Microsoft Surface for Windows RT tablet coming October 26th for $199?
Microsoft reportedly doesn’t care if its $199 Surface tablet pushes partners out of the marketWe'll admit to being a little blown away when Microsoft launched the Surface -- it was an impressively polished tablet that we had heard barely a whisper of leading up to the mysterious launch event. But, there was one thing that we were still left wondering: how much would it cost? Now, with Acer getting all in a huff about competition and Microsoft conceding that some OEMs might be a little upset when this thing ships, we might just have an idea for you. According to an inside source, a session was held at Microsoft's recent TechReady15 conference in which all the launch details were laid out. If things go according to the plan detailed then, the Surface for Windows RT tablet will be launching October 26th -- no surprise there -- at a compelling price of $199.
That MSRP, almost certainly lower than Microsoft's own cost, would line it up against the Nexus 7 and even the Kindle Fire. It would put Windows 8 on the map in a big way and give a lot of people a lot of reason to try out an operating system that is going to feel rather different than previous incarnations. The question is: will it drive enough sales of media and apps for Microsoft to recoup its loss? Or, will companies like Acer put up enough of a fight in the months between now and October to keep Microsoft from undercutting its own partners? We'll find out soon, dear readers.
Microsoft (MSFT) is reportedly well aware that pricing its entry-level Windows RT tablet at $199 will push its vendor partners out of the market, but it might launch the device at that remarkably low price point anyway. Citing multiple unnamed sources from notebook vendors, Digitimes on Thursday reported that Microsoft’s hardware partners are very worried about the possibility of a $199 Surface tablet. Unless Microsoft only sells the device in the United States, partners including ASUS (2357), Lenovo (0992), Samsung (005930) and Dell (DELL) may stop developing Windows RT tablets since they will not be able to compete at that price.
According to the report, Microsoft knows very well that it is angering its partners but it doesn’t seem to care. “The sources pointed out that Microsoft is fully aware that its actions have greatly offended its notebook clients, and therefore is trying to achieve success and acquire at least 30% share in the tablet PC market,” Digitimes’s Monica Chen wrote. ”A price of US$199 is expected to allow the company to achieve its needed goal.”