reasons. Microsoft Office and just that Windows 8 is awesome.

    Every Microsoft Office alternative I’ve tried on Android has failed me in one way or another. Right now, I have 4 different apps to compensate for one another’s failures: Docs to Go, Kingsoft Office, Google Docs and OfficeSuite.

    Also, I tried Windows 8 yesterday at a Best Buy and was nothing short of impressed.

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      Surface RT does have a version of Office, but keep in mind this is Windows RT and not Windows 8.

    • http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/JO7b1Ck47aQEDj18KITtDo-UqYBOLeP6nzuQmVQDO8o?feat=directlink Gomez

      Have you tried Onlive Desktop it has Microsoft Office.

      • shadhussain

        the lag on onlive and general controls don’t provide a very good user experience. I almost always end up returning to my laptop when using office.

        • http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/JO7b1Ck47aQEDj18KITtDo-UqYBOLeP6nzuQmVQDO8o?feat=directlink Gomez

          The lag isn’t to bad anymore after the release.

    • aranea

      I was feeling the same way because i really need an office app but RT’s restrictions are killer combined with the price. No other browser but IE!, no win 8 apps. And the pro version will be too expensive. Someone should write a good office alternative for Android. I’ll buy it.

      • Dags -

        This will have Windows 8 apps. Metro/Modern Windows 8 apps can be compiled for both x86/64 and ARM within Visual Studio and most developers will. The only issue is that there will be a gap for some apps that depend on external libraries that haven’t been recompiled for ARM yet.

        • aranea

          It may be possible but that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen quickly enough. It feels like MS will keep RT restricted probably partly to sell the more expensive pro version devices and partly to test a restricted ecosystem like apple’s.

  • bitbank

    As already stated, it’s all about price. I can’t predict how the market will react, but I will definitely not buy one. For $800, I can get a touchscreen laptop which will be infinitely more functional than WinRT. Once Intel released the Medfield and it’s successors, the raison d’etre of the WinRT platform evaporated. There is no compelling reason to get an ARM-based WinRT device. The slightly improved battery life is not reason enough to give up legacy app compatibility. If the Surface were priced at $299 (with the touch cover), I would buy it just to try it.

    I have a feeling that many used ones will be appearing on eBay/Craigslist due to buyer confusion. People will buy it thinking that they’re getting a Windows tablet. When they discover that the apps they want to run aren’t compatible, they’ll toss it away.

    • http://www.jaxidian.org/update/ jaxidian

      FYI, the better battery life with Win RT vs Win 8 is less about the hardware and more about the software. If you could have identical hardware running both Win RT and Win 8, you would see about twice the battery life with Win RT. Full-blown Windows won’t be able to touch it.

      • http://www.jeffkibuule.com Jeff

        Let’s let actual battery benchmarks prove that point instead of blind bluster (since I assume you have not used a Windows RT device yet).

        • http://www.jaxidian.org/update/ jaxidian

          1) Bad assumption.
          2) I’ve been a Windows software development architect for a decade. This is NOT based on a user’s observations.

          • Joshua

            Even if it quadruples battery life I won’t be impressed. Look at my effing Dell Duo it gets maybe 2 hours if I’m lucky…

            Once I can see Windows 8 (2020 maybe??? taking forever!!!) on my Dell Duo and see the difference in battery life, then I will make a decision on if it’s really worth it. If you are going to knock the hardware on the Duo be careful… you will be contradicting your previous statement!

  • TheDave

    Just priced themselves out of competition.

  • ari-free

    LOL who still uses Internet Explorer in this day and age?

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      6.96% of our audience. Chrome is clear #1 with 47.08% of visits.

      • http://www.jaxidian.org/update/ jaxidian

        I’m actually starting to use IE much more. IE 10 is pretty good. Chrome and Firefox have been getting VERY bloated over the past couple years. They’re certainly NOT what they used to be. And that’s sad.

        Chrome is still my #1 but mostly because it’s comfortable and has cross-device synchronization built-in that “just works”. Otherwise, IE would have probably won me back over on new machines.

        • theviper21

          It’s been a while since I’ve tried Chrome, but I mainly use Firefox now for its speed and I only use IE for Sharepoint sites. IE is just too slow IMO.

          • http://www.jaxidian.org/update/ jaxidian

            I ditched IE for Firefox when IE was crap. Then Firefox got bloated and I switch to Chrome when it came out. It was blazing! It’s not gotten bloated as well. I think Firefox has improved since that time but it still seems too heavy. At this point, no browser has the zip that Chrome had when it came out.

        • jm9843

          You’re nuts if you think that Chrome is bloated compared to IE. Maybe you have too many resource-hogging extensions installed?

        • Nate B.

          Did you really say Chrome was bloated?

  • yankeesusa

    What are they thinking! I would rather get an ipad mini before getting this. I will stick with my note 2.

    • Nate B.

      Good to stick with your Note II, but I hope you wouldn’t replace a phone with a tablet.

