Skip to main content


Thoughts on Microsoft’s Surface RT Pricing

You may have already heard that Microsoft released the pricing for the “Surface RT” version of their new Surface tablet earlier today, October 16.  The prices are Apple-esque in general, ranging from $499 for a 32GB, keyboard-free edition to $699 for a 64GB, touch cover keyboard.
ZDNet’s noted Microsoft blogger, Mary Jo Foley (for whom I have much respect) is asking whether we think the keyboard cover is worth the extra money.
Personally, I’d love to see one available for less.  The “touch cover keyboard” was the big deal when Surface was introduced earlier this year.  The idea is that it avoids an unwieldy accessory while offering an improvement on the touch-typing that touch-only interfaces offer.  I haven’t tried one yet, so I can’t say for certain how I like it or whether it’s worth the extra spend… however, my concern is that Microsoft may miss an opportunity with consumers if they don’t have a lower price point option.
I’m hoping, for Microsoft’s sake, that they have more economical versions of this tablet en route.  These prices for the Surface RT are, as noted above, right in range with an iPad, which I suppose is fine if the market will bear it.  History tells an interesting story, though.  As a Microsoft supporter, I do hope they heed it.
Back in the late 1980s and 90s, the PC came to dominate the personal computing market for a couple reasons.  (1) It was an open platform– a lot like Android is today.  (2) This very openness allowed manufacturers (and home builders) to tailor a PC to any budget.  Even the most powerful PCs were priced favorably compared to Apple’s models (or the NeXT– remember that?). If Microsoft wants to recapture share in the slate market, taking a hint from their own history and entering at a lower price point couldn’t have hurt.
That said, Windows 8 is still Windows.  Anyone with the skill can develop on it, and many manufacturers have licensed it from Microsoft.  Here’s hoping the likes of Dell et al have something a bit cheaper in mind for mass production.  I just wish that Microsoft was putting out their own.  At $299, I’d pick up a Surface tomorrow. At $699, is a fold-out touch keyboard going to win home users over from the iPad?  I’m not so sure.
Of course, let’s say Redmond offers tremendous price breaks to enterprise buyers and tosses in some nifty apps, cloud storage, and management tools for the likes of SharePoint, Lync and– here’s the big boy– Office. Then the big businesses start buying up the Surface, people everywhere are using it for work, and maybe it catches on…. What do you think?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Rich Wood

Rich Wood has been planning, designing and building enterprise solutions and internet sites with an emphasis on stellar user and customer experiences since 1997. Rich is a National Director for Content and Commerce Platform work in Perficient Digital. One of the rare breed of strategists to truly understand both the business needs of the customer and the platforms that serve them, he is a keen advocate for and accomplished speaker/writer on issues that surround that inflection point. His work has been published on CMSWire, Sitecore and Microsoft partner blogs, and his own LinkedIn page as well as our various blogs here at Perficient, and he has spoken at multiple major conferences including Microsoft's SharePoint Conference 2014. Married and a father of five, Rich enjoys spending time with his wife and family. He is a native of South Milwaukee, Wisconsin and a graduate of Marquette University.

More from this Author

Follow Us