How much should Microsoft really charge for a Surface Pro 2 tablet?

DockingStationforSurfaceProSept2013_Web

I have had a chance to take both the Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2 for test spins and I came away with a sense of respect for the job Microsoft did.

Considering that Microsoft wasn’t (at the time) a declared Products and Services company, the Surface Pro was a pretty decent effort. It was sleek, different, powerful and injected several new ideas into the mobile marketplace.

A Media Consumption Device

The Surface line of tablets were supposed to go right at Apple’s throat with the line that the fantasy love – “the iPad is just a media consumption device”. Unfortunately Microsoft screwed that whole line of attack up.

It was a real cluster$%$#.

  • First they flubbed supply and demand and couldn’t get them out to the stores on time. LINK
  • Then they had dumb ads showing people breakdancing and articulating zero corporate value. LINK
  • Then they had no docking stations and accessories ready for the first generation of tablets. LINK
  • Then they never explained what the heck Windows RT was and why people should buy the Surface. LINK
  • And to cap it all off, they had to take a write off for tons of tablets they never sold. LINK

On and on it went. I get migraines thinking about how bad that whole thing was bungled.

So then they had a much better rollout of the second gen units and things went better.

Stores like Best Buy have Microsoft sections in the retail outlets and the staff are FINALLY trying to sell these units. The tablets pretty much look the same but are fast as heck so performance improved over the first generation.

And finally, Microsoft finally got their marketing together and have started showing better and more targeted commercials. FINALLY.

What’s the value proposition of a Surface Pro 2?

So now that things are starting to stabilize, let’s talk about the value proposition.

According to Netmarketshare mobile OS stats for December of 2013, Apple and Android are fighting for close to 90% of the mobile market.

This is the market that Microsoft needs to penetrate and FAST.

In order for that to happen, we need to ask the question – what can a Surface Pro 2 do that an iPad or Android tablet cannot do or do as well?

Some parts of this are subjective but lets see how this goes…

The Surface is a true hybrid computer/tablet.

No BS, it actually does both and does them pretty well (irrespective of how I feel about Windows 8/Windows 8.1).

prod_WirelessAdapter_Web

It can run full processor taxing software apps like Adobe Photoshop really well and it’s a true multi-user computer (separate accounts and separate desktop worlds for each user). The iPad and Android tablets haven’t caught up in that respect.

Unfortunately, after you hit all the corporate/executive differences, the value prop starts to run out of steam. It is newer, has less apps for it, is more expensive, less developer interest at this point, runs Windows 8.x etc, it’s heavier etc..

It’s a mixed bag.. you can see some of the differences in my review of the Surface Pro 2 here.

What would you pay for a Microsoft Surface Pro 2?

I continue to maintain that Microsoft are in a little bit of a pickle here with the Pro line of Surface devices. I’ll never forget something that Paul Thurrot wrote last year.

In a piece titled “PC Makers Aren’t Learning From History”

He said:

Seven to eight years ago, in a last-ditch effort to jumpstart the dying Linux initiative on the PC desktop, PC makers began pushing a new kind of low-cost, low-capability PC that eventually became called netbooks. At first, netbooks shipped with Linux, and the timing was tough for Microsoft because at the time the company was pushing Windows Vista, which was ideally unsuited for these devices. Briefly, amazingly, Linux experienced a small leap in market share. But Microsoft responded by allowing these devices to ship with Windows XP instead of Vista. And then the company released Windows 7, with its smaller resource footprint, sealing the fate of Linux on the desktop for good.

So although Microsoft “won” the battle, it also managed to destroy the market for PCs in the process. Netbooks accelerated the downward spiral of PC prices, and although you can’t really find too many actual netbooks these days, their spiritual successors are all over the place in the form of bigger but still ultra-cheap PCs that cost as little as $299.[emphasis mine – Onuora] In fact, the average price of a portable PC sold at retail in Q4 2012 was just $420. That’s not a sustainable business.

Basically, because you can buy any size and configuration of PC today from stores, catalogues and websites, there are always cheaper alternatives to the Surface.

Heck even on this website, people are arguing that the Asus Transformer Book T100 kicks the Surface’s ass at $349.

ASUS Transformer Book T100

ASUS Transformer Book T100

$349.

The question is how can Microsoft create a profitable line of business selling Surface Pro 2’s at $1000 to $2000?

