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Is Microsoft's Price Model For the Surface Justifiable?

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the solid-color-rectangles-are-pricy dept.

Microsoft 417

colinneagle writes "A blog post contending that Microsoft's decision to match Apple's iPad pricing on its Surface tablet will hurt its chances in the market has brought out some negative comments from readers who seem to like the Surface tablet. I was kind of surprised by this, as I and other bloggers seem to agree that making the fully keyboard-equipped Surface tablet roughly $120 more expensive than the iPad kind of negates the purpose — to build steam by appealing to those in the market for a cheaper tablet. Also, I've yet to see an argument that justifies pricing the Surface competitively with the iPad, so I figured I would bring the question to Slashdot: Is Microsoft's pricing for the Surface tablet justified?"

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Yes. (5, Funny)

MrEricSir (398214) | about 2 years ago | (#41686507)

As we've seen time and time again, people are simply willing to pay more for Microsoft products than Apple products.

Re:Yes. (5, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | about 2 years ago | (#41686623)

Sorry, we got mesmerized by the shear coolness of MS-Bob. Dragging the dog into the burning fireplace never gets old. (Please, no Korean cuisine jokes.)

Re:Yes. (1)

mhh91 (1784516) | about 2 years ago | (#41686667)

*sheer.

Re:Yes. (2)

msauve (701917) | about 2 years ago | (#41686761)

Have you seen Bob [toastytech.com] 's haircut? Shear is correct.

Re:Yes. (4, Informative)

Tough Love (215404) | about 2 years ago | (#41686817)

I hope you realize that when you make fun of MS-Bob you make fun of Bill Gates' wife. [google.ca]

Re:Yes. (1)

the_B0fh (208483) | about 2 years ago | (#41686873)

Are you saying Bill Gate's wife showed off another version of MS-Bob to Bill Gates...?

Re:Yes. (1, Troll)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 2 years ago | (#41687211)

Oh, she was bobbing alright.

Re:Yes. (0)

houghi (78078) | about 2 years ago | (#41687117)

In Korea, only old people make cuisine jokes.

Re:Yes. (0)

msauve (701917) | about 2 years ago | (#41686661)

Just one example. Win8 Pro Upgrade: $70 (newegg) vs. Mac OSX Mountain Lion Upgrade: $20 (Apple Store).

Re:Yes. (1, Informative)

MaWeiTao (908546) | about 2 years ago | (#41686943)

Are you seriously comparing a brand new OS to a relatively minor update? Why don't you compare the OSX upgrade to a service pack from Microsoft? The extent of the updates are comparable, but in Microsoft's case it's free. And Apple has charged a good deal more for upgrades in the past, most of which I'd also consider minimal.

Frankly I'm surprised MS is only charging $70.

Re:Yes. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41687197)

Oh, right... it only counts as a new OS if they give it a new whole number.

You sound just like a guy I know who insists that OS X hasn't undergone any major changes since 2001 because 'everything released since then has just been a point update'.

Re:Yes. (1, Troll)

aristotle-dude (626586) | about 2 years ago | (#41687205)

Are you seriously comparing a brand new OS to a relatively minor update? Why don't you compare the OSX upgrade to a service pack from Microsoft? The extent of the updates are comparable, but in Microsoft's case it's free. And Apple has charged a good deal more for upgrades in the past, most of which I'd also consider minimal.

Frankly I'm surprised MS is only charging $70.

Are you serious? A service pack is a bundling up of driver updates and patches. The equivalent of the service pack in OS X would be the 10.x.x packages which are free. The "version" stays at 10.x with each release because each release retains a high level of binary and code compatibility and for marketing purposes. In some cases, third party drivers (ktext) have to be recompiled in order to work while in others some rewriting has to happen. The kernel increased by a full version number with each 10.x release and new APIs were also added with each release.

When was the last time the Win32 API was updated? Certainly not with service packs. BTW. The .NET framework does not really count since you can download that separately and the API that is hooks into has not really changed much since Windows XP.

