Microsoft Surface, the self-branded Windows 8 tablet with funky keyboard cover, is set to arrive on Oct. 26 right alongside the new operating system itself. But we still have no idea what the final retail price will be, with Microsoft deciding not to reveal such key information when it unveiled Windows Surface at a glitzy, Apple-inspired event in June.
Last month we saw speculation that Microsoft Surface RT would retail for around US$1,000, as reported by a Swedish retailer that appeared to have got the scoop. Not so, as this price turned out to have little basis in reality, instead being nothing more than an (ill-)educated guess. So, Surface won’t be $1,000… is anyone else willing to hazard another guess?
Actually, they are. Except this isn’t being reported as a guess but more as a piece of factual information as sent in to Engadget by an anonymous inside source. That source claims to have been privy to a session at Microsoft’s recent TechReady15 conference at which all the plans for the product’s launch were revealed. And the RRP of Microsoft Surface RT? $199. Only $199. A mere $199. A stinkingly low $199.
Many people are calling BS on this new price, and I can see why. $199 would put Surface RT on a par with the Nexus 7, the Kindle Fire, and (likely) the smaller-screened mini-iPad Apple are guaranteed to announce within the next few months. Such a pricing strategy would be very un-Microsoft-like. But perhaps that’s the point. After all, Microsoft needs to make a big statement about its intention for battling the aforementioned products in the tablet market.
I would love this price to turn out to be correct, but I just cannot see it happening. I suspect a price on a par with the current iPad is more likely, so $499 for Surface RT and a higher price for the full-fledged Surface Pro. I will be keeping all my fingers and toes crossed that I’m wrong though, as at $199 I’d be buying one of these.