The answer is, long term, they can’t. Something just has to give.

Consumers have too many options from other vendors and businesses never end up paying that price anyway.


On the business side, since the Surface Pro 2 will run the EXACT same Enterprise version of Windows that a Transformer Book T100 would , it’s hard to justify making corporate clients pay more.

Consider this, if a consumer can buy a Transformer Book T100 for $349, imagine what a company that wanted to buy 10,000 units would get it for? I’m guessing between $90 and $150 depending on how much pressure ASUS was feeling.

So, how much should Microsoft charge for a Surface Pro 2?

Take the loss.

I have said this before (and got slaughtered) but will say it again – until that Netmarketshare graphic above shows a three way tie, Microsoft would be smart to set a ceiling at $599.

The entire line of Surface tablets should be a loss leader. Flood the market to get people into the ecosystem.

At $599, I would buy a Surface Pro 2 in a heartbeat. No question.

I think it would move marketshare at that price and below even though yes, Microsoft would lose money. LOSE LOTS OF MONEY.

I say it’s better to lose money to get into a marketplace that write off 900 + million dollars in inventory.

At the point when Surface tablets were showing a respectable amount of marketshare, they could work on a Surface platinum line or completely rebrand and come out with a new “premium” line of tablets at over $1000.

Paul Thurrott was right. PC vendors are continually in a race to the bottom price wise. It’s just the nature of the beast.

It’s not right and it’s not fair but for now though, I say a loaded Surface Pro 2 is worth $599.

Not a dollar more.

Enough from me, what do you all think?

How much should Microsoft charge for a Surface Pro 2?

Facebook Comments

Comments

  • Billy Roesener

    I have a Surface Pro2. I say it’s worth around $1,000. I’ve got an i5, 8gb ram, and 256gb hd. sure a laptop of similar specs is probably $500(ish) bucks and will come with a bigger non SSD hd. Add SSD you probably bump up a hundred. Add the Wacom digitizer and you bump up another couple hundred. Make it a tablet and you’ll bump up a couple hundred. Now you are real close to $1,000. I personally believe this device is well worth the money. I have a dock and hook it up to a monitor and keyboard/mouse at my desk. It’s the best of three worlds good desktop (in dock), Great laptop (with touch/type cover), and a great as a tablet (con – it’s a little heavy). Also hook up a wireless xbox360 controller and it’s a great portable steambox.

    • http://www.learnabouttheweb.com/ Onuora Amobi

      Thanks for the feedback. Sounds like a cool setup. What can you do with it that you cant do with the Transformer Book T100?

      • Billy Roesener

        The T100 looks to have an Atom processor. So the Surface Pro having an i5 I can do my IT tasks quicker, I and do video/audio editing for the presentations I have to make. Also I can game on it because of it having an i5 haswell. I think the Atom procs are good but for work in my opinion you need to have an i3 or i5.

        • http://www.learnabouttheweb.com/ Onuora Amobi

          All true but for $1000 more?

          • WillyThePooh

            Just like where a Corvette could take you to while a Chevy can’t. Their price are more than $1000 difference. Sometimes, money is not everything.

          • Billy Roesener

            Yes, have you used a computer with an Atom cpu to do video editing? It would take a day to something that the i5 can do in five minutes. look at cameras for example. I have an Canon Rebel T1i it’s gets the job done but I’m an amatuer photographer. I would upgrade to a Canon Rebel 5d Mark III get a full frame picture more mega pixels and better lens available. My camera costed me around $700 when I bought it as a kit with a lens. A 5d Mark III is $3,399.00 Just the body. Is the 5d Mark III worth the $2700 difference to me no, that’s why I don’t own one. To a professional yes because it gives them all of the capabilities they need. Maybe you only need the T100, I needed an i5 with 8gb ram so I bought the Surface Pro and it was priced right for me.

          • Darlington Jones

            Which is the point of the article. In order for the pro 2 to increase market penetration, it has to appeal to the masses. At $1700 for your setup, it is only going to work for people like you. Sell the same setup for $999 and you have caught everyone’s attention and removed the pain of spending that inhibited me and my cousin who loved the form factor but when I told her it costed $1700 including the type cover, she started looking at laptops again

  • Yanislav Iliev

    I think this device is way superior than anything that is currently offered on the market simply because it is using desktop OS dressed as a tablet and it doesn’t run iCrap or Droid. I’d love to use iPad with osX. Support for flash is HUGE win as everyone is watching streaming videos.