  • gpatrick15

    The market will likely not support any tablet that’s priced in line with the iPad. When I was searching for my tablet, it came down to the Nexus 7 and the iPad. The iPad eventually won out with it’s larger selection of tablet specific apps and it’s bigger screen. The only other comparatively priced tablet I considered was the Transformer Prime, but eventually decided that iOS had a more mature app selection for tablets. I don’t see how the Surface will change the general perception of the consumer. It’s a decent device, yes, but I don’t think it’ll sell as well as they hope. If anything, this should have slid in $100 lower, with the Pro version starting at maybe $600. At present, with the RT being $500 and the Pro being infinitely better, it’ll start at around $800 or more, resulting in another nonstarter.

    • Dags -

      The market will support it if it has decent apps. In a few months there’ll be more people with Windows 8 than all iPads sold to date (that’s a given) and the ability to run the same apps (at least the new Metro/Modern ones) on their desktop and tablet is something the iPad can’t offer. There are literally millions of Windows developers out there – the Windows Store will be huge. I don’t have a burning desire to get a Windows tablet (I already have a Transformer and a Windows laptop) but Windows tablets will be a success, especially the hybrid ultrabook/tablet ones.

  • shadhussain

    i actually think this’ll sell. the target demographic could well be high school/university students who don’t need super computing power but are tied to MS Office products.

    i’ve had many non-tablet/non-ipad student users gasp when first seeing my transformer prime. They exclaim how that’s the kind of device they want in class (for word processing, note taking and reading presentation slides) but then get discouraged because of the lack of MS Office. Other app alternatives aren’t good enough to sway their decisions.

    MS’ advantage here is that a lot of ppl on the fence might just jump in because they’ll *think* they’re getting a fully functioning windows touch tablet for the price of a netbook.

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      What is so good about Office? I haven’t used it in years.

      • gpatrick15

        For students, it’s typically the best option to get papers and stuff done. I use Pages on my Macbook instead of Word since it was cheap, but it’s a joke compared to what Office provides.

        • theviper21

          Agreed – I can see this selling great to students because of its portability compared to most laptops, not to mention that most laptops still come with spindle based drives which crash a lot easier than an SSD. When it comes to writing papers, the formatting capabilities of Word are so much greater than the alternatives. The price is a little high, I think they would have been better server with selling the model w/ keyboard @ 450-500, which is close to what a student would pay for a traditional entry level laptop (the fact that it comes with Office is not that big of a deal as most students can purchase it for ~$10 through their school).

          Now, where MS really has a chance to score is partnering with schools to subsidize the price of these tablets, offering them at a lower rate like they do for Office; not sure of the legality a feasibility of this, but it would be a smart way to get them onto campuses.

          Additionally, I think parents may be more inclined to compromise on getting a Surface when their kid who’s going off to school wants an iPad because of it’s Office capabilities.

      • http://www.jeffkibuule.com Jeff

        100% fully faithful document compatibility. If you don’t work in an office or go to school, you can get away with Google Docs, but in those environments, not having Microsoft Office is a clear negative and I don’t see that going away.

        You don’t need Office to write a letter or give a presentation, but if you are sending files to someone else, Google Docs or open file formats will not cut it.

        • BruceCLin

          When I was in school PDF was the norm already. Now in an office I’ve not seen an doc being sent for years. It’s always PDF, and there is no computability problem with that.

      • shadhussain

        i’m sure there are inertial preferences and familiarity that make products seem better to some than others: i’ve heard some solid arguments for MS Excel functionality and Word formatting for instance.

        better question is why would we need Office? i work at an environmental engineering consulting firm where our primary products are electronic scientific reports (documents, spreadsheets, slideshows etc.) to clients. 100% of our clients (federal, provincial, municipal) dictate that we need to use MS Office products. is MS Office the most efficient way of collaborating, sharing files? i don’t think so. i’ve tried to convince IT for half a decade now to switch over to cloud based applications. i have failed miserably. the greater working industry (barring tech companies) are run by 60 something baby boomers who are just not willing to change the system 5-10 years before they retire.

        • theviper21

          Whether we like it or not, Office is going to stay the standard for a while to come. Sharepoint is a great tool for collaborating when properly used and works seamlessly with Office.

      • Nate B.

        There are so many other options but to be completely honest, almost every student or worker use Office or even Works for papers.

    • theviper21

      The other main audience they’ll capture is businesses. While a lot of businesses have started using iPads, I think many have been reluctant because it lacks Office and a lot of people use it for entertainment. Having the full Office suite standard on the Surface makes it very viable in the business world. Other OS alternatives to the Office suite come close, but they just can’t match the power of Excel or Word; they’ve had years to make these products as good as they are now. Also, think about how well current tablets integrate with Exchange – they do a decent job, but they can’t come close to the functionality of full Outlook.

      • shadhussain

        good point on the “they’ve had years to make these products as good as they are now” comment.

        kinda like arguing against google maps.

      • thekaz

        If other companies are anything like mine, the higher up went with iPad for the “cool” factor. They mainly just use it to read their mail during meetings. Workers use it (or the iPhone) to take pictures, listen to music, and play games.

        I do agree that MS has a great chance at the business market. Especially once us IT folks can show how we can easily integrate our business app functionality into a tablet-friendly adaptation. Take what MS has built with .NET, et al and it becomes very easy to port functionality to this tablet.

