Microsoft Windows Surface Tablets for $199? 3 New RT OEMs
Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) might be planning to sell its Surface for Windows RT tablet for $199, a staggeringly low price to potentially counter Google Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire tablets. Is Microsoft ready to make some Surface tablets loss leaders, figuring to make up the shortfall on application and media sales, according to a published report? Here’s the early analysis… right here…
Microsoft previously has maintained that Surface pricing would be comparable to that of OEMs. However, according to the report, Microsoft blueprinted Surface’s launch details at its recent employee TechReady 15 conference. Inasmuch as most of the Surface price guessing to this point has hovered in the $500 to $600 range—making the $199 speculation an outlier at best—could Microsoft be floating a trial balloon? And, lest we forget, at that bargain basement price, is there really a play for channel partners? Let’s look at the clues:
At the $199 price, Surface would be positioned against the Nexus 7, Google’s (NSDQ: GOOG) similarly priced tablet, and also Amazon’s (NSDQ: AMZN) Kindle Fire, as noted in the report. But is such pricing even possible, given the components costs of Surface, and, moreover, how would Microsoft cool the heat blasted its way from OEMs undercut at that price?
Still, the notion that for $199 Surface devices would fly off the shelves faster than even Microsoft could envision, delivering an immediate rocket boost to Windows 8, as the report suggests, while plausible, seems a bit of a reach.
Windows 8 ARM Tablets
“If you are following Windows RT, perhaps you have taken note of the Asus Tablet 600 (Windows RT) announcement or Microsoft’s own Surface RT news,” wrote Mike Angiulo, Microsoft vice president, planning and PC ecosystem. “Along with Asus, we are excited to share that there will be ARM-based PC designs from Dell, Lenovo, and Samsung running Windows RT.”
“Our engineering collaboration on these Windows RT PCs has been strong, collaborating with the PC manufacturers, Silicon partners, and Operators to focus on hardware, software and services integration. Each respective partner was committed to sharing early iterations of their products…Product designs were informed and revised by our collective efforts through development and testing. As a result, all of these Windows RT PCs will have consistent fast and fluid touch interactions, long battery life, connected standby, and are beautiful, thin, and light designs.”
Yes, but will any of the OEMs be able to mirror Surface’s $199 price tag if that’s where Microsoft actually prices the tablet?