Join Date: May 2009
Location: 26 kly from Sgr A*
Device: T100TA,PW2,PRS-T1,KT,FireHD 8.9,K2, PB360,BeBook One,Axim51v,TC1000
All the angst over Surface pricing is pointless.
Microsoft has already made it clear that they will price Surface competitively with other comparable products *and* that they will allow "price parity" for OEMs.
For those not familiar with corporate-speak: they will be priced with a decent profit margin baked-in, not below cost. (So if a Surface Tablet shows up at $199 it will only be if all OEMs have the ability to profitably sell $199 WinTabs.)
MS has made it clear that the reason they are doing Surface is to show everybody how Windows Tablets are *supposed* to work. How good Windows is when it's not crippled by corner-cutting components, trial-ware, generic drivers, etc.
Desktop PCs are established commodities, diversified into all sorts of niche and specialty products as required; tablets aren't. So far, OEMs have treated TabletPCs as a niche (and priced them accordingly high) instead of as a potential mainstream consumer product. That changes with Win8.
Surface, by providing a benchmark for performance, features, and price, will now force the OEM to treat the category as a mainstream product, not an after-thought. Small wonder they are squealing like pigs: they either improve on the Surface features and quality if they wish to charge more or they are forced to charge less if they deliver an inferior product.
Now, how is that bad for consumers?
No need to dream of $199 or $2000 Surface computers; neither is going to happen.
Neither version is going to be a basic, stripper model; MS is *not* going to be competing with Coby or Archos or any of the zillion android "crap-pads" in pharmacies and liquidation outlets. Neither are they going to be gold-plated status symbols for the Ferrari crowd. They *will* be priced in general iPad and ultrabook pricing range. They *said* so! They *have* to.
$399-699 for the ARM-based Tablets and $699-999 for the ultrabook-class Pro model are both likely and reasonable.
Me, I'm aiming for the x86 model so, unless one of the OEMs (Lenovo?) wows me with a cheaper WinTab, I'll likely pick up a Surface some time next spring, after they've been out a couple months and the market takes shape. I know what Microsoft is doing; I now want to see what their "partners" will do. (Besides bluster and whine.)