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".