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7/26/2012
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Will Microsoft Surface Tablet Cost $1,000?

Gadget site lists Microsoft's Windows 8 tablet at a price that might be too steep for most consumers.

Microsoft Surface Tablet: 10 Coolest Features
Microsoft Surface Tablet: 10 Coolest Features
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Bargain hunters need not apply. A foreign website has posted an ad for Microsoft's forthcoming Surface tablet that suggests the starting price for the device will be a hefty $1,000.

The gadget site Webhallen, of Sweden, shows the price for a 32GB, ARM-based Windows RT version of the tablet at 6,990 kronor. That's about $1,000, and it's just a start. A 64GB ARM-powered Surface is listed at about $1,450.

The Intel-based Windows 8 Pro version is even pricier--$1,885 and $2,175 for 64GB and 128GB versions, respectively.

Microsoft has not commented on the pricing.

The numbers conflict with an earlier report by the Taiwan-based tech site DigitTimes, which pegged the starting price of Surface at $600.

Either way, the prices would appear to put Surface at a competitive disadvantage to tablets from Microsoft's rivals. Amazon's popular Kindle Fire starts at just $199, and even Apple's new iPad can be had for $499.

[ Microsoft tablets will have to deliver on value and performance to compete with the iPad. Read Windows 8 Tablets: Will The Price Be Right? ]

NPD DisplaySearch analyst Richard Shim says Surface tablets might not be for every day consumers. "It is likely that Microsoft's ARM-based tablet will be targeted for the high-end of the market," said Shim, in a blog post.

Microsoft might have little choice but to price its first tablets at a premium. If it's too aggressive on pricing, it could undercut Windows 8 tablets from hardware makers like Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and Lenovo, on whom Redmond still depends to produce mass market and enterprise Windows PCs and laptops.

Adding to the inherent cost of Windows RT tablets is that they will all come with a touch-optimized version of Office 2013 preinstalled. That might appeal to power users, but it likely won't be much of an incentive for everyday consumers, who use tablets mostly for Web surfing and social networking.

Microsoft has not yet revealed its pricing plans for Surface. Windows 8 is set to be released on Oct. 26.

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RobMark
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RobMark,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/30/2012 | 7:06:14 PM
re: Will Microsoft Surface Tablet Cost $1,000?
For Windows RT yes, but not the full Windows 8 Pro with Intel and Windows Desktop apps.
RobMark
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RobMark,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/30/2012 | 7:04:49 PM
re: Will Microsoft Surface Tablet Cost $1,000?
Webhallen has stated that the prices shown are just a placeholder for pre-orders and that they will determine that actual prices before all is said and doen. Therefore, what is this article really about?
Mark Minter
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Mark Minter,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/29/2012 | 8:41:59 PM
re: Will Microsoft Surface Tablet Cost $1,000?
There is no point in Microsoft attempting to fight on the lower end of the tablet market. It is a losing proposition. What is more important is that there is compiler strategy that allows applications to be cross compiled and linked together to create ARM capable versions of Windows applications. Surely there will be Word, Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint, Explorer and other major products.

The real money to be made by Microsoft is going to be in the Windows 8 Pro versions of Surface. Then you can install the same PC software on the tablet. That means VPNs, any 4G wireless, and the other billions of dollars of PC apps out there in the world and have the tablet incorporated into corporate security structure. This means a corporation can maintain a single software image and give a new employee a laptop or a tablet with a compatible image. They will have familiar security settings and mechanisms that allow administrators let the tablets into the equipment inventory, yet not have to multiple versions due to a variety of incompatible tablets.

Even the ARM based tablet merely has to have some client on it to allow connectivity into a corporate network and then a virtual session that runs actual Windows, any windows, Windows Server, Windows 7, whatever, can be invoked on an actual corporate server. The Cloud, more or less. The tablet is then just a presentation device and the computing occurs on the server.

Do not even attempt to equate this tablet with Zune. Zune was fine, to me it was better than iPods and iTunes. The issue with Zune was that MP3 players, all of them, were killed by phones. Why have a separate player when the phone did the job. Since you needed the Zune app or Zune player to run Zune, then it was limited to the PC for most people and there are many free sources of music for a PC. People that use Zune, me, love it. It downloads faster, the player has excellent quality, it deletes faster, it has no special setup other than downloading the Zune program. Nightly I could easily delete all the music on my Zune, pull 500 more songs into a playlist, and quickly have them download to the player. All for $15 a month. No other device could do that. Every day I had a library of totally fresh music to shuffle through. If you coupled the Zune player with Sennheiser or Bose headphones, you had one of the best sound systems you ever heard and many Zune users agree with that statement.

No, this will be another case, more like XBOX, where there was no good alternative to the gaming console, and the software capabilities of Microsoft kicked the other competitors butt. They came late with a better piece of hardware and wrote software to maximize that hardware and Sony and Nintendo are second fiddles to Microsoft.