  • Mix

    You can get some pretty damn amazing laptop that will put this to shame for $700..

    No thanks MS.

  • MyMilan

    I don’t understand these companies. They design mediocre products, then hype them up in glitzy over priced TV ads, and then expect people to buy them? Here’s an idea, maybe blaze new trails with state of the art products that people can actually be proud to own. That’ll never happen from Microsoft because it makes too much sense…. I would buy a laptop before I would buy this particular tablet.

  • Troy

    Wow, I was truly thinking about giving it a try once it came out, but at those prices, I’d rather just buy a new laptop.

  • http://ArtisticAbode.com BetterWithRoot

    130$ for the keyboard; and it doesn’t even include a battery. That’s the killer. Yeah i understand that it has some great tech in it…but I don’t think I can justify spending the 130$ for a freaking cover when I can get a BT keyboard for 20 bucks or so. Granted it may not be the prettiest solution, but for 100$ less, it is good enough for me.

  • iamtpb

    Bravo Microsoft !!! First Microsoft product that I actually love ….but they screwed up with the prices ….
    I’m so disappointed …

  • mug2k

    Is it a tegra 3 chip or an updated variant ?.

  • jm9843

    A couple of problems with the article:

    “Surface with Windows RT works exclusively with apps from the Windows Store, so chances are the current native apps you are using might not be compatible.”

    Not “might not be compatible.” They “definitely won’t be compatible.”

    “Also, Windows RT only supports Internet Explorer, so don’t expect to ever see the Chrome browser.”

    Not exactly true. Google could do a “metro” version of Chrome to be distributed through the Windows Store that will work on Surface. However, they can’t do a traditional desktop version on Windows RT.

  • MrCrusha829

    It’s sooo funny to see how out of touch these large companies are to think that they are going to take a large chunk of the market when they price their device way higher than other competing platforms. Then when it doesn’t sell and they are sitting on stock they are scratching their heads!!.. LMAO!

    There are Android tablets out there with better specs!

  • Vyrlokar

    I can’t wait NOT to buy it.

    1). WinRT restrictions are ridiculous. I don’t know if they’ve changed them since I last read on them, but don’t expect Chrome or Firefox to perform well, when they must play with both hands and both feet tied behind their back. No Javascript compiling, little hardware acceleration,…
    2). the “design language that used to be called Metro” doesn’t work for me. it seems like something out of Playskool. It has good ideas (and it’s ptobably the best way to multitask on a tablet. Too bad that Onskreen Cornerstone isn’t getting support from the OEMs, it was a magnificent idea, and Samsung copied it in their latest Touchwiz versions. I still hope to see CM include it some time in the future, but last thing I heard, the code wasn’ty up to par), but seriously, it is not for me. Ubuntu’s Unity makes more sense to me for a tablet than this abomination.
    3). I want to own the device, not just “rent” it. That means being able to flash alternative OSes. I root and flash CM on my Android devices, I run Linux on my desktops. I use my anti-social apps away from social networks, and only share there what I want to share. I use cloud storage, but I only put there what I want to put.

    By the way, did Microsoft still do the incredibly stupid thing of not allowing desktop pure .NET apps on the W8RT? I understand that most of the traditional Windows APIs are absent from W8RT but the .NET CLR is already a Virtual Machine. What’s the point of the Virtual Machine, with the added overhead, if you can only use under one CPU architecture, and under one Operating System (Let’s discount Mono for a moment)? Why can you target ARM CPUs with .NET, if there is no actual supported OS that will allow you to run them?

  • Joe Mamma

    I’m an Android phone and iPad user, and I’ve just never been able to quite find the right Android tablet to pull me away from the iPad. I’ve still got high hopes for Surface, but as a platform that has absolutely jack shit for market penetration, I’m surprised it’s as expensive as it is.

    Also, on a side note, how is it that 16gb of storage now equals a $100 bump in price? You can get a 16gb micro sd for 10 bucks. Seems like what they should have done, was sold a $399 32gb version and a $499 64gb version.

  • miguel

    Correction according to microsoft the surface does includes a black touch keyboard for 499, if you want a different color then u will have to purchase it which is $120 or the heavier one $130.

    • http://www.jimtravis.com jimtravis

      Just pre-ordered one at Microsoft Store, $599 with keyboard, $499 is without keyboard.

  • www.phonewbie.com

    About that 52%, windows has a ton of fans. I have only written one article on my site about Windows Phone and it had a lot of traffic. Microsoft blew it big time taking so long to get their new phones and tablets to the market. These guys get paid millions of dollars and they make the silliest decisions.

  • stenzor

    Androidandwindowsandme.com

  • ChrisLH

    Microsoft is lagging way behind in phones and hasn’t even released a tablet yet. What they need is increased adoption rates and that isn’t going to happen at these price points. Yes, there will be some who get the Surface for the compatibility with MS Office products, but we aren’t even talking about the full Windows 8 version here. This pricing would be good for the x86 version.

