Earlier this week we heard rumblings that Microsoft could be preparing to launch their Surface for Windows RT tablet at just $199. That price point seemed absurdly low just two days ago but now the head of Lenovo’s North American operations has gone on the record with some information that makes the rumor seem much more plausible.
In an interview with Bloomberg, David Schmoock said devices based on Windows RT software will cost anywhere between $200 and $300 less than similar products utilizing Windows 8 software. This of course means that a $199 tablet could happen if Microsoft were to price their Windows 8 slate in line with the iPad starting at $499.
Of course, he goes on to note that Windows 8 tablets will cost $600 to $700 which, at that price, would put RT tablets starting at around $300. It’s worth pointing out that in both scenarios, he didn’t specifically mention tablets manufactured by Microsoft but instead, tablets running each version of Microsoft’s software.
Schmoock also touched on Intel’s Ultrabook initiative, noting that Intel’s success will depend on how quickly computer makers can lower the price of products.
“It’s going to require a very strong first couple of weeks of launch of Win 8,” Schmoock said. “They’ll be a lot bigger than they are now. I don’t know if it will get all the way up to 40 percent.”
Intel spokesperson Kari Aakre told the publication in a phone interview that they always set aggressive targets and they had no plans to back off of their goals, referring of course to predictions from CEO Paul Otellini that Ultrabooks could account for up to 40 percent of consumer laptops by the end of 2012.