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Microsoft Businesses Handhelds

Is Microsoft's Price Model For the Surface Justifiable? 417

colinneagle writes "A blog post contending that Microsoft's decision to match Apple's iPad pricing on its Surface tablet will hurt its chances in the market has brought out some negative comments from readers who seem to like the Surface tablet. I was kind of surprised by this, as I and other bloggers seem to agree that making the fully keyboard-equipped Surface tablet roughly $120 more expensive than the iPad kind of negates the purpose — to build steam by appealing to those in the market for a cheaper tablet. Also, I've yet to see an argument that justifies pricing the Surface competitively with the iPad, so I figured I would bring the question to Slashdot: Is Microsoft's pricing for the Surface tablet justified?"
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Is Microsoft's Price Model For the Surface Justifiable?

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  • Doesn't matter (Score:0, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 17, 2012 @05:33PM (#41686539)

    Zune II / Surface whatever. They will be discounting these things below cost within a few months.

    Generally, people don't like Microsoft products. They don't choose to use Windows, it is what is forced down their throats at the work place-- so running same at home is path of least resistance. Since Surface gains nothing from this dynamic, it will be purchased by the 10 Windows fan boys who constantly shill on /., and that is probably about it.

  • Re:Justified? (Score:4, Informative)

    by chrylis ( 262281 ) on Wednesday October 17, 2012 @05:36PM (#41686589)

    "Justified" doesn't mean "fair"; it means reasonable or adequately supported by evidence. The question is whether Microsoft's pricing the Surface the same as the iPad is a wise business move.

  • Not in my opinion. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 17, 2012 @05:37PM (#41686591)

    I find the device lacking in the screen department. It is a low res 720P screen with 16:9 AR. It's not a good device to use as a reader or to create any content due to this. If the device clearly outclassed the iPad then it might be worth it to me at 500 with the keyboard. Now it looks like a me too device only with a lower quality overall.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 17, 2012 @05:37PM (#41686603)

    Everyone keeps talking about the iPad price as if that's the holiday price. Apple have a special event on the 23rd (i.e. in six days) where they're releasing 24 new variants on the iPad []. At *this* point we'll be able to see how the iPad and Surface offerings stack up against each other

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 17, 2012 @05:38PM (#41686617)

    I understood this to be the ARM device that _cannot_ run Windows applications (only Metro apps).

  • by afidel ( 530433 ) on Wednesday October 17, 2012 @05:40PM (#41686635)

    No, Surface runs WinRT, the ARM version of Windows 8 which will only Metro apps which don't take advantage of native x86 code.

  • Re:Yes. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Tough Love ( 215404 ) on Wednesday October 17, 2012 @05:54PM (#41686817)

    I hope you realize that when you make fun of MS-Bob you make fun of Bill Gates' wife. []

  • Re:Yes. (Score:1, Informative)

    by MaWeiTao ( 908546 ) on Wednesday October 17, 2012 @06:06PM (#41686943)

    Are you seriously comparing a brand new OS to a relatively minor update? Why don't you compare the OSX upgrade to a service pack from Microsoft? The extent of the updates are comparable, but in Microsoft's case it's free. And Apple has charged a good deal more for upgrades in the past, most of which I'd also consider minimal.

    Frankly I'm surprised MS is only charging $70.

  • Umm, no (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 17, 2012 @06:16PM (#41687057)

    iPad 16GB no keyboard - $399. Surface does not have retina display.

  • Re:Yes. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Guspaz ( 556486 ) on Wednesday October 17, 2012 @06:16PM (#41687063)

    You're comparing oranges to orangutans. Since 2001, there have been three major consumer releases of Windows (XP, Vista, 7) and nine major consumer releases of OS X (10.0 through 10.8). I'm not trying to say one is better than the other because of this, only that you're doing a direct price comparison between two very different release strategies. Microsoft releases big updates (new version of Windows) for a big cost and small updates for free (service pack), while Apple releases medium updates for a medium cost..

    If you want to try to do a more direct comparison, the Win 7 -> Win 8 period for that $70 upgrade encompasses OS X 10.6 ->10.8 for a combined price of $79.

  • Re:-1 Flamebait (Score:5, Informative)

    by musikit ( 716987 ) on Wednesday October 17, 2012 @06:17PM (#41687077)

    I HAVE used it. first comment after getting it was "hey this thing is pretty fast" then as i began to develop for it i notices things. 20gig of the 64 gigs are used for the OS. umm why? the device(s) i have all lose touches, hold on to touches, or at times are generally not responsive to touches. there are 4 buttons on the top or side that seem to do things randomly. i honestly have been using it for a month still dont know what they do. every corner being a non-disable hot corner gets really annoying fast, especially for games, where do you put the buttons? in the middle of the screen where the action is? also there dev panel needs a lot of work, seriously a LOT of work. everytime i need to sign to upload to the store i have to call my manager over since i cant sign directly. he cant give me privledges for signing. wtf. also there are just some things you can NOT do without using the old windows xp/vista/7 interface which on the touch screens is really really freaking annoying, since you dont have the accuracy of a mouse and no right click.