    Microsoft needs something to compel people to pick up a Surface tablet over an iPad or Android tablet. People are already invested in these ecosystems (or with Amazon), so the only way to really penetrate the market is through pricing. This is especially true since people still view tablets primarily as content consumption devices suitable for light productivity. I understand that MS is trying to change that by including Office and making a truly productive tablet, but you can’t change perceptions if nobody buys the product. Consumers aren’t going to pick the Surface over the competitors and enterprise buyers are going to go with the full Windows 8 version.

    Microsoft is showing a lot of innovation with their product development these days, unfortunately they are falling way short on the business side of things.

  • Ardrid

    I’m still going to check Surface out but I have to say I think Microsoft missed a major opportunity with this pricing. I just don’t think they’re leaving themselves much room for error by matching the iPad’s, and upper level Android tablets, pricing. I would’ve rather seen MS undercut the market and offer a Surface RT bundle for $350-400. I think that would’ve been enough to entice people. That said, with these prices, it’s looking more and more likely that the Nexus 7 will be my tablet of choice.

    • ChrisLH

      You won’t be the only one who makes this choice. I just see this as a pretty significant fail, especially while Microsoft is trying to convert people to the Windows 8/Metro UI. They need adoption to increase the familiarity with the UI overhaul, but most people in the market for a tablet are going to look at it and see it as overpriced.

  • drone3

    It does look very cool on the “surface” but without full Google services, I ain’t going near it. It will be interesting too see if or when Google decides to offer its services to windows 8 like it does with Apple. MS are certainly doing a fine job at marketing crafting a big buzz, can’t help but picture Shmidt breaking a sweat. Still hoping for Google to combine android and chrome os in a big way to fully disrupt Microsofts stronghold. Come on Google just sock it too them already!

  • thechad
  1. This is a failure on Microsoft’s part for the following reasons:

    1) Resolution is too low. It needs a bump up.
    2) No connectivity options. At least let me pay an extra $100 to add a SIM card.
    3) Keyboard case is now considered an “optional accessory”. That’s part of what makes this product what it is – it should be bundled in (at these prices, anyways)
    4) Price is too high. Really, a $500 entry-level option without the defining accessory and no connectivity?

    Ultimately, Microsoft just priced themselves out of a potentially massively-successful product.

    • I just read this article at TheVerge and I’ve changed my mind a little bit…

      First off, I’m willing to pay a $100 premium if the device (beyond specs) is truly built with such a superior quality that it’s better than the typical “plastic plus a screen” device. The Surface RT really may be just that (I’m not sure but this article has convinced me it’s possible). So that almost makes me okay with the price if this truly is such a premium-quality device.

      HOWEVER, this device is only going to be good if/when there is a large enough adoption rate of it (or other Win RT tablets) to get a large number of quality apps made and available by Microsoft’s app store. And while I am willing to pay a bit of a premium, the average Joe isn’t. So this device isn’t going to be the one that gains Microsoft its market share or Win RT users the apps that they want.

      Since this device won’t get that market share and another device (or many of them) must, that means it might make sense to wait for a Surface 2 if I’m going to pay a premium because a higher-quality device with no apps is really not a whole lot better than a higher-quality web browser. And this is too expensive for just that purpose.

      • The beauty of this is that we’re talking about Windows. Microsoft is encouraging developers to make Windows 8 Apps rather than the full apps we see today. Since Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 apps can be fully compatible, I have a feeling we will see increased development for this platform since the user base will be huge simply because Microsoft controls 90% of the computer market.

        • Oh, I know that there WILL be plenty of apps. But why buy a premium device now *before* those apps exist when there might be a premiumer device I can buy when those apps DO exist? That’s my remaining issue. To wait for a Surface 2 or not.

          Either way, I’m getting a Windows 8 (not Windows RT) tablet around the beginning of next year. I need a new laptop that runs full Windows for work and I might as well get a hybrid tablet to serve that purpose since there will be tablets with i7 chips in them and all sorts of normal hardware. :-)

          • For me it is an extremely hard sell to have a “premium” device but still have it using a gimped version of Windows. If it were $500-600 and it ran full on Windows 8 then I totally get that. But having it run the stripped down version of Windows RT, no thanks.

            If they are selling this for $500-700 then I imagine real Windows 8 tablets are going to push into Ultrabook territory in terms of price. For now, I will stick with the $250-400 tablets. It just makes way more sense to me to spend half the money and be able to upgrade more easily down the road. We all know that the hardware of the Surface is going to be a joke a year from now.

          • @NamelessTed:

            Think of the “watered-down Windows” versus “full Windows” as this: One is more powerful yet generalized with laptop-quality battery life while the other is a bit weaker but more focused with tablet-quality battery life. Or perhaps another way to think about it is that one is a “laptop replacement” while the other is a “computing gadget”. Even the watered-down Windows will have benefits that you can’t get out of the full-blown Windows. Personally, I suspect the RT would be good for my wife (she doesn’t need much more than a good, tabbed web browser) while the Pro version is what I’ll need (I need to run VMs on mine).

            One thing I absolutely do NOT like about the RT (and general Metro experience) is how locked-down it is. This reminds me FAR too much of an iOS environment and I REALLY don’t like that as a software developer!