Re:Yes. (5, Informative)

Guspaz (556486) | about 2 years ago | (#41687063)

You're comparing oranges to orangutans. Since 2001, there have been three major consumer releases of Windows (XP, Vista, 7) and nine major consumer releases of OS X (10.0 through 10.8). I'm not trying to say one is better than the other because of this, only that you're doing a direct price comparison between two very different release strategies. Microsoft releases big updates (new version of Windows) for a big cost and small updates for free (service pack), while Apple releases medium updates for a medium cost..

If you want to try to do a more direct comparison, the Win 7 -> Win 8 period for that $70 upgrade encompasses OS X 10.6 ->10.8 for a combined price of $79.

Re:Yes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41687173)

Windows 7 -> Windows 7 SP1 $0 (online, CD)
- vs -
OS/X 10.x -> 10.(x+1): $20 (ripoff store)

LOL

Re:Yes. (5, Funny)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 2 years ago | (#41686663)

As we've seen time and time again, people are simply willing to pay more for Microsoft products than Apple products.

So true! I mean, have you priced MacOS X? Apple wants what, $30 for it? Whereas Microsoft wants Windows 7 for over $100! And people buy it!

Ditto with Office. I mean, the basic suite is $300 from Microsoft, while Apple's offering is under $100. And what do we have? Microsoft Office is everywhere.

People have shown that yes, they're willing to pay more for Microsoft products than their obviously inferior cheaper knockoff Apple ones. Windows costs more than OS X, and Office costs more than iWork.

And don't get me started on this "free software" thing. Software for nothing? There's obviously a reason why they can't charge for it.

Obviously Microsoft has to price their stuff more than Apple to give it the premium appearance. I mean, who'd want a chintzy iPad when you can get a Surface? It costs more, it's definitely better!

Re:Yes. (2)

jdastrup (1075795) | about 2 years ago | (#41686853)

So true! I mean, have you priced MacOS X? Apple wants what, $30 for it? Whereas Microsoft wants Windows 7 for over $100! And people buy it!

Not sure this is always true. I mean, yes, people buy it with a new PC, but how many upgrade? I don't see that many people upgrade their computers, unless they get a free/stolen copy and their bro-in-law's cousin twice removed installs it for them.

But, just about everyone I know with a Mac upgrades it when the new version comes out.

Re:Yes. (1)

SpockLogic (1256972) | about 2 years ago | (#41686813)

As we've seen time and time again, people are simply willing to pay more for Microsoft products than Apple products.

Only if its available in Zune brown ....

Try typing that and keeping a straight face, unpossible.

Re:Yes. (1, Funny)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 2 years ago | (#41686867)

Microsoft deserves to fail on MERITS, not price manipulation.

Re:Yes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41686975)

Microsoft(R)
It just frustrates.TM

1366x768, end of discussion (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41686513)

Nuff said

Re:1366x768, end of discussion (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41686653)

Yeah, how do you pretend to compete with a 2048x1536 retina display using 1366x768? It's 1/3rd fo the pixels.

The New iPad is a comfortable desktop machine in a portable package. The Surface is a Me Too tablet.

If their pricing was in line to compete with the Nexus 7... Then we'd have a competition....

I smell.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41686521)

Touchpad!

Can I use Win programs that I'm required for work? (5, Interesting)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about 2 years ago | (#41686525)

Then yes, it's worth an extra buck-twenty. What good is a cheaper device that I can't do my work on? That's just a toy.

I can't tell if this is meant to be funny or not (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41686617)

I understood this to be the ARM device that _cannot_ run Windows applications (only Metro apps).

Re:Can I use Win programs that I'm required for wo (5, Informative)

afidel (530433) | about 2 years ago | (#41686635)

No, Surface runs WinRT, the ARM version of Windows 8 which will only Metro apps which don't take advantage of native x86 code.

Re:Can I use Win programs that I'm required for wo (2)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about 2 years ago | (#41686699)

The Surface Pro is supposed to be a full-blown PC, capable of running software that runs on Windows 7, from what I've been reading.