    • http://www.learnabouttheweb.com/ Onuora Amobi

      OK, support for Flash is good as well.

  • Charles V Brown Jr

    I think consumers, reviewers and even Microsoft are forgetting that the Surface Line is not and should not be a mass consumption item offered at a low price … It is a high-end, high priced proof of concept item that sets the gold standard that OEMs can use to model their lower cost mass consumption products.

    Charles.

    • http://www.learnabouttheweb.com/ Onuora Amobi

      Well said!

  • George McCarrolle

    I have the original Surface Pro tablet, and I love it for the most part. The battery life is my biggest and only complaint so far. With the price of tablets being incredible low I think the price point is a bit inflated. For me the ideal price point would be around $800.00 with SSD and tad bit more for more memory. I personally think the keyboard is way over priced versus other similar type items you can purchase. Logitech has an IPad Keyboards priced very competitively, Microsoft should do the same.

    • http://www.learnabouttheweb.com/ Onuora Amobi

      Thanks for the feedback George.

  • John

    I think the 128GB and 256GB surface pros should stay the same, the 512GB should cost $100 less, there should be no 64GB model, and they should all come with a type cover 2.

    • http://www.learnabouttheweb.com/ Onuora Amobi

      Interesting.

      So you think the pricing is pretty much on point…

  • 1stkorean

    Friday 2:00AM KST -3º Good article Onuora! I always like reading what you have to say on a lot of things. With the premium build quality of the Surface Tablet and the high end specs it deserves to be priced higher than the iToys and Android devices. However Microsoft ate well over a billion USD on the original Surface along with the write down and eventually the markdowns, they can afford to take a loss of both 2 gen. devices to saturate the global market with Surface products. Then after Global Domination or perhaps Saturation is a better term then for the 3rd generation make the platinum model and price it accordingly.

    • http://www.learnabouttheweb.com/ Onuora Amobi

      Thanks dude!

      I think that taking a loss might be necessary for Microsoft to REALLy get into this market properly.

      :-)

  • Robert W. Burnham

    If the 512 gb version was near $1000, even as high as $1200, I would buy one. I could use that to replace my low-end desktop, which is about $500 worth of hardware, and my 64 gb Surface RT. At that price range, I would not mind paying the extra $200 for the dock so I could turn the Pro into a desktop workstation replacement.

    I love the idea of using a Surface Pro as a workstation at home in the evenings, then undocking it in the morning, snapping on a type cover keyboard and taking it with me on the go during the day. I don’t mind paying a few hundred dollars over my current setup’s value to get the convenience of having all of my files and software on one system. I don’t even mind that it’s a little bulky in tablet mode. Just drop the price and I’m all in.

    Better yet, if they put out an Atom-powered version, they could probably fit that into a case that is as thin as the Surface RT and they could ditch Windows RT. It’s not a bad OS. I like my Surface RT. It’s just redundant (thanks to Atom CPUs) and yet another OS to confuse the average consumer.

    • http://www.learnabouttheweb.com/ Onuora Amobi

      Nice!

      Seems you guys would be willing to pay a little more… rock on…

  • ac492

    It dosn’t really matter what “value” someone can place on an item by calculating how much the price of the components added together comes to. The price paid has to add up to a sensible sum based on an individuals income and how much they desire what’s on offer.

    If there’s an established item priced much lower than a new entry to the market, then the new entry has to be MUCH more desireable – or maybe called Apple where the fanclub will buy it anyway!

    Personally, I reckon six hundred pounds, maybe eight hundred US dollars is pushing the envelope for Microsoft. And even that’s too much for me… I’ll buy something cheaper.

    • http://www.learnabouttheweb.com/ Onuora Amobi

      I hear that a lot. Thanks for the response..

  • stephen bates

    well I would say open the competition up and set it at $200 at the start to get the market opened up and let the surface pro 2 show the world what its made of. not just a new toy on the block but something that’s been tried and tested for the market its aimed at. I certainly wouldn’t disagree that android is a great system for phones but on the step up its wobbly same with most of the rest. and a windows system running on a cheap system is rubbish I know I’ve tried them out. so they need to start with a knockout price to smash their way into the market and like their operating putting up once it been captured.

