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Handhelds Microsoft Technology

Microsoft Surface Pricing Goes Toe-to-Toe With Apple iPad 521

Posted by Soulskill
from the because-high-prices-drive-adoption dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "Microsoft has finally revealed the pricing of its upcoming Surface tablet to a small group of journalists, including Time's Harry McCracken, who wrote in an Oct. 16 posting that the device's 32GB version will retail for $499 (or $599 with the flexible keyboard cover) and the 64GB one for $699 (cover included). Preorders will apparently begin by midday Oct. 16. Microsoft unveiled Surface over the summer but kept the pricing a secret until now. That information vacuum led some to hope against hope that Microsoft would attempt something radical and price Surface extraordinarily low—$199, perhaps—in an attempt to undercut Apple's iPad. While that didn't happen, Surface at least matches its biggest rival's low- and high-end price points. The WiFi-only, 16GB version of the iPad retails for $499, while the WiFi-only, 64GB version costs $699 (iPads with a cellular connection cost a bit more)." A related article at BGR explains why the Surface is Microsoft's latest attempt to re-invent itself.
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Microsoft Surface Pricing Goes Toe-to-Toe With Apple iPad

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  • by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Tuesday October 16, 2012 @01:46PM (#41671377) Homepage Journal

    Somewhere, a kid has been begging and pleading to get an iPad for Christmas.

    Somewhere, a parent is thrilled to find that Microsoft's iPads are on sale for $100 off.

    One day, both of them will relate the story to their therapists.

    • by midifarm (666278)
      Or buy now for an instant $25 savings!
      • by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Tuesday October 16, 2012 @02:17PM (#41671909) Homepage Journal

        "...or an ill-conceived also-ran like the Zune."

        No. It is a delusional, strategic blunder.

    • by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Tuesday October 16, 2012 @01:56PM (#41671561) Homepage Journal

      Surface is the new Zune!

      "LONG LIVE ZUNE!" :-)

      Just saying this has me bursting into laughter.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by bluefoxlucid (723572)
      Google Galaxy Nexus $250 16GB.
    • by Bill Dimm (463823) on Tuesday October 16, 2012 @02:12PM (#41671839) Homepage

      That kid is Eric Cartman [southparkstudios.com] (audio is NSFW).

    • by samkass (174571) on Tuesday October 16, 2012 @03:27PM (#41672815) Homepage Journal

      Somewhere, a parent is thrilled to find that Microsoft's iPads are on sale for $100 off.

      Microsoft's tablet has the screen fidelity of an iPad 2 at the price of an iPad 2, and it only took them an extra 1.5 years to come out with it. Here's a hint to the parents: Apple still sells iPad 2s. Just buy one of those.

    • by hairyfeet (841228)

      For all those that say Elop was trying to kill Nokia for MSFT....uhhh hello? MSFT IS TRYING TO KILL MSFT so what would be the point? Its not like these things didn't already had a high chance of being giant fails before but at THAT pricing? For a Windows that won't actually run Windows programs, has less apps than iOS and Android, and from a company who has a history of abandoning customers in mobile and leaving them hung out to dry (WinMo 6.5, Zune, Kin, Sidekick, WinPhone 7) does ANYBODY think this thing

  • by cayenne8 (626475) on Tuesday October 16, 2012 @01:46PM (#41671381) Homepage Journal

    ...including Time's Harry McCracken...

    Who's his co-workers?

    Jack Mehoff?

    Chuck Roast?

    Phil Magroin?

    Seymour Butz?

  • Awesome! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday October 16, 2012 @01:46PM (#41671385) Journal

    I've always wanted to pay over $100 for the pure pleasure of typing on one of those rubbery keypads with a lot of squish and almost no travel!

    • by narcc (412956)

      After tapping on glass, it's bound to feel like a significant improvement...

    • Re:Awesome! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Sponge Bath (413667) on Tuesday October 16, 2012 @02:12PM (#41671845)
      Microsoft will get the most traction with Windows 8 on laptops and desktops with touch screen displays augmenting a normal keyboard. After using tablets for a while, I've recently felt the urge in some circumstances to reach up from the keyboard to swipe or pinch the display while using my laptop and desktop. Apple may have to play catch up, if touch displays become common outside the tablet format.
      • Re:Awesome! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by MachineShedFred (621896) on Tuesday October 16, 2012 @02:41PM (#41672241) Journal

        Do you really think that buried somewhere inside the prototype development labs at Cupertino that they haven't put a touchscreen on a MacBook at one point or another? There's a long history of Apple prototypes that get built and never shipped, because of various reasons.