Re:Can I use Win programs that I'm required for wo (1)

afidel (530433) | about 2 years ago | (#41686775)

There's been no pricing announcement yet for Pro but it'll be $1k+ based on the pricing for the RT based Surface and it won't be available until at least late Q1 13.

Re:Can I use Win programs that I'm required for wo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41687041)

You are a victim of the amazingly poor MS marketing. Imagine how many people are going to be pissed when they buy thing thing with your assumptions.

Re:Can I use Win programs that I'm required for wo (1)

Dr. Evil (3501) | about 2 years ago | (#41687085)

Microsoft compiled their apps for different architectures before, I don't think it would be *that* hard for them to do it again.

Re:Can I use Win programs that I'm required for wo (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 2 years ago | (#41686741)

Then yes, it's worth an extra buck-twenty. What good is a cheaper device that I can't do my work on? That's just a toy.

well, then it's ~300 bucks more expensive(surface pro which runs your work programs is maybe a thousand bucks+, I'm unsure if the pricing was yet announced.. it wont hit the shelves this year).

Re:Can I use Win programs that I'm required for wo (1)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about 2 years ago | (#41686845)

well, then it's ~300 bucks more expensive(surface pro which runs your work programs is maybe a thousand bucks+, I'm unsure if the pricing was yet announced.. it wont hit the shelves this year).

Good point - the hell with the thing then. Personally, I use the biggest, heaviest-ass laptop I can get my hands on as a desktop replacement/traveling companion, and I add a full external keyboard and mouse. I hate poking at tablets, or tapping on chicklet-keys on a mini-keyboard.

Re:Can I use Win programs that I'm required for wo (1)

BoRegardless (721219) | about 2 years ago | (#41686971)

You can if you have a MacBook Air !!! Never, ever buy Rev Zero on any product or you will pay big time.

Doesn't matter (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41686539)

Zune II / Surface whatever. They will be discounting these things below cost within a few months.

Generally, people don't like Microsoft products. They don't choose to use Windows, it is what is forced down their throats at the work place-- so running same at home is path of least resistance. Since Surface gains nothing from this dynamic, it will be purchased by the 10 Windows fan boys who constantly shill on /., and that is probably about it.

Re:Doesn't matter (2)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about 2 years ago | (#41686651)

"it is what is forced down their throats at the work place" -- agreed - to a certain extent. I'm required to use it because some of my work-related programs only work on that platform. If someone wants to port Adobe Acrobat Pro to Linux, I'll be the first in line. I'm one of the few who has written and maintained steps for running it under Wine over the years to force it to somewhat run on Linux, but it's still missing numerous deal-breaker features when run in that manner. I could refuse to use Windows. I just wouldn't be able to get all my work done.

Re:Doesn't matter (1)

msauve (701917) | about 2 years ago | (#41686685)

Adobe software doesn't count. It barely runs on Windows.

Re:Doesn't matter (1)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about 2 years ago | (#41686789)

Adobe software doesn't count. It barely runs on Windows.

I'm not arguing that point!

Re:Doesn't matter (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41686689)

That's silly logic. If people really did not want Windows, they'd go buy a Mac. It does not follow that just because they have Windows on their desks at work that they must run it at home.

People run Windows because it does what they want to do and they're happy enough with it.

Re:Doesn't matter (4, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | about 2 years ago | (#41686831)

People run Windows because it does what they want to do and they're happy enough with it.

They run Windows because a Mac costs 2.5x as much and they have a load of old Windows software they can't live without.

In this case the 'Mac' tablet costs about the same as the Windows tablet, and their old Windows software won't run, so why would they buy one?

Re:Doesn't matter (3, Interesting)

undefinedreference (2677063) | about 2 years ago | (#41687089)

Let's say you're hired somewhere that buys a new laptop for every new hire. Your choices are any off-the-shelf (not custom) laptop from Apple, Dell, HP, or Lenovo. Which would you choose?

Under these exact conditions with people from a mix of STEM disciplines, more than half will choose the MacBook. Over 90% of the software engineers choose Apple. The fact none of their software is specifically Windows-based probably helps, but it is an interesting situation and result. If I were in that situation (dream job - I'm a bit jealous of my friend that works there), I'd pick the Apple, too.

