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Microsoft reveals Surface RT pricing, starts at $499 for 32GB

By Jos · 42 replies
Oct 16, 2012
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  1. Someone at Microsoft may have pushed a button a little too early and accidentally shared some much anticipated information in the process. A pre-order page for the upcoming Surface RT tablet went live this morning, and though it has since...

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  2. Fail fail fail!

    oh well @ 300 . .I was kinda excited ...but now ... pffff ..

    the pro looks more promising tho .. still needs the be sub 600 IMO ...
  3. lawfer

    lawfer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,270   +91

    I think the price would have been perfect if the keyboard had been included.

    Even at this price it competes with the "new" iPad that's only 16Gb. But still on the expensive side for sure.
  4. treeski

    treeski TS Evangelist Posts: 985   +229

    Obviously I wish it were lower. If it were, I'd consider a purchase. I'm not at all surprised, though. Microsoft wants people to think of these as premium products and let OEMs fill the price gaps at the lower end.

    I'm still interested in the Surface Pro, though. I think I've read it won't be available until 2013, but I really hope it hits the market before xmas.
  5. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,706   +172

    Remember what happened to the Playbook when they priced it on par with the iPad?

    Apple can charge pretty much what they want for an iPad because they were the first to market and carry a "premium" label, if MS want to compete then they will have to undercut Apple. What's worse, the $500 entry price is only for the Surface RT.

    I think Asus/Google/Amazon are onto much more sensible pricing with the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire.
  6. treeski

    treeski TS Evangelist Posts: 985   +229

    Microsoft doesn't *need* Surface to be a major seller, though. That's probably what the OEMs will accomplish. They are creating a lot of buzz about the Surface, pricing it high (so it is perceived as a premium product), and letting OEMs hit the low price points. To this effect, people who really love the Surface will cash out for it, and those who think it's too expensive (but are still interested) will seek cheaper alternatives in OEM products. MS wins regardless.
  7. Razer

    Razer TS Booster Posts: 126   +14

    I'm thinking the same too :)
    treeski likes this.
  8. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,454   +1,733

    Windows 8 for desktop is missing out on applications working well on it. Windows 8 RT app base is nearly non-existent, compared to other platforms.

    Who would want it, really? Ok, it looks nice, it is fast and reliable. But it's just useless, pointless investment for anyone who touches it.
  9. treeski

    treeski TS Evangelist Posts: 985   +229

    I've been using Win8 on my desktop for several months and I haven't had any issues with my desktop programs, so I'm not sure where you're coming from on that note. The MS store selection is limited, but it is already growing pretty fast and it is getting bigger name apps right off the bat. I think there are plenty of reasons to buy in, even if not via the Surface RT.
  10. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,706   +172

    Nobody perceives any MS product as premium. To the general computer user they just make programs and OS's which are used in everyday life. They're not Louis Vuitton or Pagani, their brand doesn't carry very much value at all and for that reason they won't get away with pricing it so high.
    mojorisin23 likes this.
  11. "Who would want it, really? Ok, it looks nice, it is fast and reliable. But it's just useless, pointless investment for anyone who touches it."

    I want it, and lots of people more than you think want it..
  12. treeski

    treeski TS Evangelist Posts: 985   +229

    I won't argue that MS products aren't currently perceived as premium, but that is what they are trying to change. And of course MS products have value, lol. That was a silly comment. Aaaand of course they will get away with pricing the Surface so highly, because they don't need to sell them like hot cakes.
  13. m4a4

    m4a4 TS Evangelist Posts: 887   +437

    How is it that you can call the Surface RT that, but all other tablets (which can arguably do less) are fine?
    And then the Pro model (that has x86 architecture) will do basically everything a desktop can do... it will just cost you almost as much as an ultrabook...
  14. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,706   +172

    You can't change a brand overnight, or even over 5-10 years. Microsoft products, e.g. XP/7/Word/Excel are perceived (perhaps unfairly) as necessities, not stylish or cutting edge or innovative. Last time MS tried to take on Apple at their own game was the Zune...

    I think MS should be promoting these tablets to the corporate and educational sectors, I can definitely see potential there. But instead there's no target market and prices are way too high for companies or schools/universities to consider buying them. If the base RT costs $500 that means the Pro version (which is actually very interesting looking at the spec sheet) will cost around the same as an ultrabook or even more.
  15. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,454   +1,733

    Windows 8 RT is too inferior to Windows 8, a sub-platform that can offer much less than Windows 8 for x86. The other tables offer platforms that have a huge app base.
  16. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,454   +1,733

    So have I :) Please read again, I was talking about problems with Windows 8 RT, not your standard x86.
  17. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,169   +3,261

    The lack of USB 3.0 on anything that cost more than $500 is a decision maker for me. That is the one standard I have come to expect from any device that I will be considering to purchase in the future.
  18. treeski

    treeski TS Evangelist Posts: 985   +229

    Lol, this is my last comment on the matter, because I'm just not getting my point across. You can't create a premium brand by selling your products at a low price. So however long it takes, any products that MS wants perceived as premium, will be sold at a premium price.

    Also, Microsoft does not need the Surface to sell well!!! The whole point of the Surface is to create buzz and get people interested in the Windows 8 touch friendly form factor. The OEMs will sell tablets with Win8 RT at more competitive prices.

    And of course the Pro will cost around the same as an ultrabook... it has the same capabilities!
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  19. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,839   +1,183

    An important thing to remember. Windows 8 is the first product out of MS since their antitrust suit where the justice department hasn't been involved. As part of the antitrust settlement (for bundling IE with Windows and killing Netscape) Microsoft has had justice department auditors in all their meetings making sure they didn't produce anything that was going to sell too well.

