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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