Re:Doesn't matter (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41686719)

Zune II / Surface whatever. They will be discounting these things below cost within a few months.

Generally, people don't like Microsoft products. They don't choose to use Windows, it is what is forced down their throats at the work place-- so running same at home is path of least resistance. Since Surface gains nothing from this dynamic, it will be purchased by the 10 Windows fan boys who constantly shill on /., and that is probably about it.

Yup, people don't like MS products. Let's just ignore that the $499 option sold out the first day it was offered.

http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Microsoft-Surface-Price-Pre-Order-Stock,18482.html

Re:Doesn't matter (4, Insightful)

MaWeiTao (908546) | about 2 years ago | (#41687131)

People bitch about Office, but despite the alternatives no one switches. This isn't like Adobe products where there are no viable alternatives. Several years ago my company did try iWork. That experiment lasted roughly a year. It wasn't that it was bad, but it wasn't any better than Office and in some ways less robust.

My current company is currently a 90% Mac environment. We've had our computers roughly 8 months and in that time 3 of the 7 Macbooks we own have already had some kind of hardware issue. One wouldn't charge and the other two were USB related. On a more general level I hear people complaining about the OSX environment just as much as I've heard people complain about Windows in the past. I'm not suggesting Apple products are bad per se. My point is that when you're working with them on a daily basis they're not fundamentally better than anything else.

What hurt Microsoft wasn't the quality of their products per se, it was public perception. Without question Windows 95 through 98 had problems. But those were also operating systems in there relative infancy when computing environments were evolving at a rapid pace. OS9 was an unstable mess, from my experience more crash prone than anything from MS. OSX was a big improvement, but it wasn't perfect and took quite a few years to get good.

But going back to Office, it would have gone the way of Lotus Notes if it were as bad as people like to claim. I use OpenOffice at home, and while I think it's pretty good I don't think it's yet on par with Office.

Maybe. Contrary to the laws of article titling. (2)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | about 2 years ago | (#41686541)

What does it cost them to build per unit, what's the R&D costs and what profit margin do they want?

The problem with the PC industry is that a lot of OEMs went super cheap, with razor thin margins. Making it up in software bundles and volume. This is not sustainable. Hopefully Microsoft got the message and pricing within their costs.

Re:Maybe. Contrary to the laws of article titling. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41686601)

Contrary to the laws of article titling... Hopefully Microsoft got the message and pricing within their costs.

Going against a known law and "hoping" Microsoft "got the message" seems like two strikes right there.

Re:Maybe. Contrary to the laws of article titling. (2)

cgenman (325138) | about 2 years ago | (#41686917)

The problem with the PC industry is that a lot of OEMs went super cheap, with razor thin margins. Making it up in software bundles and volume. This is not sustainable.

Considering this has been the model for ~15 years now, volume pricing does seem to be sustainable (especially when it's *still* significantly cheaper to build your own desktop).

Justified? (5, Insightful)

dhavleak (912889) | about 2 years ago | (#41686561)

"Is it priced smartly?" is probably a better question. What could be 'just' or 'unjust' about Surface pricing?

Re:Justified? (3, Informative)

chrylis (262281) | about 2 years ago | (#41686589)

"Justified" doesn't mean "fair"; it means reasonable or adequately supported by evidence. The question is whether Microsoft's pricing the Surface the same as the iPad is a wise business move.

Supply and Demand (4, Insightful)

ADRA (37398) | about 2 years ago | (#41686571)

If there are enough people willing to throw a ton of money at a product then they're doing a good job pricing their products. Nobody asks if Apple products are expensive. They sell like crazy so the price works. If anything, Apple should charge more for their products until they've maximized their profit supply curve (they've probably extrapolated this already).

All this said, do I think that Microsoft has a hope in hell selling to the niche high en crowd? No, but that being said, I thought the Xbox was a boondoggle as well, and look where that got them.