    Now the 9 years have passed and MS is again free to design and build as they want. I'm not saying they're going to overnight become some super popular company, but we should at least hold judgement till we try out the product this time.
    treeski likes this.
  20. 9Nails

    9Nails TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,212   +174

    Hey, it's $100 cheaper than the iPad! That isn't half bad.

    If it were an Xbox 720 and $100 cheaper than the PS4 we would be happy. But the thing is the iPad's on proven ground and this is playing catch up. Will it feel like it is in the hands of a user?
  21. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,706   +172

    No I understand your point but why would Microsoft want to reinvent themselves into something they're not while alienating their main user base - the general computer user? Surely the best way of promoting Windows 8 is to price the Surface tablets at a reasonable price point, get people using them and thinking "Hey I like the way Windows 8 looks and feels, I think I'll get Windows 8 for my desktop too" or "This TouchCover keyboard is great for both functionality and productivity, I can buy MS Office and do work on it". As it stands not many people would buy a Surface RT over an iPad at the same price, and consequently MS might also risk losing users to OSX.

    Also I'd reserve judgement on the OEMs until they come out, if PC OEMs are anything to go by they might come loaded with bloatware or be of questionable quality.
  22. lawfer

    lawfer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,270   +91

    You don't know whether people would buy an iPad over Windows RT. Mainly, because, you know, it's not even out yet. But here's the thing: the words "Windows" and "Office" are more universal than "iPad" or, erm, "Pages".

    As for price, the Surface is $100 cheaper than the comparable iPad.

    As for build quality, it is superior.

    There are a lot of reasons for consumers to get the Surface RT; they main one is that it's coming directly from Microsoft, a company the regular consumer considers the Apple equivalent. More importantly however: the Apple equivalent with <I>no hardware to match, until now</I>. You see, if Google comes out with a tablet with the quality of the iPad or Surface, I'm pretty sure even then people wouldn't go for it as much as the aforementioned two. Reason is, Google is more often than not attached with "search"; sure it's a tech company, but not one where its resources' focus has been towards the regular consumer outside of simply providing ad-funded services. They make services, not so much software. (I know many of their services are intrinsically software, including Android, but I'm talking about perception here.)

    But as soon as you say "Windows" and "Office", it's over. Someone goes to the store, they're told that Microsoft has made their own tablet, with "full" Windows and Office included, you think people (who might even currently own an iPad but, say, happen to use Windows as their desktop) are really going to go for the iPad? Don't think so. It's all really about brand awareness and value proposition.
  23. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,706   +172

    I don't see how non-tech people who would get excited over Windows and Office. Don't know the exact numbers but very few people do any sort of productive work on their tablets. Unfortunately Apple's marketing seems to have got to a lot of people who shell out $500/£400 on a shiny toy just to play Angry Birds or to browse the internet or collecting dust at home. The Surface RT is competing in this category, and the pricing is not getting anyone's interest. At $500 it does have 16GB more storage and a micro SD slot but also an outdated chip and crappy resolution compared to the $500 iPad.

    Now the Surface Pro is in a different category, it has a proper i5 chip (albeit downclocked) running Windows 8 Pro and could be interesting as a laptop replacement but it all depends on price and how it compares to the ultrabooks out there. Given the 64GB Surface RT costs $700 I don't see a 64GB Surface Pro retailing for less than $850-900 and that's dangerously close to ultrabooks.
  24. lawfer

    lawfer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,270   +91

    Non-tech people? Where do you live? Where do you leave stay/work-at-home moms, college students, businessmen, etc. then?

    And very few people do any sort of productive work on their tablets because there was never a compelling option. Surface RT bringing Office bundled for free is not a coincidence, Microsoft is trying to change the perception of a tablet being a media consumption device only. That's what their whole "Work & Play" and "PC+" thing is about.

    Leaving out that fact, you also have to consider this again: it comes with Office. Like I said, it's all about brand awareness and value proposition. Everyone is aware of what Office is and what it entails; it's a productivity suite that's rather expensive because it's the best. That suite comes pre-installed for free on Windows RT tablets. A regular consumer who might have never considered using his tablet for work (or someone who currently uses an iPad for play, but a desktop PC for productivity) might change his/her mind for two reasons (not including what marketing would do): 1) The cost of the Surface becomes justifiable as Office, a $100+ suite is factored in, and 2) If Office is included, why not then turn your tablet into productivity device?

    You said it yourself. Most people only consume on their tablets and usually work on other devices. But by trying to bridge that gap, and offering it at $100 less than its direct competitor, I fail to see why would the average user not seriously consider buying it.

    Also, no one but us cares about the SoC or resolution. People, as you mentioned, only care about consuming and the experience, and they are willing to shell out a few hundred dollars for a premium product.
  25. Because the cult of Apple knows no bounds. They would pay ANY price for an apple product, ANY... Apple toilet $20000 - no problem, Apple toaster $270000. Blinded with love and almost obsessive in their devotion they will ignore ANY other product on the market. Its the rest of us that buy non apple products such as surface and RT/Windows 8. Non Apple owners are more tech savvy it seems and like to seek out a bargain or at the very least a good deal. The pro version of surface is too expensive in Ultrabook price range but give it time, the prices will fall. I have a stange feeling that RT will fall by the wayside but hey I've been wrong before(Android too strong).

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