        • GabeGuest 3 years ago

          Windows XP and Windows 7 ARE 90% of the computer market, not Windows 8. At least not yet… aaaand by the looks of it, not ever. Oh, and most of that 90% comes from pirated software, aaargh matey, wich i’m pretty sure won’t have access to the MS app store.
          So what we will have is a bunch of great, great developers, because the best app developement is still done for windows, with some great, great apps that work on windows 7 and, by extension on every windows 8 pro. And because of said compatibility they will be in no hurry to fork over cash just to adapt them to metro.
          On the other hand we have surface with windows 8 RT wich translates as “overpriced hardware with limited software”. Remind you of someone? How many games run on macs after all these years? But who buy these will be very few. So few that they won’t attract developers to port their windows 7 compatible apps to metro.
          And where does that leave us? With no one buying W8 RT or WP8 hardware because they are too expensive and offer too few apps compared to the competition and with no developers jumpstarting the MS app store because they already have compatible apps and simply don’t care about the handfull of people who use incompatible devices.
          Sorry but…. Microsoft will fail.

          • “most of that 90% comes from pirated software”

            You’re telling me that over 45% of the PCs in the world are running a pirated copy of Windows XP or Windows 7? Please show me that source.

        • Yes, MicroSoft owns 90% of the computer market, they own somewhere between 0-15.9% of the tablet market share which Apples holds a 64.4% death grip on. There is no way the MicroSoft will beat out Android tablets that cost 3 times less not to mention Apple which costs the same but also has a huge and strong ecosystem. Apple changed the game with the iPod Touch which birthed the iPhone which birthed the iPad. And then the whole idea was evolved further by Android. As an owner of an IPod Touch, iPad, EVO 4G and Galaxy S III, who’s actually in the market for something just like this since my laptop recently died, it’s sad to say I have nearly zero interest in this device. I say nearly because if reviews blow up and the Apps are legit and they sell 3 million then drop the price to $300 with the Type cover, I may look into it.

          • The iPhone was released before the iPod touch if I remember correctly. I passed one the iPhone 1, and remember purchasing the original touch when it was released months later.

        • There’s a slight problem with that argument. Unless something changes on Microsoft’s end, Windows RT and Windows 8 applications are incompatible with each other. Windows 8 has the potential to hit 90% of the market due to Microsoft’s current position; the same cannot be said of Windows RT. That naturally limits Windows RT Surface’s viability. It’s a different story if we’re talking about Windows 8 Surface, but then we’re also talking about much different price points.

        • This is a Windows RT product and will be compatible with Windows Phone 8, but not Windows 8. When the surface 2 comes out your argument would hold more bearing, but the pricing will be much more I’m sure.

      • tN0Guest 3 years ago

        Apps won’t be an issue. There are already some nice apps available and the Store didn’t even opened officially.

        We need to remember that the Surface RT is not competing with the Nexus 7 directly but more with ultrabook PCs.

      • You prompted me to go find that article and if it’s this one you’re talking about (http://www.theverge.com/2012/10/16/3511002/microsoft-surface-inside-look-history) then I’m even more sold into it :-D

        • Whoops. I just noticed you already had a link to the article.

        • JoshuaGuest 2 years ago

          The interesting thing I found in this article is how poorly thought out Microsoft decided on pricing with this. One of the project managers states that the keyboard cover is a crucial part of the experience. How can you rationalize selling the product without it when you have already admitted it limits the functionality. That kind of thinking is just embarassing. IF only he actually listened to what he said.

          At least you know the Asus tablet can function fine without a keyboard, but this guy gives the impression you are getting an inferior product if you don’t shell out extra cash for the keyboard.

          Not really sure how this makes you want to purchase the product even more, even if you are going to get the keyboard.

          • sebGuest 2 years ago

            Just so you can buy the colour that suits you better. Since it comes bundled with black, it would not be my first option. So I’m getting the tablet on its own and wait for some different colours to surface. See what I did there?

    • Tammy1990Guest 3 years ago

      Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    • I’ll add to that. making the device dependant on a closed market (their app store) and seeing how they treated their app store from the zune & zune hd line. theres no real reason to trust that your purchase will even be useful since they tend to just walk away from their products. and I agree having such a high entry level product with a bad track record. is the reason im staying away from this. and when are they gonna realize that having such a “limited” device seems kind of dumb to put it in at a higher price than a laptop. hell its 2/3rds the cost of there own marketed Ultrabook.

  2. Manuel MelgarGuest 3 years ago

    I’ll wait for the Pro version…

    • I agree. When I can replace my developer laptop and actually code on this tablet, then I will be excited.. especially since I can then make a good case for work to pony up the money for it :)

  3. It’s not gonna happen! Not at those prices. I was going to possibly buy one for my wife because she like the look of the Windows Mobile or Windows 8 (or whatever we’re calling it now) OS. At those prices though, HELL NO! Microsoft just killed themselves with that one.

  4. RobertGuest 3 years ago

    definitely not at these prices or that screen resolution

  5. I’m getting this for two reasons. Microsoft Office and just that Windows 8 is awesome.

    Every Microsoft Office alternative I’ve tried on Android has failed me in one way or another. Right now, I have 4 different apps to compensate for one another’s failures: Docs to Go, Kingsoft Office, Google Docs and OfficeSuite.