Re:Supply and Demand (2)

DinDaddy (1168147) | about 2 years ago | (#41686765)

Nobody asks if Apple products are expensive.

I suppose you're correct. They come out and state they are as a fact, rather than ask it as a question.

Re:Supply and Demand (3, Insightful)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 2 years ago | (#41686955)

Nobody asks if Apple products are expensive.

Expensive stuff is better than cheap stuff, right? Maybe the price is for the Bling effect?

Oh, is that a cheap Surface that you have there?

No, it is more expensive than your iPad!"

Most folks ordering expensive champagne can't taste the difference between Moet Chandon and Purple Drank, but the champagne must be better, because it is more expensive, right . . . ?

Re:Supply and Demand (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about 2 years ago | (#41687127)

No, it is more expensive than your iPad!"

When I read that, I heard this [youtube.com] .

Re:Supply and Demand (2)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 2 years ago | (#41687151)

Expensive stuff is better than cheap stuff, right? Maybe the price is for the Bling effect?

Since we're talking about Microsoft here... shouldn't that be the Bing effect?

Reality Bytes (3, Insightful)

Tablizer (95088) | about 2 years ago | (#41686573)

PHB's sometimes need to be bopped over the head with the harsh reality of very poor sales before they admit they are not the center of the universe.

Yes, but... (3, Insightful)

WhipItGood (679579) | about 2 years ago | (#41686579)

They can probably justify it, but I won't pay it. If they beat the iPad by $100 or included the keyboard at the same price, maybe.

Who cares? (3, Insightful)

RocketRabbit (830691) | about 2 years ago | (#41686587)

The purpose of Surface is not to sell, it's to convince MS's investors that they are keeping up with the rest of the market. I don't think anybody seriously thinks it is a competitor to the iPad, or even to the Droid-based iPad knockoffs out there. It's just this thing, you know?

Re:Who cares? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41686745)

No, it does not look that way at all. The investors are usually not impressed by increasing product nomenclature or inventory, they tend to look at how the thing actually sells, so spending good money on developing and marketing a new product only to "convince investors" is just not happening.

Re:Who cares? (1)

cgenman (325138) | about 2 years ago | (#41686949)

Investors do get placated by *making* things, however. Unfortunately, at some point you have to stop making something and actually sell the darned thing. And then it all goes to zune. And that's when the next scheme gets pulled out in an emergency meeting, and the cycle starts again.

Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41687081)

No, investors do not get placated, managers get placated. Then they are fired by the investors. In the case of the tablet, though, it is hard to see it as a placation tool, it seems the managers genuinely believe the RT tablets provide the value they are asking for. Since I have not seen or used one, I can't tell, and since I already have the tablet I've been looking for, I'm not in the market, but it doesn't look to me as a "placating" effort.

Still, I think Microsoft is doing a stupid thing by making yet another tablet. They should have stayed with the two-page Courier tablet -- that would have been something I'd pay more than $250 for.

Not in my opinion. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41686591)

I find the device lacking in the screen department. It is a low res 720P screen with 16:9 AR. It's not a good device to use as a reader or to create any content due to this. If the device clearly outclassed the iPad then it might be worth it to me at 500 with the keyboard. Now it looks like a me too device only with a lower quality overall.

Re:Not in my opinion. (3, Interesting)

cbhacking (979169) | about 2 years ago | (#41687095)

It's higher res than the previous iPads, which plenty of people use as e-readers. I doubt that's going to be a problem. It also has an extremely low-reflectivity screen, which results in better contrast and a clearer image when viewed with ambient light than you get from the iPad.

-1 Flamebait (4, Insightful)

metrometro (1092237) | about 2 years ago | (#41686599)

You're asking Slashdot for a Apple vs Microsoft comparison on a product none of us have used? Well that's surely going to be reasonable and fact based discussion.

Re:-1 Flamebait (2)

WGFCrafty (1062506) | about 2 years ago | (#41686645)

This.

Seriously?

Re:-1 Flamebait (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41686985)

I wouldn't say none of us have used the Microsoft offering. I'd say it's very likely a few folks on here have had an opportunity to play with the unreleased equipment.