    • http://www.learnabouttheweb.com/ Onuora Amobi

      I agree Stephen.

      Sounds like a sound strategy to me.

      :-)

  • Rumin8

    Who would invest in a powerful machine with only a 10-inch screen? It is just too small to do productive work. It is fine for a consumption device, but one does not expect such a device to be heavy, have a powerful CPU, produce a lot of heat, have a short battery life, and a high price.

    I am in the market for a powerful laptop right now, so I am looking around, and quite frankly I had not even considered a Surface Pro. I definitely want a touch screen, and I definitely want to avoid the delays caused by a weak CPU that are a big drag to productivity, but I would not settle for anything less than the regular 15.6 inch display, or maybe 14 inches at a pinch (for slightly better mobility).

    I can’t see Microsoft getting into the large-laptop market, competing with their partners such as Dell. It would be highly destructive. They should aim at effective consumption devices at low cost, for which I think many would pay a modest premium to have Windows instead of Android, on the assumption that people will use them as an adjunct to their main productivity device, given that apps and data can be synched. But that of course goes against the argument that the Surface saves you having two separate devices.

    I looked at some 7 and 8 inch Android devices from Samsung. They are well-made, and very tempting, except that I really don’t like Android or anything to do with it. But if one of them ran Windows, now that would be interesting. Even if it were running RT (to compete on price) now that the Windows Store is growing up.

    I actually went home and ran a remote desktop session on a 7-inch Android device, so that I could try out running Windows 8.1 on it. I really liked it. It is such a pity that Microsoft assumed that 10-inch devices were where the action would be. To me, 7 and 8 inch devices have an advantage in portability (smaller, lighter, easier to hold, better power usage, material requirements, and cost).

    There is a dividing line between phones and tablets around 6.5 inches. Below is a phone, above is a tablet. There is also a dividing line around 12 inches. Below is a tablet, above is a laptop. Ergonomically such boundaries make sense, and the devices in each of the categories have specific uses, although with some overlap.

    Imagine an office in which, alongside one’s 24-inch screen (with the computer so small that it is irrelevant where it is, eg in the back of the display), one has a 7.5-inch tablet alongside, for carrying to meetings, answering video and voice calls, etc. No sharing of CPUs, no need for docking (other than for power). No risk of loss of functionality due to theft or hardware failure because the machines are separate, not some cumbersome ball-and-chain of a docked brick or slab thingy. And not expensive because tablet prices are dropping. That to me is a more likely solution than the Surface Pro. And the synergy of having the same OS family on both machines is a winner. SkyDrive. Mail/Calendar/People. Skype. Apps. Everything reliably synched.

    • http://www.learnabouttheweb.com/ Onuora Amobi

      Very well said.

      Thanks for the comment….

    • WillyThePooh

      Sure, if you are looking for a PC that sits on a desk with 24″ screen, surface Pro2 is not designed for you and you should not consider it. But if you need to carry a powerful laptop around on the street, Surface Pro2 could be one of your choice and definitely, I don’t think you would consider carrying a 24″ screen running on the street, to a classroom or to a client office.

  • Todd

    The question is why people pay $600 or more for an iPad, with limited functionality! I had one and wasn’t worth it, couldn’t do much with it. I gave it to my 15 years old son, he wasn’t using it as much either; sold it after few months. We bought a Windows 8 tablet… wow, what a great investment. The Surface Pro is an extremely powerful device. As people see ours, they end up buying one. We are getting another one, to stop fighting over it between my wife, my son and myself. It would definitely be an easier purchase if the prices were couple hundred dollars lower.

    • http://www.learnabouttheweb.com/ Onuora Amobi

      How much did you pay for your Pro?

  • ronclone

    Completely agree with you… I aware that the hardware it’s probably worth the current price, but they need to gain marketshare asap.the pro tablet should cost the same or even less than an ipad of the same hdd. And the rt should be canned or extremely cheap. It’s something like windows phone, if it weren’t for the nokia 520, wp would be in even worst shape. Seems to me microsoft does not realize how irrelevant they’ve become, I’ve always like them (xbox,wp,win,zune hd). But im starting to think they’re steadily less likeable: high prices, slow to act, they’re still arrogant whenever they feel they can (see xbox one). I bought a transformer book and im pretty happy with it. Hoping for a free uprade to 8.2 and 9 but i cant count on that, and even when i realize windows is a full os microsoft is selling it as a mobile/tablet one.

