Rumor: Microsoft to price Surface for Windows RT tablet at $199

By on August 15, 2012, 6:30 PM

Microsoft’s Surface tablets were generally well-received by media when they were unveiled back in June despite the fact that Redmond didn’t fully disclose everything about the Windows 8 portables. One of those key sticking points is price, a topic that Microsoft has said will be addressed close to availability.

We were initially told that Surface tablets will be priced competitively with a comparable ARM tablet or Intel Ultrabook-class PC but the latest news from Engadget suggests Microsoft is preparing to significantly undercut the competition.

An unnamed “inside source” that attended Microsoft’s recent TechReady 15 conference told the publication that Microsoft is preparing to launch the ARM-based Surface for Windows RT with 32GB of storage at just $199, putting it in the same boat as Amazon’s Kindle Fire and the recently released Google Nexus 7 tablet.

One would have to imagine that Microsoft would be taking a loss on the cost of hardware at this price. Even if they broke even on the hardware costs, they’d likely sell a ton of tablets at this price which would get more people into the ecosystem. That could be part of the strategy, however, as they would hope to make up any losses through the sale of apps and other media for the tablet.

I’d personally be surprised if Microsoft went with this price. A 10-inch tablet with 32GB of storage, a cover that doubles as a keyboard and Office applications pre-loaded would make it extremely difficult for OEMs to compete.

User Comments: 10

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mevans336 mevans336 said:

They did it with the Xbox and Xbox 360 and hopefully learned a valuable lesson -- sell the hardware at a loss to get customer into your software ecosystem. Apple is a perfect demonstration than that.

After all, who is going to buy a $299 or $399 tablet that at launch, will have virtually no apps available? (Unless the RT tablet can run Windows Phone apps?)

Win7Dev said:

"A 10-inch tablet with 32GB of storage, a cover that doubles as a keyboard and Office applications pre-loaded would make it extremely difficult for OEMs to compete."

OEMs aren't supposed to compete.... That's why microsoft is selling the tablet directly to consumers and not licensing their tablet software.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Lets not forget they sold the 360 at a loss. I know that they probably can't count on the same sales as for console games, but I as you said Shawn, they probably want people into the ecosystem, and maybe are willing to trade a little red ink up front for a longer term success.

I for one am not going to complain, at $199, I'll definitely pick one up.

likedamaster said:

No. It's a 10-inch tablet, not a 7. It won't sell for that little. Microsoft is running a business, not a charity. Their selling feature would be the OS. Buy the iPad, an android tablet, or the Surface. Thank God for choice. Although, Microsoft would soon have to offer a 7'' tablet as well.

Denooon said:

Hard to believe, hard to believe..

Tanstar said:

If this price point is correct they will have trouble keeping them in stock. That's a low-end netbook price for a top-end tablet with great specs and a state-of-the-art OS. They will destroy the low-end competition and seriously hurt the top-end tablet competition as well. I was more interested in the Surface Pro, but this could get me on the Surface RT bandwagon.

Arris Arris said:

Would be an amazing price but can't see them subsidising it that heavily.

Emmc15 Emmc15 said:

i wasnt much interested in the surface but at that price i now want one, if MS do release fo $200 it will be a game changer

Neojt said:

wow @ this price im getting one for sure

Fred Beck Fred Beck said:

Once again, how many apps do you actually need at product launch and have you actually looked into the Windows App Marketplace to see what was out there.

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