One of the articles I wrote today is about how Windows RT devices are going to cost a bit too much, which might make them less appealing to new consumers. I felt that RT is a somewhat unproven OS with a new UI, and pricing under the iPad would probably be best. The problem, I mentioned, was licensing costs.
Microsoft doesn’t have to pay itself licensing, obviously, but it still is pricing an entry-level ARM/RT Surface at $499 with 32GB of memory and no Touch Cover. Considering the positive publicly they have received so far, this might not be too bad though— at least it means that other RT makers can still be competitive.
The link with the new order page showed up early this morning and is already gone. Did someone at Microsoft accidentally let the cat out of the bag early? Before it disappeared, we learned a few things about the ARM-based Surface line. Besides the entry model, there are also other offers like a 64GB version with Touch Cover included at $699.
The pricing of the new iPad starts at $499 and go up from here, so really the prices between the Surface and iPad are actually right on par. Personally, I was hoping for a $400-$450 entry-model with no cover, though. Buying them separately, the Touch Cover costs $119.99 and the Type Cover is $129.99. Again, some packages seem to include the as well.
No, it isn’t. Considering the hardware and capabilities, it is a fair enough price. The problem is that it is hard to sell consumers on a new platform when an existing platform like the iPad is already present. Microsoft should have at least considered a holiday introduction promo that would see the Surface RT offered for $50-$100 off for a limited time. Not only would this have rushed holiday sales, it would have got the product into more consumer hands and generated further buzz.
Once the buzz was established, consumers would be more than glad to pay the $499+ for the Surface devices. This goes against the earlier rumors of a $200-$300 Surface that would likely have some kind of contract-based service– though Microsoft could still be preparing something like this in the background for all we know.
Alright, so what do our readers think? Way too high for the Microsoft Surface RT models or about where you thought it would be? I’m not at all disappointed, this is still an attractive enough and fair price. I’m just worried about whether or not the “average” consumer will find the Surface would the risk when they can get an established iPad or high-end Android device for the same pricing.