Rick, it's clear that you are not a Microsoft fan and anything that they would have done would have been met with disdain. Fine, but any Windows user would rather have a tablet that runs windows. In my mind, this creates a much bigger problem. Most Android Apps are free. Most Apple apps are a buck or 3. Most Windows apps are $50 to $500. Thus, if the tablet runs windows apps, how do you handle pricing?
If it is a vote of no confidence to PC industry it is a very bold move...they basically start competing with their own customers, rarely it pays to do that...my personal bet is that this product will be cancelled/sold within 2 years...Kris
How is this different from Google coming out with their own tablet? I tend to agree with the point of view that says Microsoft was compelled to come out with their own hardware because HP, Dell, Acer etc, could not be trusted to field innovative products on their own. It seems to be a vote of no confidence in the entire PC industry.
Perhaps they can get $45 or more for Win 8 Pro on that version of the Surface. MS has said that version will be priced comparably to Win 8 Pro ultrabooks. It seems to be targeted at taking a piece of that ultrabook market.
But the ARM-based version running Win RT is a lower cost unit that seems to be aimed more directly at the iPad and Android tablet market. In that market, the perceived value of Win RT is likely to be much less. MS has said this version of Surface will be priced comparably to other Win RT tablets, but it really needs to be priced somewhere between Android tablets and iPad to generate real market excitement.
The Win RT version of Surface with 64 GB is arguably comparable in hardware specs to a 64GB, WiFi-only new iPad, which retails for $700. A Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 with 32GB, WiFi-only, retails for $600.
That's a reasonable argument for setting the retail price range on the Win RT version of Surface somewhere between $600-$700.
It is left as an exercise to the reader to do their own BOM cost estimates (or look them up), but how much is the OS really worth to an OEM who must now compete directly against MS at the retail level?
I feel this is a complete betrayal. If Microsoft sells their own tablets competing with other OEM's like HTC and ACER, how the OEM's will generate enough sales. This will definitely discourage them to use windows 8.