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October 16th 2012 8:29 am

Surface prices shown off and appear to be starting at $499

Microsoft had pricing up this morning but has since pulled it for their upcoming and anticiapted Surface RT tablets. Pricing will be beginning at $499 for a 32GB Surface RT without a touch cover. The price jumps $100 for the 32GB with a touch cover and goes up another $100 for the 64GB with touch cover. Since the RT will only be working with Windows apps from the Windows Store that means early adopters will need to lock into not just an unproven device but also an unproven ecosystem.

There was a lot of speculation on pricing and now that we know it looks like Microsoft is aiming for the iPad market over the Android market. It’s not that competitive with the iPad on price but well above the lower cost Android tablets like the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD. It appears as if Microsoft wants to only play with Apple and doesn’t feel it needs to compete with Android.

With lofty goals of selling 3 to 5 million Surface tablets and pricing that is not really that competitive with the iPad, Microsoft looks to have a bit of an uphill battle ahead of them in the tablet consumer marketplace.

Update: Looks like the store is back up www.microsoft.com­/Surface­/en­-US

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11 replies

The price is high enough where I'd wait for reviews to come out before I decide to order one. It's also hard to say if one could accomplish the same tasks on the Surface/Windows 8 that they can do right now on a traditional laptops/Windows 7.

Edit: Also, I was hoping there would have been a higher resolution screen.
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Canadian pricing is +$20 and preorders have started


I can't justify replacing my Nexus 7 with this. Maybe if I am really impressed with the Pro (not the RT) my Macbook Pro could be replaced. But then again there are plenty of exciting windows 8 systems coming soon
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I agree. the RT at these prices just doesn't seem to be worth it for me. I am leaning towards an Pro version of the device.

I am going to take the wait and see approach on the pro for now and see what we see during the November & December holiday shopping craziness.
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First off, $120-$130 for the keyboard alone? What? Sorry Microsoft, that's bad.

I think they're crazy to ask $700 for an RT device when most full Windows 8 Pro machines will be starting at just a hundred more and up. The only price that looks even remotely acceptable to me on that list would be that $499 32GB, but that's still without a keyboard which ruins it.

Now, if they price the Pro at say $799 for 64GB and keyboard, that's acceptable to me (likewise to $899 for 128GB with keyboard) since it's at least within the range of what similar devices will be selling for. If they do something along the lines of $999 for 128GB with keyboard, that'd still be okay with me I guess, but then they're treading awfully close to Macbook Air territory there.

That's just my opinion though.
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The whole thing doesn't make sense. You can't get a 64GB without a touch cover? What if you ONLY want a type cover?

Forcing it to ship with a black cover? What happened to all the beautiful colours they had demoed. You can buy an additional Cyan or White one. (I suppose if you got the 32 without a cover and paid for the "extra cover" you are paying more for the colour)

Also while I am on a pricing rant these accessories are WAY too pricey:
$40 for the HDMI adapter, The VGA adapter, and an extra power supply. Yikes
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I don't think it's completely unreasonable to charge extra for the keyboard cover, after all, Apple sells the iPad cover separately and it's acceptable. It sounds like a lot of effort went into the cover, so maybe $120 is justified, but I can see a lot of people turn off by the price.
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I didn't say I thought charging for the keyboard cover separately was unreasonable, I just feel the price they're asking is a bit.. high. Perhaps the price IS justified, but with many iPad keyboards going for less, I feel that they should have tried to match those prices. (Most I've seen range from $70-$99).
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Hey frankspin, you might want to clarify. In one paragraph you said, "It's very competitive with the iPad...", and then in the paragraph below you said, "...is not really that competitive with the iPad".
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Thanks, I'll update it
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I understand the reasoning behind the prices, but I fear this spells failure for Microsoft. Most consumers want the iPad, that´s the standard tablet, two kinds do not buy the iPad. The first group think it is too expensive, and they buy cheaper tablets, the second group wants to avoid Apple. The latter is not big enough, the former won´t buy the Surface at that price.

Doubling the memory is not enough, people compare the basic other model with the basic standard, and now Apple has two cheaper models (2 and mini). Perhaps adding the keyboard at 499$ could have made a difference, but I doubt it.

Microsoft strategy should have been the opposite. Release the Pro, a full Windows 8 tablet at 499$ with a keyboard. Sell it hard as a replacement everything, push to have Metro apps developed (for the Surface pro and Windows Phone 8), and later, when there are enough apps, release the RT at 299$ (without keyboard). Yes, they are probably losing money on that, but, if I worked at Microsoft, I would ask: Can we afford to miss this market completely?

As it is, the best Microsoft can hope for, in my opinion, is that the Surface does better than the Kin or HP´s Touchpad. And I feel sorry for that...
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Your analysis is much too simplified. The market is not a simple model that is easy to predict as you make it seem. I don't know how well Windows 8 will do but I wouldn't close the door on them so quickly. Furthermore, there is another group of people that do not purchase iPads: those whose needs are not satisfied by the iPad and those who have a perception that it does not satisfy a need at all. I think Surface RT and Surface Pro have a much better potential of satisfying those needs.

I personally think Microsoft made a wise decision in putting dollars into marketing rather than trimming the price of their product. Moreover, if they price significantly lower than Apple then people may develop the perception that it is not in the same class as the iPad... not everyone understands computing specs. With all that being said, you may end up being correct about the success Surface, but I wouldn't write it off so quickly.
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