Rumor: Microsoft Surface to launch with Wi-Fi only, $599 and $999

By on June 22, 2012, 4:30 PM

Although the eventual inclusion of cellular data connectivity for Surface seems likely, Bloomberg reports that sources familiar with the matter are saying consumers will see Wi-Fi-only tablets at launch. The problem seems to be due to a lack of specification standards, according to those same industry insiders.

Will this hurt Surface? Some tech enthusiasts don't think so. But, you have to admit a lack of any features look pretty bad for such a potentially expensive tablet. Which brings me to the next point: industry sources are also claiming that Microsoft's Surface will debut at two distinct price points: $599 and $999. 

The least expensive model, the $599 "Surface for Windows RT", is expected to feature a Tegra 3 and Windows RT. Windows RT is a stripped-down, ARM-based version of Windows 8 aimed at tablets. A higher-performance, Intel-based version is expected to run about $799. 

At $999, "Surface for Windows 8 Pro" will stuff an Ivy Bridge processor into a package that is slightly thicker than it's cheaper brethren, but aims to offer users a full-fledged PC experience.

However, with these prices, Surface might be a tough sell against well-proven tablets, devices and manufacturers which are already entrenched in the mainstream market. The Retina screen-sporting iPad 3 sells for less than $500, not to mention a myriad of great Android tablets under $400.

Also, at a thousand bucks, the Windows 8 Pro model falls into Macbook Air territory -- another potentially tough (but not impossible) sell for Microsoft. This high-end model seems geared to compete against Ultrabooks, but many of those are already substantially cheaper with prices hovering around $699-$799.

Wondering when Surface will launch? So is everyone else. At the event where Microsoft debuted the tablet, the company stated that the Windows 8 Pro model would ship about three months after the Windows RT version. 

Sure, Surface is on the pricey side, but Microsoft has managed to create an extraordinary amount of positive buzz surrounding the tablet. The company may have something special on its hands, but ultimately, we'll just have to wait and see. 




User Comments: 14

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madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I'm fine with not having an aircard of some kind, but $1000 is a bit much. I will however eagerly wait and see.

Guest said:

It's a fake:

[link]

Guest said:

Well the WiFi only doesn't really matter to me as a Verizon customer since I'm going to be shoehorned into that "share everything" plan sooner or later which includes mobile hotspot service anyway.

inventix1136 said:

$599 for a VERY restricted, ARM based, WiFi only tablet, when for $499 you can get the newest 16GB iPad, or for $450 you can get the Acer A700 quad core, 1080p 32GB Android 4 tablet.

CLUNK -- that is the sound of the lead balloon of excitement hitting the floor... $100 more than a higher resolution Apple product with a mature app store.

Guest said:

@inventix1136

VERY restricted

You obviously don't understand the point of putting a desktop OS on a tablet. Arm based or not, the point of Windows 8 RT is to have a lot of cross over fuctionality. Far more than what an iPad or Android tablet would have in common with their respective OS.

Butch said:

I would really like to know if I buy a high-end Surface to double as a laptop for example, is it treated like another PC? For example, do I need to but two copies of MS Office? One for my laptop and one for the surface? If I need to rebuy all my Microsoft software for this then it will be too expensive and I will have to stick to my iPad.

Guest said:

The iPad is only limited by people who dont know how to get an app for what they want to do. Crossover ability to the desktop is only needed if you use the very few programs that don't have the app, or is just not suited to a tablet specs and hardware requirements.

Back to the story: no 3G/4G = no sale to some sales professionals, like me for example.

Guest said:

These tablets are in no way designed to compete with the ipad. Why would anyone even think as such? These are designed for business users. Yes, there are some business users who can get by with an ipad, but in real life Microsoft dominates in the business world and this is where they want to stay. That is where these devices will be used. These are not for little Timmy and Molly to read bedtime stories on. I could use one of these for my job as the clients I require are going to function on Win8. I can't use an ipad because there are no clients available. These tablets are for business and home users that want a "full" PC experience in a tablet form factor. Android and Ipads do not offer that.

Guest said:

the "full pc" experience is overrated...is needed only by how many? This so called "full pc" experience should be compared to most people owning a truck. They THINK they need a truck, and it makes them feel like a complete man. But in the end, they only use it like a car.

Guest said:

The Surface RT, being ARM based, will never provide a "desktop like" experience, even though it runs an desktop OS. since no program can run on it, you are still restricted to the same appstore/market for your apps as you have been with Windows Phone 7.

Only... I fear not even that, because since it's a different OS, the apps might not even run. So you are left with no apps in your ecosystem, and no market share to encourage app-developers to make them.

But maybe the WP7 apps will run on it, then it might be something (namely an iPad competitor).

As the Surface Pro. Since it has an intel processor and windows OS, I suspect desktop programs just run on it.

Only they assume a dual buttoned mouse and a keyboard setup. Which you don't have (keyboard only by sacrificing half the screen, which desktop programs aren't used to either) if you use it as a tablet.

You have a keyboard and trackpad with the extension cover. Which makes the device a nice, small ultrabook. So it's competing with them. But this one has a Wacom digitizer, so there is a win :)

Guest said:

Bad truck analogy, but anyway. I used to work for a consulting firm and I currently work for a fairly large corporation that has me at business partner sites from time to time. I have been in lots of works places and none of those work places are using anything other than a "full" PC. None of the worker bees use tablets. The only people that use tablets in the corporate world are the C-Level executives. And even then it is only because they can, not because it makes them more productive.

Staff
Rick Rick, TechSpot Staff, said:

It's a fake:

[link]

Well, we all know how rumors are, but The Digital's Reader's explanation hinges on the fact that the image has been faked.

"Do you see the screen shot above? That?s what TNW is bandying about as proof, and as you can see it does show the prices as $599 and $999."

"... And that?s why I think this particular screenshot is a fake. Someone altered that screenshot ? I don?t know who or when, but it?s been altered."

To be fair, The Tech Report said this information came from *sources*, not from the "screenshot" they provided. No where in the article do they "bandy it about as proof". In fact, they never even claim it is a screenshot.

Thus, proving the Tech Report's illustration is a "fake" does not invalidate their claim -- of course it is a fake. It's merely an illustration. It's not proof and it wasn't shown as such.

Now, whether the prices or right or not... who knows. But TDR's half-baked theory is no more accurate than The Tech Report's rumor itself.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

The iPad is only limited by people who dont know how to get an app for what they want to do. Crossover ability to the desktop is only needed if you use the very few programs that don't have the app, or is just not suited to a tablet specs and hardware requirements.

Back to the story: no 3G/4G = no sale to some sales professionals, like me for example.

I can probably bet good money you'd never buy it in the first place.

Why don't you go to a Mac forum and engage in yet another circlejerk about how great Apple is.

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

The iPad is only limited by people who dont know how to get an app for what they want to do. Crossover ability to the desktop is only needed if you use the very few programs that don't have the app, or is just not suited to a tablet specs and hardware requirements.

Back to the story: no 3G/4G = no sale to some sales professionals, like me for example.

I can probably bet good money you'd never buy it in the first place.

Why don't you go to a Mac forum and engage in yet another circlejerk about how great Apple is.

Shh Gwailo, he is a sales professional, that is some serious business right there!

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