    • http://www.learnabouttheweb.com/ Onuora Amobi

      Thanks for the comment.

      A lot of people feel the way you do…

  • Bart

    With a quick comparison on a couple competitors the Surface Pro 2 is a bit too high. Same basic specs i5, 256 GB SSD and 8 GB RAM.
    Surface Pro 2 $1299 + $130 for type keyboard cover total $1429 10.6 screen
    Dell EPS $1399 i7 instead of i5 12.5 screen
    Sony Vaio Fit Flip PC $1199 with 128 GB SSD or customized for 256 GB SSD $1429 13.3 screen i7 available $1599
    So the Surface with the smaller screen is priced too high. Based on looking at all 3 in a Best Buy I prefer the Sony and it felt the lightest even lighter than the surface by feel.

    • http://www.learnabouttheweb.com/ Onuora Amobi

      I’ve been impressed with the Sonys as well.

      They seem to have a deft touch with PC’s etc…

  • garak0410

    I was a “day one” person with the original Surface RT. Before that, I was heavily into Android phones and tablets and even before that, big into Windows MOBILE. I am very heavily invested in the Microsoft World (Windows, ZunePass, Windows Media Center) that I couldn’t wait for the day of a decent Microsoft ecosystem. Now, over a year later, I type this on my Surface Pro 2 (256GB). Though I am glad to have one ecosystem (Windows Phone too), I have to say the Surfaces need a significant price drop to get it into more hands. In addition, all of Microsoft’s ecosystem apps seem to be perpetually BETA. XBOX Music is a far cry from the excellent Zune experience and even with changes, it is still a mess. Though improved in a lot of areas, Windows 8.1 seems quite buggy in my experience (both personally and at work.) A price drop and better QC is in store…

    • http://www.learnabouttheweb.com/ Onuora Amobi

      Ecosystem apps perpetually in Beta.

      Haven’t heard that before. Great feedback thanks!

      • Arnold

        Haven’t heard it because its not true. Xbox music is beautifully refined, the bing apps, news, finance, sports are GREAT. The cooking app is incredible and with out a mother effing doubt the mail app beats ANYTHING out there. WTF man, WTF are you people blind????? and simply do not know how to use an app???? OMG this is getting borderline retarded already.

        • Arnold

          All that being said the surface pro 2 is at a dumb price point, when you look a the specks, for a $1000 – $1200 you can build an i7 with a 512ssd. $600 is a good starting point for an i3 and a 128ssd, slightly lower end graphics, all the other hardware they build themselves so yeah I agree, take a little loss and get these in as most hands as necessary, I have always said that. And yes, the type cover or touch cover always 100% free. Same thing with RT, 64gig at $350 with keyboard. And there should be a 128 model as well from $400 – $450.

        • garak0410

          Well, give me the benefit of the doubt because I am all in for this ecosystem. First up, XBOX Music is anything but perfect. For starters, it crashes a lot on my Windows Phone 8, especially when switching between albums in my cloud collection. I’ll back out to go to a new album and bam, I am back to the start screen. I’ve tried the new XBOX Music phone app but it’s shuffle feature is not very good. Tends to get stuck on 2-3 artists and doesn’t want to leave. XBOX Music really pushes the could collection but I can’t add music from my personal collection to the cloud if they don’t have a matching entry. Next, XBOX Music limits you to 1000 songs in a playlist, forcing me to maintain multiple playlists. The workaround is to add to “Now Playing” which I guess is OK. Finally, I’d still rather sync music to my phone than to need to rely on the cloud and the sync app is terrible. Not sure why they couldn’t have just refined the Zune App. I also miss the full screen artist pictures on t he XBOX Music apps while it plays, As it is, I get to see their foreheads because half the screen is taken up by a song list. I also miss that experience from the ZuneHD on the Windows Phone. Next up, SkyDrive since 8.1 has been very quirky on my Surface Pro 2, enough so that I’ve had to rebuild it 3 times because it either perpetually tried to sync or never would sync. I keep a very clean device and I know my way around Windows. I never could resolve it and I tread very carefully when using I on my Surface Pro 2. I have to agree…the Bing Apps are pretty good and Food and Drink is amazing and I use it daily now. I hope they allow hands free on manually entered recipes one day. As far as a desktop experience, I’ve had some buggy problems with 8.1. Again, I keep a clean PC and avoid junk and crapware. My Work PC just tends to lock up especially if no reboot with in a while. I was off last week at home and did a lot of file copying/deleting and it locked up after several hours of that. Not sure why…nothing in the logs. So, I have some legitimate gripes, especially since I really push these apps to their limits and want them to work.