  • FAIL ! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by VonSkippy (892467) on Tuesday October 16, 2012 @01:50PM (#41671449) Homepage

    When your competitor has OWNED the market for several years, you don't MATCH their price, you blow it away.

    Who would be dumb enough to pay the same price as a 3rd generation device to guinea pig a 1st gen device from a company that is known to suck at first releases?

    And then there's Google's tablet for a dainty $199/$249

    Microsoft really does suck at new things.

    • Re:FAIL ! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Spy Handler (822350) on Tuesday October 16, 2012 @02:10PM (#41671793) Homepage Journal

      Microsoft doesn't like price wars. I suspect Gates and Ballmer feel it's beneath them. Plus they're used to decades of charging monopoly prices on Windows and Office.

      I walked into a Microsoft Store the other day and looked around. Everything there was priced the same or higher than at Fry's or Target.... even though the place was mostly empty and it seemed like they badly need more traffic in the store.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      They undercut the iPad price by $100. Surface starts at 32GB for $499 (and includes Office). The equivalent iPad costs $599 (Or $689 if you want to add in an office suite and a couple of USB/SD/HDMI port adapters for a level comparison). Besides, even if the Surface isn't the cheapest windows tablet, other manufacturers like Dell can step right in and make a $399 tablet.

      It's strange, Slashdot blasts Microsoft for entering the hardware space saying they're going to screw over their partners, and then when
      • by jensen404 (717086)
        The screen on the Surface is about equivalent to the one on the $399 iPad, though. Of course, all of the specs are different, the Surface may be better in some ways
      • Or $689 if you want to add in an office suite

        ...which almost no one, anywhere, actually wants to run on a tablet. That actually made me LOL as an advertising point - "run your favorite office apps!" - as though there were a non-zero-after-rounding desire for people to run Excel on an iPad (or -alike).

    • by xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) on Tuesday October 16, 2012 @02:23PM (#41671983)

      This Christmas I was hoping to get a Nexus 7 for my son and the Surface for my wife. At around $200 each, they'd be pricey but possible gifts. Now, cross off the Surface - may check in with the Kindle Fire 2 instead.

      • Now, cross off the Surface - may check in with the Kindle Fire 2 instead.

        You must be one of those parents who always buy the wrong thing. [youtube.com]

  • by coinreturn (617535) on Tuesday October 16, 2012 @01:52PM (#41671485)
    Finally, they enter the ballgame, just as Apple is set to debut the iPad Mini. Good luck with that, Microsoft.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Tony Isaac (1301187)

      You're right, when it comes to the consumer market. But Microsoft is still firmly entrenched in business. I predict large corporations will eat up Microsoft's new tablet.

      • by localman57 (1340533) on Tuesday October 16, 2012 @01:58PM (#41671575)

        You're right, when it comes to the consumer market. But Microsoft is still firmly entrenched in business. I predict large corporations will eat up Microsoft's new tablet.

        Yeah. Microsoft is like RIM. Entrenched in business. They have nothing to worry about from Apple.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by jimmyfrank (1106681)
          I agree, unless Apple starts making a C# clone along with a super kickass IDE and all the other goodies that go along with the .NET stack.
        • by Flipao (903929) on Tuesday October 16, 2012 @02:20PM (#41671945)

          You're right, when it comes to the consumer market. But Microsoft is still firmly entrenched in business. I predict large corporations will eat up Microsoft's new tablet.

          Yeah. Microsoft is like RIM. Entrenched in business. They have nothing to worry about from Apple.

          Right now MS Office compatibility, lack of mouse support and USB host file access on an iPad are the only things stopping me from taking away the laptops from our sales force, so for now they're getting both a laptop and an iPad. They're all leaving their laptops at home and using them at the end of the day.

          Apple have every chance to kill Microsoft if they so choose, they just don't know it yet.

      • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday October 16, 2012 @01:58PM (#41671577) Journal

        They definitely will love the groundbreaking "no, you cannot bind it to a domain or control it with AD policies, not even with the purchase of some CAL or extra license" feature...

      • by timeOday (582209)
        I thought the most interesting detail in the announcement was that Office will be available on it.

        Of course this makes one wonder, will it be "real" MS Office? Or some incomplete remake, like Office for Mac... or even worse?

        I agree the focus on the enterprise is their best hope. The "surfing youtube" niche is full.

      • by JWW (79176)

        Wrong!

        And I say this as someone who a long time ago purchased a handful of Microsoft's tablets for a business.

        The people in business who are asking for a tablet are not asking for an MS tablet. There's virtually no difference between them and the kid talked about in the first post...