Re:-1 Flamebait (5, Informative)

musikit (716987) | about 2 years ago | (#41687077)

I HAVE used it. first comment after getting it was "hey this thing is pretty fast" then as i began to develop for it i notices things. 20gig of the 64 gigs are used for the OS. umm why? the device(s) i have all lose touches, hold on to touches, or at times are generally not responsive to touches. there are 4 buttons on the top or side that seem to do things randomly. i honestly have been using it for a month still dont know what they do. every corner being a non-disable hot corner gets really annoying fast, especially for games, where do you put the buttons? in the middle of the screen where the action is? also there dev panel needs a lot of work, seriously a LOT of work. everytime i need to sign to upload to the store i have to call my manager over since i cant sign directly. he cant give me privledges for signing. wtf. also there are just some things you can NOT do without using the old windows xp/vista/7 interface which on the touch screens is really really freaking annoying, since you dont have the accuracy of a mouse and no right click.

Re:-1 Flamebait (5, Informative)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | about 2 years ago | (#41687183)

You're asking Slashdot for a Apple vs Microsoft comparison on a product none of us have used? Well that's surely going to be reasonable and fact based discussion.

Ahh. Ad hominem. Well actually.. a) We have lots of Microsoft shills on Slashdot; this has the benefit that all the Microsoft positive "talking points" and news will be posted and everyone posting here makes really sure that anti-Microsoft points are clearly justified. b) This is one of the few places where the people writing aren't soon expecting to be making half of their income from Microsoft adverts. c) there are lots of people who can read specifications and work things out.

For example; there has lots of breathless talk about Microsoft's keyboard covers all over the media. On Slashdot it's been clearly pointed out that the keyboard being pushed has almost no travel and you will have to buy an alternative more expensive one if you want to be able to type reasonably.

Within five minutes of this article going up, someone had posted the Microsoft story that this will be able to run "Windows" apps. This is the kind of thing which is reported without question elsewhere. Here on Slashdot you will see that actually the apps for this new tablet are a completely new ("Metro"/"Modern interface") type.

Skating to where the puck *was* (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41686603)

Everyone keeps talking about the iPad price as if that's the holiday price. Apple have a special event on the 23rd (i.e. in six days) where they're releasing 24 new variants on the iPad [9to5mac.com] . At *this* point we'll be able to see how the iPad and Surface offerings stack up against each other

ehh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41686613)

"Is Microsoft's pricing for the Surface tablet justified?"

It might be. The tablet is a combination of hardware and software. If it turns out that windows8 provides superior "something" than iOS or android, then the surface might be worth what microsoft says it does. But who can tell at this point? As far as I know no one have had any experience with windows8+surface.

Re:ehh? (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 2 years ago | (#41686681)

If it turns out that windows8 provides a superior "something" than iOS or android, then the surface might be worth...

Tiles are a powerful concept. Just look what happened when enough of them fell off the Shuttle...

how much did it cost to build? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41686657)

using the word justified seems to take away from the fact that there was a cost to develop and build it. Wouldn't we have to know those costs before we can say "justified"? How about asking is it worth it instead?

Re:how much did it cost to build? (3, Funny)

0123456 (636235) | about 2 years ago | (#41686803)

No-one gives a crap about how much it cost to build, other than Microsoft. What matters is how much people are willing to pay for it.

Charging iPad prices for a Windows tablet makes about as much sense as charging Ferrari prices for a Ford Fiesta.

OEMs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41686675)

Maybe they priced it so high so that OEMs don't get pi**ed even more?
Just saying...

It's much better deal than iPad (0)

AbhiTheOne (2717543) | about 2 years ago | (#41686683)

Comparable IPad 32 GB Wifi is $599 i.e. $100 extra! + Surface has Bigger screen, Full OS , Office, etc. So overall it's better deal than iPad and priced smartly.

Are you on crack? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41686887)

The Surface has a bigger screen with significantly lower resolution (that's a bad thing). The Full OS takes up 12 GB of the 32 GB available, compared to approximately 2GB on an iOS device. Office is a preview edition, and is one of the few applications even available for the platform.