    Also, I tried Windows 8 yesterday at a Best Buy and was nothing short of impressed.

    • Surface RT does have a version of Office, but keep in mind this is Windows RT and not Windows 8.

    • Have you tried Onlive Desktop it has Microsoft Office.

    • I was feeling the same way because i really need an office app but RT’s restrictions are killer combined with the price. No other browser but IE!, no win 8 apps. And the pro version will be too expensive. Someone should write a good office alternative for Android. I’ll buy it.

      • This will have Windows 8 apps. Metro/Modern Windows 8 apps can be compiled for both x86/64 and ARM within Visual Studio and most developers will. The only issue is that there will be a gap for some apps that depend on external libraries that haven’t been recompiled for ARM yet.

        • It may be possible but that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen quickly enough. It feels like MS will keep RT restricted probably partly to sell the more expensive pro version devices and partly to test a restricted ecosystem like apple’s.

  6. As already stated, it’s all about price. I can’t predict how the market will react, but I will definitely not buy one. For $800, I can get a touchscreen laptop which will be infinitely more functional than WinRT. Once Intel released the Medfield and it’s successors, the raison d’etre of the WinRT platform evaporated. There is no compelling reason to get an ARM-based WinRT device. The slightly improved battery life is not reason enough to give up legacy app compatibility. If the Surface were priced at $299 (with the touch cover), I would buy it just to try it.

    I have a feeling that many used ones will be appearing on eBay/Craigslist due to buyer confusion. People will buy it thinking that they’re getting a Windows tablet. When they discover that the apps they want to run aren’t compatible, they’ll toss it away.

    • FYI, the better battery life with Win RT vs Win 8 is less about the hardware and more about the software. If you could have identical hardware running both Win RT and Win 8, you would see about twice the battery life with Win RT. Full-blown Windows won’t be able to touch it.

      • Let’s let actual battery benchmarks prove that point instead of blind bluster (since I assume you have not used a Windows RT device yet).

        • 1) Bad assumption.
          2) I’ve been a Windows software development architect for a decade. This is NOT based on a user’s observations.

          • JoshuaGuest 2 years ago

            Even if it quadruples battery life I won’t be impressed. Look at my effing Dell Duo it gets maybe 2 hours if I’m lucky…

            Once I can see Windows 8 (2020 maybe??? taking forever!!!) on my Dell Duo and see the difference in battery life, then I will make a decision on if it’s really worth it. If you are going to knock the hardware on the Duo be careful… you will be contradicting your previous statement!

  7. Just priced themselves out of competition.

  8. ari-freeGuest 3 years ago

    LOL who still uses Internet Explorer in this day and age?

    • 6.96% of our audience. Chrome is clear #1 with 47.08% of visits.

      • I’m actually starting to use IE much more. IE 10 is pretty good. Chrome and Firefox have been getting VERY bloated over the past couple years. They’re certainly NOT what they used to be. And that’s sad.

        Chrome is still my #1 but mostly because it’s comfortable and has cross-device synchronization built-in that “just works”. Otherwise, IE would have probably won me back over on new machines.

        • It’s been a while since I’ve tried Chrome, but I mainly use Firefox now for its speed and I only use IE for Sharepoint sites. IE is just too slow IMO.

          • I ditched IE for Firefox when IE was crap. Then Firefox got bloated and I switch to Chrome when it came out. It was blazing! It’s not gotten bloated as well. I think Firefox has improved since that time but it still seems too heavy. At this point, no browser has the zip that Chrome had when it came out.

        • You’re nuts if you think that Chrome is bloated compared to IE. Maybe you have too many resource-hogging extensions installed?

        • Did you really say Chrome was bloated?

  9. What are they thinking! I would rather get an ipad mini before getting this. I will stick with my note 2.

  10. The market will likely not support any tablet that’s priced in line with the iPad. When I was searching for my tablet, it came down to the Nexus 7 and the iPad. The iPad eventually won out with it’s larger selection of tablet specific apps and it’s bigger screen. The only other comparatively priced tablet I considered was the Transformer Prime, but eventually decided that iOS had a more mature app selection for tablets. I don’t see how the Surface will change the general perception of the consumer. It’s a decent device, yes, but I don’t think it’ll sell as well as they hope. If anything, this should have slid in $100 lower, with the Pro version starting at maybe $600. At present, with the RT being $500 and the Pro being infinitely better, it’ll start at around $800 or more, resulting in another nonstarter.

    • The market will support it if it has decent apps. In a few months there’ll be more people with Windows 8 than all iPads sold to date (that’s a given) and the ability to run the same apps (at least the new Metro/Modern ones) on their desktop and tablet is something the iPad can’t offer. There are literally millions of Windows developers out there – the Windows Store will be huge. I don’t have a burning desire to get a Windows tablet (I already have a Transformer and a Windows laptop) but Windows tablets will be a success, especially the hybrid ultrabook/tablet ones.

