Re: Surface 2 Price Point
If they dropped the cost to $299, there would be a waiting list of schools waiting to sign up-- or at least there'd better be. That would be a great deal.
But at that price, I assume Microsoft would also be losing money on every unit, in which case they'd need to compensate with a lot of app growth. I don't think that's a terrible strategy, at least relative to what they've been doing, but Microsoft seems disinclined to go that route.
Anyhow, it's a good question. $349 or $399 would have been better, obviously, but how many extra units would Microsoft ship with those lower prices? If a $349 base price would have boosted sales by 50%, then Microsoft is foolish and stubborn to have gone with $449. If the lower price would have boosted sales by only 5%, I can see why Microsoft is sticking to its guns with premium pricing.
Regarding the ideal price, I'm not where the tipping point is, and Microsoft has given no indication it wants to treat the Surface as a loss leader in order to stimulate the Windows Store. It's the problem, as I suggested in the article, with basing your entire device line around niche differentiation points.