Behold the Power of the Free Market (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41686687)

Free Market + Capitalism: Healthy competition drives prices down and quality up

How many vendors provide iOS based tablets? ... One

How many vendors provide Windows based tablets? ... One

How many vendors provide Android based tablets? ... Too many to count, but Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Samsung, etc off the top of my head

Given these facts, which tablet(s) will have the highest quality and the lowest prices as time moves forward?

Economics is fun.

Re:Behold the Power of the Free Market (2)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 2 years ago | (#41686929)

How many vendors provide Windows based tablets? ... One

Asus, Acer, Fujitsu, Panasonic, HP, Lenovo, and now Microsoft.

Looks like 7 and counting. Asus in particular offers x86 Windows tablets near iPad prices already.

I'll buy one as soon as... (1)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about 2 years ago | (#41686721)

I'll buy one as soon as I can get a 7-8 inch tablet running Windows 8 for about $200-250.

Depends on who wants the thing (5, Insightful)

steveha (103154) | about 2 years ago | (#41686739)

"The price of a thing is what the thing will bring." You can set a price anywhere you want, but it is up to the customers to decide whether they are willing to pay the price.

So, now, who wants a Surface? How does Surface fit in to the tablet market?

Apple made the first non-sucky tablet, and they reaped huge first-mover advantage, which is still paying off for them today. Related, they have network effect: everyone made apps for iPad because all the customers bought iPads, and customers bought iPads (in part) because of the rich selection of apps. Additionally, Apple did a great job on the user experience, and the quality is excellent. So you put all this together and Apple can command a premium price.

Along comes Android. Now you can get quite nice tablets for $200, and you can install any application you like. You can use multiple app stores if you like. So Android is both the low-cost solution and the more-free solution.

Along comes Microsoft. They are very, very late to the party. First mover advantage? Definitely not. Network effect, vast library of apps? No; they need to build a new stable of C# Windows 8 apps, from scratch. More-free? No; they are copying the Apple model, where the customer must go to the official app store. (And Microsoft is also copying the idea of raking a 30% commission on each sale. App developers tolerate this of Apple... will they tolerate it of Microsoft?)

So... low-cost? Definitely not. The Surface is being priced like an iPad. Customers are willing to pay a premium price for an iPad, but I cannot see any reason why customers would see enough value in a Surface to justify a premium price.

IMHO, Microsoft's best bet is to make the Surface integrate very smoothly into a Windows network. It should connect smoothly to Windows servers, it should have a good email client that can talk to Exchange servers, that sort of thing. That can carve out a niche in the business market, where incidentally a higher price doesn't hurt so much. But they are so late to the party, that many companies are already standardized on iPad. (And all the C-level executives want iPads and already have them.)

In short, at this price level, the Surface will be a niche product at best, and very possibly the next Zune.

steveha

A lower price would make people assume it was crap (5, Insightful)

NoNeeeed (157503) | about 2 years ago | (#41686757)

This is why techies tend to be crap at marketing (that's a complement to techies by the way, I'm a techie).

The purpose of the Surface isn't just to make a profit on each unit (which at this price it probably is), it's to help position Windows 8/RT/Metro or whatever it's called.

The market for cheap tablets is thoroughly occupied by Android. Most people I know, even techies, think of Android tablets as "like an iPad, but cheaper, and therefore not as good". The perception (right or wrong) is that if you want the best you buy an iPad, if you want cheap and cheerful you by an Android tablet. There is no competition at the premium end, it's iPad or nothing. The perception is that the only reason you'd buy Android is because you don't have the money for an iPad.

Pricing the Surface at the same point as the iPad sends out a message to consumers that says "we think the Surface is as good as the iPad". Microsoft clearly want to position Windows 8/RT on tablets as a premium product, it doesn't want to compete with Android, it wants to compete with Apple and iOS.