  11. i actually think this’ll sell. the target demographic could well be high school/university students who don’t need super computing power but are tied to MS Office products.

    i’ve had many non-tablet/non-ipad student users gasp when first seeing my transformer prime. They exclaim how that’s the kind of device they want in class (for word processing, note taking and reading presentation slides) but then get discouraged because of the lack of MS Office. Other app alternatives aren’t good enough to sway their decisions.

    MS’ advantage here is that a lot of ppl on the fence might just jump in because they’ll *think* they’re getting a fully functioning windows touch tablet for the price of a netbook.

    • What is so good about Office? I haven’t used it in years.

      • For students, it’s typically the best option to get papers and stuff done. I use Pages on my Macbook instead of Word since it was cheap, but it’s a joke compared to what Office provides.

        • Agreed – I can see this selling great to students because of its portability compared to most laptops, not to mention that most laptops still come with spindle based drives which crash a lot easier than an SSD. When it comes to writing papers, the formatting capabilities of Word are so much greater than the alternatives. The price is a little high, I think they would have been better server with selling the model w/ keyboard @ 450-500, which is close to what a student would pay for a traditional entry level laptop (the fact that it comes with Office is not that big of a deal as most students can purchase it for ~$10 through their school).

          Now, where MS really has a chance to score is partnering with schools to subsidize the price of these tablets, offering them at a lower rate like they do for Office; not sure of the legality a feasibility of this, but it would be a smart way to get them onto campuses.

          Additionally, I think parents may be more inclined to compromise on getting a Surface when their kid who’s going off to school wants an iPad because of it’s Office capabilities.

      • 100% fully faithful document compatibility. If you don’t work in an office or go to school, you can get away with Google Docs, but in those environments, not having Microsoft Office is a clear negative and I don’t see that going away.

        You don’t need Office to write a letter or give a presentation, but if you are sending files to someone else, Google Docs or open file formats will not cut it.

        • When I was in school PDF was the norm already. Now in an office I’ve not seen an doc being sent for years. It’s always PDF, and there is no computability problem with that.

      • i’m sure there are inertial preferences and familiarity that make products seem better to some than others: i’ve heard some solid arguments for MS Excel functionality and Word formatting for instance.

        better question is why would we need Office? i work at an environmental engineering consulting firm where our primary products are electronic scientific reports (documents, spreadsheets, slideshows etc.) to clients. 100% of our clients (federal, provincial, municipal) dictate that we need to use MS Office products. is MS Office the most efficient way of collaborating, sharing files? i don’t think so. i’ve tried to convince IT for half a decade now to switch over to cloud based applications. i have failed miserably. the greater working industry (barring tech companies) are run by 60 something baby boomers who are just not willing to change the system 5-10 years before they retire.

        • Whether we like it or not, Office is going to stay the standard for a while to come. Sharepoint is a great tool for collaborating when properly used and works seamlessly with Office.

      • There are so many other options but to be completely honest, almost every student or worker use Office or even Works for papers.

    • The other main audience they’ll capture is businesses. While a lot of businesses have started using iPads, I think many have been reluctant because it lacks Office and a lot of people use it for entertainment. Having the full Office suite standard on the Surface makes it very viable in the business world. Other OS alternatives to the Office suite come close, but they just can’t match the power of Excel or Word; they’ve had years to make these products as good as they are now. Also, think about how well current tablets integrate with Exchange – they do a decent job, but they can’t come close to the functionality of full Outlook.

      • good point on the “they’ve had years to make these products as good as they are now” comment.

        kinda like arguing against google maps.

      • If other companies are anything like mine, the higher up went with iPad for the “cool” factor. They mainly just use it to read their mail during meetings. Workers use it (or the iPhone) to take pictures, listen to music, and play games.

        I do agree that MS has a great chance at the business market. Especially once us IT folks can show how we can easily integrate our business app functionality into a tablet-friendly adaptation. Take what MS has built with .NET, et al and it becomes very easy to port functionality to this tablet.

  12. You can get some pretty damn amazing laptop that will put this to shame for $700..

    No thanks MS.

  13. I don’t understand these companies. They design mediocre products, then hype them up in glitzy over priced TV ads, and then expect people to buy them? Here’s an idea, maybe blaze new trails with state of the art products that people can actually be proud to own. That’ll never happen from Microsoft because it makes too much sense…. I would buy a laptop before I would buy this particular tablet.

  14. TroyGuest 3 years ago

    Wow, I was truly thinking about giving it a try once it came out, but at those prices, I’d rather just buy a new laptop.

  15. 130$ for the keyboard; and it doesn’t even include a battery. That’s the killer. Yeah i understand that it has some great tech in it…but I don’t think I can justify spending the 130$ for a freaking cover when I can get a BT keyboard for 20 bucks or so. Granted it may not be the prettiest solution, but for 100$ less, it is good enough for me.

  16. Bravo Microsoft !!! First Microsoft product that I actually love ….but they screwed up with the prices ….
    I’m so disappointed …

  17. Is it a tegra 3 chip or an updated variant ?.

  18. A couple of problems with the article:

    “Surface with Windows RT works exclusively with apps from the Windows Store, so chances are the current native apps you are using might not be compatible.”

    Not “might not be compatible.” They “definitely won’t be compatible.”

