Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Microsoft's Surface 32GB tablet Pricing Is Flat Out Crazy At $499

Microsoft's Surface 32GB tabletIs a Microsoft Surface tablet priced at $ 499 good enough to entice you away from the Apple iPad might want to consider? That's the question facing Microsoft today.

Microsoft today has announced the price of Windows RT Surface, the company's first branded tablet, launching October 26.

Tablet will come in three price points, Microsoft said Tuesday:

$ 499 for a 32-gigabyte version of the tablet.

• $ 599 for a 32GB version with a black Touch Cover.

• $ 699 for a 64GB version with a black Touch Cover

The Touch Cover - a thin cover that doubles as a tablet and keyboard magnetically attaches to the Surface - is one of the key marketable Microsoft points for the tablet. The company sells Touch Cover - which is in black, white, magenta, cyan and magenta - separately for $ 119.99.

Microsoft also will sell separately Cover Type - a slightly thick cover of Surface switching key that looks more like a traditional keyboard. It will sell for $ 129.99 and have in black.

The prices disclosed Tuesday is in line with what Microsoft executives hinted all along.

In the first unveiling of the Surface in June, they said the price for Surface RT is comparable to other tablets. New Apple iPad starts at $ 499 for the 16GB version.

And last month, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said in an interview with The Seattle Times that the "sweet spot" in the bulk of the PC market is between $ 300 and $ 700 to $ 800.

The RT RT Surface running Windows, the Windows 8 version designed to run on ARM-based processor. (Many tablets today, including the iPad, runs on chips built on technology developed by the Company in the arm, the British company. ARM-based chips notable for conserving battery usage.)

There is a version of Office installed which includes Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote. It does not run legacy Windows apps.

Microsoft is facing challenges not necessarily Top price point, said Michael Gartenberg, an analyst with research firm Gartner.

"We know that consumers will spend $ 499 for something they want," said Gartenberg. What Microsoft has done is to convince consumers that "this is different. And why else better.

"It is a big challenge for Microsoft in terms of not only getting the product but also the message and the right marketing," said Gartenberg. "The challenge is directly on the iPad, which is very much seen by the consumer as the choice of the base. Microsoft is to convince them they do not buy the wrong platform."

There is another big shadow hanging over Surface: Apple announced on Tuesday an event on Oct. 23. The company expects to announce iPad Mini, a smaller - and maybe cheaper - version of its market-dominating iPad tablet.

Although other tools aimed Surface - more productivity-oriented - than the smaller and less expensive 7-inch tablet like the kindle fire and the iPad Mini expectations, it is still competing with companies that make them.

That is because the bigger battle is now not only between devices. Those devices are a simple way for consumers to access the huge range of services to companies and provide a way for the company to continue selling the service to the customer.

"It is not Surface vs. iPad vs. Nexus," Gartenberg said. "The Microsoft ecosystem ecosystem vs. Google vs. Apple ecosystem."

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