      • garak0410

        Well, as I stated, I am a staunch Microsoft Supporter but yeah, I feel like much of the apps are a mess. I’ve had to rebuild my Surface Pro 2 three times due to SkyDrive sync issues that I never could resolve.

  • Bart

    Also I do agree a good starting point for the lowest Surface Pro 2 at $599 is about where it should be. Especially with the keyboard as an optional device. The way the original commercials were the keyboard should have been included with every purchase. I really can’t see anyone buying one without selecting a keyboard along with it. I never see anyone with the iPad who hasn’t bought the aftermarket keyboard and case.
    I would go one step further with the price and make the same or similar offer from Teched available to all certified people via the MCP site. This is with your line of thinking to get more in the market. If techs like them and get one at an exceptional price then they promote them to companies and friends.

    • http://www.learnabouttheweb.com/ Onuora Amobi

      Excellent idea about making it available to MCP. If you’re Microsoft, you just can’t have too many Surfaces out there.

  • WillyThePooh

    Even though they write-off surface RT, they didn’t write-off surface Pro. That would mean surface Pro has buyers even with such a high price. Then why should they reduce the price of Surface Pro2? They probably should come up with a surface mini that runs RT a.s.a.p. Also, should not compare T100 with Surface Pro2 as T100 is an entry level tablet that runs atom chipset. Just like you can’t compare a Hipstreet $68 7″ tablet with Nexus 7 and said Nexus 7 is overpriced.

  • stephen bates

    Microsoft have got a great product in their operating systems but it takes them every second operating system to get it right windows 95 was put right in windows 98, xp put right 2000/millennium, 7 put right vista, of which we hope that 9 will put right 8. and as I’ve said it before surface 2 should now put right everything from its predecessor, from my observations its done that, but Microsoft now needs to prove it by doing just as I said in my other post drop the price through the floor and open up the market with a great product. it would be good to hear what everybody thinks.

  • stephen bates

    although I agree with the writer regarding I crap or droid where Icrap still haven’t got out of the dark ages with their phones and android have cornered the market with material because of their parentage. I still say Microsoft need to break the strangle hold that icrap have on the market with phones and tablets by under-pricing them and pushing their market share out the window, and show that their product is far superior to apple and google.

  • Daniel Gray

    Take the best selling one and drop the price by $50 to $100. That should make a run on the surface tab

    • Bart

      $50 to $100 wouldn’t sway many people. Considering this doesn’t even cover the price of the keyboard which should be already included in the price.

      • Daniel Gray

        MS like them or not, still has to make a profit, so dropping the price by 100. below the Acer version will make people set up and take notice

        • Bart

          I didn’t think you were referring to lower than the Acer price. Which Acer model are you referring to or were you thinking below the ASUS T100 for $349 in the article?
          I have seen speculations on the cost to build the Surface in other articles but don’t know where the sources of information come from or if they are accurate.

          • Daniel Gray

            Sure I was. I know for a fact that MS can make these for less then $150. So if they sell them for 250. they are still making a profit and selling their product.

          • Bart

            I like MS and Windows 8/8.1. $150 seems low for the production cost. I don’t have a source to compare a price like that and do know they would get a better price than the open market. The SSD drives alone seem higher that that.
            My personal preference would be at least 8 GB RAM with the i5. 128 GB SSD for a tablet would be fine but to get the 8 GB RAM it requires the 256 as currently configured by MS. The ASUS T100 is the lower grade Atom processor not what is in the Surface Pro 2.

          • Daniel Gray

            I received that price from Marcus, my beta testing supervisor at the Redmond MS Campus. What a lot of people dont know is that Windows XP cost them only about 15,000. to make and they have made millions off of it. Since they buy in bulk and most companies would kill to be able to say they helped produce a hot item from MS, most of the stuff they get for free since MS then gives them the ability to make programs for the OS itself, thus allowing them to make millions as well.