    “Also, Windows RT only supports Internet Explorer, so don’t expect to ever see the Chrome browser.”

    Not exactly true. Google could do a “metro” version of Chrome to be distributed through the Windows Store that will work on Surface. However, they can’t do a traditional desktop version on Windows RT.

  19. MrCrusha829Guest 3 years ago

    It’s sooo funny to see how out of touch these large companies are to think that they are going to take a large chunk of the market when they price their device way higher than other competing platforms. Then when it doesn’t sell and they are sitting on stock they are scratching their heads!!.. LMAO!

    There are Android tablets out there with better specs!

  20. I can’t wait NOT to buy it.

    1). WinRT restrictions are ridiculous. I don’t know if they’ve changed them since I last read on them, but don’t expect Chrome or Firefox to perform well, when they must play with both hands and both feet tied behind their back. No Javascript compiling, little hardware acceleration,…
    2). the “design language that used to be called Metro” doesn’t work for me. it seems like something out of Playskool. It has good ideas (and it’s ptobably the best way to multitask on a tablet. Too bad that Onskreen Cornerstone isn’t getting support from the OEMs, it was a magnificent idea, and Samsung copied it in their latest Touchwiz versions. I still hope to see CM include it some time in the future, but last thing I heard, the code wasn’ty up to par), but seriously, it is not for me. Ubuntu’s Unity makes more sense to me for a tablet than this abomination.
    3). I want to own the device, not just “rent” it. That means being able to flash alternative OSes. I root and flash CM on my Android devices, I run Linux on my desktops. I use my anti-social apps away from social networks, and only share there what I want to share. I use cloud storage, but I only put there what I want to put.

    By the way, did Microsoft still do the incredibly stupid thing of not allowing desktop pure .NET apps on the W8RT? I understand that most of the traditional Windows APIs are absent from W8RT but the .NET CLR is already a Virtual Machine. What’s the point of the Virtual Machine, with the added overhead, if you can only use under one CPU architecture, and under one Operating System (Let’s discount Mono for a moment)? Why can you target ARM CPUs with .NET, if there is no actual supported OS that will allow you to run them?

  21. Joe MammaGuest 3 years ago

    I’m an Android phone and iPad user, and I’ve just never been able to quite find the right Android tablet to pull me away from the iPad. I’ve still got high hopes for Surface, but as a platform that has absolutely jack shit for market penetration, I’m surprised it’s as expensive as it is.

    Also, on a side note, how is it that 16gb of storage now equals a $100 bump in price? You can get a 16gb micro sd for 10 bucks. Seems like what they should have done, was sold a $399 32gb version and a $499 64gb version.

  22. miguelGuest 3 years ago

    Correction according to microsoft the surface does includes a black touch keyboard for 499, if you want a different color then u will have to purchase it which is $120 or the heavier one $130.

  23. About that 52%, windows has a ton of fans. I have only written one article on my site about Windows Phone and it had a lot of traffic. Microsoft blew it big time taking so long to get their new phones and tablets to the market. These guys get paid millions of dollars and they make the silliest decisions.

  24. Androidandwindowsandme.com

  25. Microsoft is lagging way behind in phones and hasn’t even released a tablet yet. What they need is increased adoption rates and that isn’t going to happen at these price points. Yes, there will be some who get the Surface for the compatibility with MS Office products, but we aren’t even talking about the full Windows 8 version here. This pricing would be good for the x86 version.

    Microsoft needs something to compel people to pick up a Surface tablet over an iPad or Android tablet. People are already invested in these ecosystems (or with Amazon), so the only way to really penetrate the market is through pricing. This is especially true since people still view tablets primarily as content consumption devices suitable for light productivity. I understand that MS is trying to change that by including Office and making a truly productive tablet, but you can’t change perceptions if nobody buys the product. Consumers aren’t going to pick the Surface over the competitors and enterprise buyers are going to go with the full Windows 8 version.

    Microsoft is showing a lot of innovation with their product development these days, unfortunately they are falling way short on the business side of things.

  26. I’m still going to check Surface out but I have to say I think Microsoft missed a major opportunity with this pricing. I just don’t think they’re leaving themselves much room for error by matching the iPad’s, and upper level Android tablets, pricing. I would’ve rather seen MS undercut the market and offer a Surface RT bundle for $350-400. I think that would’ve been enough to entice people. That said, with these prices, it’s looking more and more likely that the Nexus 7 will be my tablet of choice.

    • You won’t be the only one who makes this choice. I just see this as a pretty significant fail, especially while Microsoft is trying to convert people to the Windows 8/Metro UI. They need adoption to increase the familiarity with the UI overhaul, but most people in the market for a tablet are going to look at it and see it as overpriced.

  27. drone3Guest 3 years ago

    It does look very cool on the “surface” but without full Google services, I ain’t going near it. It will be interesting too see if or when Google decides to offer its services to windows 8 like it does with Apple. MS are certainly doing a fine job at marketing crafting a big buzz, can’t help but picture Shmidt breaking a sweat. Still hoping for Google to combine android and chrome os in a big way to fully disrupt Microsofts stronghold. Come on Google just sock it too them already!