Surface Pro will be exactly that, Pro, and Pro means "Paid". Paid people will make Surface Pro be the Paid tablet and Microsoft will get paid, again. Surface Pro will be the mother ship of the corporate tech and management worker. They will come into a cube or office and set the Surface into a dock and then use a keyboard, monitor, and mouse, and provide electricity to the Surface. Battery life will not be a huge issue to most people. Then when they move, even to go the bathroom, they will take the Surface with them. Within 3 months of Surface Pro being released, it will become THE coveted gadget, the status symbol, and other people will whine to bosses, "Why don't I have one? I neeeed it".
AustinIT
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AustinIT,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/27/2012 | 6:25:43 PM
re: Will Microsoft Surface Tablet Cost $1,000?
@ALL, the $1K price talked up by Webhallen is a hoax and was admitted to by them.

You will only be able to purchase a Surface tablet directly from Microsoft... not thru any retailer or other outlet. Microsoft stated this fact in their announcement of the product... not that anyone was paying attention to those minor details. <rolls eyes=""></rolls>
mbowles201
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mbowles201,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/27/2012 | 1:13:10 PM
re: Will Microsoft Surface Tablet Cost $1,000?
If they price above $500 for a Windows Pro, they can go ahead and have stone cutters work on their headstone...
gmulak927
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gmulak927,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/27/2012 | 2:33:51 AM
re: Will Microsoft Surface Tablet Cost $1,000?
Of course the advantage that Microsoft has is that of connectivity with the enterprise. That is fast dissapearing, however. With a little work and self-training I have made my Android Asus eee transformer work just fine. It has been an adjustment, but it works great. Microsoft I think is pricing themselves out of the market and they are too big to recognize it.
ANON1237925156805
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ANON1237925156805,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/26/2012 | 10:10:57 PM
re: Will Microsoft Surface Tablet Cost $1,000?
I agree that a Swedish listing isn't a good benchmark but I doubt that it's 50% above US valuation. Every dollar that MS is above its competitors is a bad thing given their position. Yet if they undersell then they are competing with their OEMs.

Microsoft truly seems to believe that there are users desperate for full Office capabilities on a tablet even though that will never be a friendly way to create content for 7 hours and ultralightweights are widely available for such a need. If they are right then they can charge a premium. If not then the Surface won't rise above the surface and may even sink below it. Time will tell.
Chrisgull
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Chrisgull,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/26/2012 | 7:08:50 PM
re: Will Microsoft Surface Tablet Cost $1,000?
First of all, Swedish prices include 25% added VAT so if you want to compare to US prices then subtract 20% of the quoted price.

Second, it's not unusual for web stores to add products to catalog before the price is known, to capture preorders. Price is then set high enough to surely be above actual price.

Third, prices in Sweden are generally among the highest in Europe and thus much higher than in the US.

Fourth, currencies shift from time to time.

So all we can conclude from Webhallen is that the before-tax price in Sweden will likely be less than SEK 5592, which today corresponds to about $810. My personal guess after living and shopping in Sweden as well as US is that the US street price will be 30-50% lower than the prerelease quote from Webhallen, which would mean a range of $405 to $567.
Francoman
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Francoman,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/26/2012 | 6:51:30 PM
re: Will Microsoft Surface Tablet Cost $1,000?
Microsoft is behind the wireless curve and comming to the dance late. They can bravely talk about a $1000 tablet, but the facts simply do not support the case. A $1000 MS Tablet will flop in the market.

Let's understand what's at stake. Should Microsoft fail in wireless tablet space, android and Apple will eventually use mobile devices to launch an assult on Microsoft's Desktop position. Microsoft can not abandon the wireless space to others without facing dire consequencies.

I am not sure the folks in Redmond fully appreciate their predicament. They will need to practically Give Away the OS just to survive. They had their chance and blew it. They could have led, but did not. They had all the money and all the talent required but they lacked the leadership. So now they expect not to pay a price for their mistakes. If they think they can always catch the next train, they are mistaken. They maybe have one more chance to get it right. Redmond needs to give away a great OS or get their butts handed to them on silver platter. That is exactly what Apple and Google plan to do.

The short-term guys on Wall Street will surely cry about a big give away. I say, let 'em cry.
PWHITE000
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PWHITE000,
User Rank: Guru
7/26/2012 | 5:30:00 PM
re: Will Microsoft Surface Tablet Cost $1,000?
Sounds like the Xoom all over again. A year and a half ago the Motorola Xoom was released about the same time as the iPad 2... except at a price which was much, much too high. Fanatics saw it as a giant step forward, the buying public saw it as being way overpriced. It finally ended-up on some websites going for around $300, which was a price that many buyers were willing to embrace.

Microsoft might just have a Xoom on their hands at $1000. It means they will have their hands full trying to convince the public that their product is actually worth $1000. Justifying the price could end-up being a bigger challenge than convincing about the quality and features.

I normally am not convinced that a $40,000 car is any significant step better than a $25,000 one.
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