Ballmer shuts down low-price Surface rumors

In a recent interview with the Seattle Times, Steve Ballmer gives some insightful information about the direction of the company, as well as its role as a devices and services provider. One of the oft-repeated rumors is that the Microsoft Surface RT will have to remain competitive with the likes of the Nexus 7 and the Kindle Fire, so pricing will be about the same. Ballmer dashed these rumors by saying:

“If you look at the bulk of the PC market, it would run between, say, probably $300 to about $700 or $800. That’s the sweet spot.”

At most, the Surface RT will cost at least $300, but we’re betting more along the $500 range and then more for the Surface Pro version of the tablet. What do you think of this premium pricing? Are you willing to pay PC prices for a tablet like the Surface? Is Windows 8 worth that much to you?

  • Rallicat

    That the Kindle-fire / Nexus 7 comparable pricing rumours ever got off the ground is crazy to begin with. Microsoft outright stated at the launch -prior to the Nexus 7 hitting the market- that the price would be comparable to other similar ARM tablets.
    Now, having shown off a product with premium construction, a high spec touchscreen, decent specs, and generally banged on about the design and engineering that had gone into making it …. did you people /really/ think it was going to be $199? Really???!
    Furthermore, lets not forget that Microsoft are also taking some stick for producing a product that puts them in competition with their own partners. To uncercut them heavily with cheapo pricing on a premium product would have meant Microsoft weren’t just giving their partners a slap, it would have been kicking them square in the balls.
    In the real world, it’s pretty obvious that the pricing will be around the same level as the iPad. Is there anything wrong with this? No. The Surface is a product with the same premium characteristics as the iPad (arguably better), and with a significantly more sophisticated and capable OS. Am I happy to pay up? Hell yes!

  • The rumors were never well founded, but I think it exposed the price-point at which the general public would be interested in the Surface. The KindleFire sells so well not because of it’s feature list, but because it is a $200 tablet from Amazon. Similarly, the Nexus7 is doing well because it’s a cheap, pure-Android tablet from Google.

    Only Apple has been able to succeed at the higher price-points for tablets, and Microsoft just doesn’t have that kind of brand power/loyalty to pull off that price in bulk.

  • $299 for the RT should be the price.they could be cheeky (sorry was just in the UK) and price it at $279.99 something like that.