          • Bart

            That should be a reasonable source. I am all for MS making a profit. But I also agree with Onuora that $599 would be a good entry level price to get more market share. I would be fine with $699 and the keyboard included. If too inexpensive people question quality and in most cases that would be true. Compared to the T100 listed above with the Atom processor I checked the spec on only 2 GB RAM and the drive is not a SSD. Using the specs from Intel on the Atom process it supports a max RAM of 4 GB. I would be a good inexpensive tablet but not for full productivity with the low specs.

          • Daniel Gray

            Yes but if they sell the surface complete with all the bells and whistles for what I suggested, they will have a run on their product as why would you go out and spend 300 to 400 more and get less?

  • Darlington Jones

    I’m gonna show you why the present PRO pricing is garbage.

    I’m an investor in Microsoft – own shares – means I put my money where ma mouth is. Loved Windows 8 before it came out with the Windows 8 preview, even though I had to reinstall the whole thing with the official release (dumb). Windows 8.1, great. I’m 100% in support of Microsoft as a company and I really hope they choose the right CEO so I can get richer.

    Then I had about $2,000USD set aside for a laptop – went in to Best Buy and loved how the Pro looked and peformed, didn’t like the weight, but I was willing. Then I thought about the price – nothing less than 256GB in order to get 8GB RAM (if I could have 128GB plus 8GB that be good I’m a multimedia producer, I need that RAM), an addition $120 for Type Cover, additional $200 for the Dock, and additional $60 for a 64gb MicroSD, additional display out converters, and we’re looking at my entire $2,000 blown (oh yeah, add tax). Nothing left back to take my wife out to a celebratory dinner.

    Long story short, I bought a Zenbook $1000 (multimedia creator needs a good sRGB display), and a transformer book T100 for $329. Tried to console myself saying I will get a kickback from the licensing fees for Windows 8. If any of the models of the surface pro 2 was $529, I would have bought it without a whisp of air leaving my lungs. Any of them, it don’t matter. At $529, its like duh.

    • Bart

      I was curious which model of the Zenbook you got. I checked the Best Buy site and none of the Zenbooks listed online had more than 4 GB RAM. The T100 has only 2 GB RAM. You said you needed 8 GB RAM. I agree I wouldn’t buy anything with less than 8 GB RAM and for me I wouldn’t consider any model without at a minimum 128 GB SSD.

      • Darlington Jones

        The Zenbook ux32vd has 4gb but you can add a 8gb stick with 2gb soldered onto the motherboard you get 10gb RAM total. I personally would even buy the 64gb surface pro 2 for $529 and install a 64gb MicroSD or even buy a larger 128gb USB 3.0 jump drive, especially if I were getting 8gb ram with it. Point is, at $529 I would be willing to work with the limitations

  • Charles V Brown Jr

    Microsoft’s Surface Pro line should be a premium priced device the same as very high end UltraBooks — let the multiple OEMs have the sub $1000 market. There is no long term benefit to the public, the OEMs or to Microsoft by selling the Surface Pro cheaply and thus killing the long term benefits of a large competitive OEM segment.

    • Bart

      If the Microsoft Surface Pro is always the most expensive to leave room for the OEMs then this will make Microsoft look like they don’t belong in the hardware tablet market.

      • Charles V Brown Jr

        Exactly … PC & Tablet hardware is not what makes Microsoft valuable to world — it is software .

  • Darlington Jones

    How much does it cost to make a surface pro 2? I doubt it is $529. I say it is about $350 for the smallest. Does anyone have actual numbers m?

    • Darlington Jones

      I was pretty close. The Surface RT is $308 estimated in 2012, and the Pro about $600 to make. So maybe take a loss on the 64gb module, and make more profit on the 256 and 512.

      but still, has It occurred to you Onoura and everyone else, that maybe Microsoft doesn’t want a hugely commercially breakthrough device at this point? I’m.thinking, if I knew that Windows 8 was going to be problematic for consumers, and mostly early adopters would be purchasing, I don’t think I would want to release a device that appeals to the mass market UNTIL I have sorted through the bugs of Windows 8.1 and figured out how to make it an amazing OS. I would continue to build brand awareness of the Surface line, build an app library, and then hit them with that killer device and OS at the affordable price point, then go hard and done! Problem is, MSFT is too darn slow.