When Microsoft first announced it was entering the tablet market, analysts were impressed with the hardware but were concerned about pricing. How much would the Surface cost? And would Microsoft undercut its licensees, putting other Windows-based tablets at a disadvantage?
Microsoft on Tuesday started taking pre-orders for the Surface, which was originally unveiled in June. There are three models: a 32 GB version is priced at $499; a 32 GB version bundled with a black Touch Cover priced at $599; and a 64 GB version bundled with a black Touch Cover priced at $699.
"Microsoft is not dramatically undercutting its licensees," said Avi Greengart, an analyst at Current Analysis. "There was concern that Microsoft would feel the need to compete with Apple and by so doing make it impossible for anyone else to pay Microsoft's fee on the operating system and still make a profit."
Leaving Room for Other Vendors
Surface will be available for purchase beginning Oct. 26 at all Microsoft Store locations in the United States and Canada, including in all 34 new holiday stores. Surface will be available for sale online in eight markets across the world: Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom and the United States. There will also be several other options available this holiday shopping season, including a $999 Acer model.
"With the $499 price, Microsoft is definitely leaving room for the Asuses and the Toshibas and the HPs of the world to sell a product alongside the Surface and have a chance at market success without competing against a tablet sold basically at cost," Greengart told us. "Google is selling the Nexus 7 and Amazon and Barnes & Noble are selling their tablets at cost, but Microsoft is pricing this to sell at a profit in terms of both the hardware and the software ."
Microsoft is also peddling a variety of Surface accessories, including Touch Covers in five colors for $119.99. Customers can also purchase a Type Cover in black for $129.99, which adds moving keys for a more traditional typing feel. Microsoft apps also come included, such as Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 RT Preview, Windows Mail and Windows Messaging, SkyDrive, Windows Internet Explorer 10, Bing, Xbox Music, Xbox Video, and Xbox Games.
Not Priced Below the iPad
Posted: 2012-11-01 @ 10:40am PT
I have a 64GB one and it's wicked!
Posted: 2012-10-17 @ 12:12pm PT
Too Expensive, I will not buy one.
Posted: 2012-10-16 @ 1:08pm PT
This is another attempt by Microsoft to penetrate in a market space that they have no business to get in. They always been a software company and now since Ipad is killing PCs market, they think they can get a fair share.