  • Re:-1 Flamebait (Score:5, Informative)

    by rtfa-troll ( 1340807 ) on Wednesday October 17, 2012 @06:26PM (#41687183)

    You're asking Slashdot for a Apple vs Microsoft comparison on a product none of us have used? Well that's surely going to be reasonable and fact based discussion.

    Ahh. Ad hominem. Well actually.. a) We have lots of Microsoft shills on Slashdot; this has the benefit that all the Microsoft positive "talking points" and news will be posted and everyone posting here makes really sure that anti-Microsoft points are clearly justified. b) This is one of the few places where the people writing aren't soon expecting to be making half of their income from Microsoft adverts. c) there are lots of people who can read specifications and work things out.

    For example; there has lots of breathless talk about Microsoft's keyboard covers all over the media. On Slashdot it's been clearly pointed out that the keyboard being pushed has almost no travel and you will have to buy an alternative more expensive one if you want to be able to type reasonably.

    Within five minutes of this article going up, someone had posted the Microsoft story that this will be able to run "Windows" apps. This is the kind of thing which is reported without question elsewhere. Here on Slashdot you will see that actually the apps for this new tablet are a completely new ("Metro"/"Modern interface") type.

  • by Tapewolf ( 1639955 ) on Wednesday October 17, 2012 @06:51PM (#41687381)

    If Office RT supplies 1- the features 2- the stability like the others, and adds 3- perfect import/export, then most professionals on Office will gladly pay the same or a bit more than for any other tablet.

    Consumers not hooked on Office probably won't though, and probably shouldn't. Android has most everything needed for content consumption, at half the price.

    Interestingly, the version of office shipping on this thing is for home use only and must not be used in a commercial setting. (Why the F is it called 'office' if you can't use it there...?)

    Office Home & Student 2013 RT Preview and the final version are not for use in commercial, nonprofit, or revenue generating activities. Commercial license options available (sold separately).

    See also: [] - see item 2 in the small print at the bottom. It seems to require a Business or Pro version of Office, pushing the TCO way past the iPad.

  • Re:Advantage Surface (Score:3, Informative)

    by rtfa-troll ( 1340807 ) on Wednesday October 17, 2012 @07:07PM (#41687551)

    Errr... right.

    Except we should actually review what a tablet is used for. Mostly viewing things; documents; emails; films; etc. in situations where you don't have a table to put a computer on.

    iPad - 652 grams
    Surface - 676 grams
    Nexus 7 - 340 grams
    Advantage - Nexus 7 - Loser Surface

    iPad - 2592 x 1944 pixels
    Surface - 1280 x 720 pixels
    Nexus 7 - 1280x800 pixels
    Advantage iPad - Loser Surface

    iPad - 10 inches (approx - 241.2 x 185.7 x 9.4 mm)
    Surface - 10.60 inches
    Nexus 7 - 7 inches
    Advantage Nexus - Loser Surface

    iPad - 10 hours
    Surface - estimated 7.5 hours [] Nexus 7 - 10 hours web browsing
    Advantage iPad/Nexus - Loser Surface

    iPad - Lots of good apps
    Surface - no tested apps at all; a reasonable number of pretty bad WP based apps (not all "fart apps" nowadays)
    Nexus 7 - Lots and lots of apps and plenty of good ones
    Advantage iPad or Nexus depending on opinion and interests - Loser Surface In the things which matter we have a consistent loser.

  • Re:Yes. (Score:5, Informative)

    by mosb1000 ( 710161 ) <> on Wednesday October 17, 2012 @07:11PM (#41687595)

    The latest Xcode, however, won't run on my 2-year-old quad-core MacBook Pro.

    That's strange, because it works fine on my 3-year old dual core MacBook Pro (13" mid 2009 model). I have Xcode 4.5.1 running as I type this, and that's the latest version.

  • Re:Advantage Surface (Score:5, Informative)

    by DanFelixPierce ( 2663805 ) on Wednesday October 17, 2012 @07:19PM (#41687661)

    Considering that the pre-installed software on the Surface uses 12GB of space, Advantage : iPad,

  • by willy_me ( 212994 ) on Wednesday October 17, 2012 @07:30PM (#41687761)

    I've been a .NET developer for 16 years

    You sure? The initial release was on Feburary 13, 2002 - 10 years ago. Windows 95 was release 17 years ago and it could never even run .NET. The first version of Windows that could run .NET was Windows 98 - released 14 years ago. And I doubt that they had .NET ready for that initial version - doubt they even had an internal alpha version.

God help those who do not help themselves. -- Wilson Mizner