  • You pays your money and takes your choice. That's all
  • Hmmm. Windows 8 RT just doesn't interest me. I don't even think I'll even give these a glance until the x86 version arrives.
    • by na1led (1030470)
      Because these tablets are not x86 processors, there is ZERO chance to run any Windows Software on these things. Which means, it only runs Metro Apps, and exactly how does Microsoft's Metro Apps compete with iOS and Android? As well as HP's WebOS, and we all know how that turned out. I see another Fire-Sale around the corner.
  • I feel like this is the first product that finally removes the line. Even the best tablets before this didn't run the same OS and a laptop or desktop, and while the RT may be argued to not remove that difference, the Pro does. Not that the keyboard will be as good or the experience the same, but the product has finally arrived that removes the line. You can now install the same program file to your desktop, laptop, or tablet.
    • by rasmusbr (2186518)

      It's not the first tablet to do that. Microsoft tried the same idea back in 2004-2005 with Windows XP Tablet PC Edition. The technology was immature, the implementation sucked and the market was not ready.

      As someone noted in the comments above there may be a business-user, business-app market this time around. I'm thinking about a user who realizes he needs to make some minor last minute edits to an Excel file and then update his Power point presentation to reflect those changes. That sort of stuff.

  • by Billly Gates (198444) on Tuesday October 16, 2012 @01:54PM (#41671525) Journal

    With the Metro interface we all love so much here on slashdot and of course being forced to use this wonderful browser! [youtube.com]'

    What is there not to love?

  • Squirt (Score:5, Funny)

    by vlm (69642) on Tuesday October 16, 2012 @01:55PM (#41671535)

    How does this tablet Zune squirt? Is it available in brown?

  • by Lumpy (12016) on Tuesday October 16, 2012 @02:07PM (#41671735) Homepage

    Start your bitching about how Microsoft is gouging for the extra SSD storage. ZOMG $100 for another 32 gig, I can buy 32 gig sd cards for $19.00! What a ripoff! ZOMG!

  • by dell623 (2021586) on Tuesday October 16, 2012 @03:01PM (#41672505)

    The hardware design looks amazing, and would be very welcome when all non Apple hardware tends to be awful, with some notable exceptions like Asus.

    The rest I don't understand. $500 and no retina/high ppi display? A 16:9 ratio on a device that is supposed to be meant for productivity? 10.1" is really pushing it for productivity, the wide narrow screen would just kill it. No stylus support. $100 buys you a crap keyboard - at least Asus docks include a big battery.

    The Windows 8 tablets looks nicer but then the pricing gets ridiculous.

    • by EnsilZah (575600)

      Just wait for the Surface Pro.
      It will have a stylus, it will have 1920x1080 resolution, it will have an Ivy Bridge Core i5 CPU, well, if the reports are correct.

      I'm thinking of replacing my current Thinkpad with that when it comes it, to have something that I don't have to think twice if I feel like carrying it with me when I go out but that I can also run something like Photoshop on when I need to.

      I really wasn't expecting the RT one to be any better than any other tablet, which is to say, a toy.

  • by erp_consultant (2614861) on Tuesday October 16, 2012 @03:14PM (#41672661)

    I had high hopes for the Surface...if only to keep Apple and Google and Amazon honest. But the $499 price is a complete non-starter. First of all, if you want the cover/keyboard you have to fork over an additional $100. Seems a little steep to me. $50 is more like it. Secondly, when you buy one of the other tablets you're buying into a vast ecosystem of apps. Microsoft? They have relatively little to offer. Sure they have Office but this is supposed to be a consumer tablet, not a corporate tablet.

    Unless you are just a huge Microsoft fan to begin with I don't see any compelling reason to buy one of these. You can get an iPad with vastly more apps to choose from. You can buy an Android tablet for much the same reason, and cheaper to boot. You can buy an Amazon tablet for half the price and, if you have a Prime membership, access to tons of movies TV and books.

    I was hoping that MS would price it at $399, including keyboard/cover. That would give them a fighting chance against the other guys. Even if they have to sell it at a loss at least they can get them in peoples hands and give developers an audience to write for. As it stands now, this will be Touchpad II.

  • by bravecanadian (638315) on Tuesday October 16, 2012 @03:40PM (#41672983)

    They should lose money on every tablet they sell initially to get the damn things out there!

    This is falling into the same trap as everyone else who has matched Apple's price --- Apple has the mindshare, the apps and the cool factor. You have to undercut that at least until you are well established!

COMPASS [for the CDC-6000 series] is the sort of assembler one expects from a corporation whose president codes in octal. -- J.N. Gray

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