That won't stop other manufacturers from making cheaper tablets, but Microsoft are setting the bar high. If someone else (e.g. Acer) make a cheap WinRT tablet it will be seen as an affordable version of a premium product, not a "cheap" product.

Apple did it before, though (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 2 years ago | (#41686771)

The iPhone, whizzy as it was, had a massive initial price tag. I blanched at it and stuck with a less whizzy phone. I'm not sorry I did. Now I have the money to buy any smart phone I choose, but I'll still not spring for one more expensive than I want. Same goes for pads - Android rules the roost for the budget minded and will ultimately dictate the market through shear numbers -- same way cloned DOS PCs dictated the way of the present desktop. Microsoft, again, do not know their own history and how they got where they are today.

Is Apple's pricing for the Ipad justified? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41686779)

It almost seems like a religious argument: "How dare Microsoft price their hardware to compete with Apple?".
I'm *still* waiting for a great tablet to come out. I was excited for the Ipad until spending time with my girlfriend's. I loved the Playbook, but the form factor wasn't right for me and it didn't gain traction. I like the Samsung Slate, but it's heavy and the battery life is terrible, additionally the ui isn't great.
If Microsoft can offer me a tablet with good battery life, a grown up interface, a non crippled web browser, and *hopefully* more functionality than the Ipad, I would say they're justified in pricing above Apple, not in line with them. If they don't, I'll just keep waiting, someone is bound to get it right eventually.

What happened to the table? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41686809)

I thought Microsoft surface was a giant table that you could play board games on.
What happened to that thing, and why are they calling this thing surface?

Advantage Surface (2, Interesting)

jamesl (106902) | about 2 years ago | (#41686823)

iPad 16GB no keyboard -- $499
Surface 32GB no keyboard -- $499
Advantage Surface

iPad 32GB no keyboard -- $599
Surface 32GB with touch keyboard -- $599
Advantage Surface

iPad 64GB no keyboard -- $699
Surface 64GB with touch keyboard -- $699

And the released Surface includes Office 2013RT.
Advantage Surface

Umm, no (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41687057)

iPad 16GB no keyboard - $399. Surface does not have retina display.

MS is not even in the game... yet (5, Interesting)

chicago_scott (458445) | about 2 years ago | (#41686849)

Microsoft is acting like they number one in the mobile market, but the fact is they're not even in the game yet or even a player in the sub-mobile markets and they're making some huge mistakes. I've been a .NET developer for 16 years and I'm seriously pulling for them, but the last 6 months have been full of Microsoft making ridiculous decisions. I almost think that Google and Apple paid top executives at Microsoft to screw up this Windows Phone 8 launch as badly as humanly possible.

Microsoft refuses to release the beta or alpha of the Windows Phone 8 SDK to developers unless they pay a $99 fee and even then the SDK is released on a lottery basis. Come on, seriously? MS needs people to write software for for WP8 NOW, not later. So at the very least if they're going to act like they're relevant and charge developers $99 for the privilege to write software for their currently-non-existant device with 0% market share they should at least give those developers the SDK... which leads to my next complaint:

$99 to develop for a device with 0% market share? Microsoft, are you joking? You should be begging developers to write software for WP8 and maybe een giving them a full copy of VS 2012, bot charging them $99. Big mistake.

The Nokia Lumia 900 is a heavy brick. Cool specs and everything, but it's a brick.

And lastly...

Nokia gave AT&T exclusive rights to provide cellular service to the Lumia 900. Is this a joke? Every other mobile maker is going away from exclusivity. Maybe MS could get away with this is WP8 and the Lumia 900 were some world-changing revolutionary device, but come on. WP8 is cool, it's got some great stuff, but it's not anywhere near the same as when Apple released the iPHone in 1997 and gave AT&T exclusivity.

Microsoft has some great stuff going for it: an awesome Visual Studio IDE that blows away XCode and Eclipse and they have a huge foothold in the business market. Tons of businesses have invested heavily is MS infrastructure and developer talent and would be much more likely to do mobile dev projects if Microsoft could get their mobile strategy even 1/2 right.

But as a developer with a passion for mobile dev I'm obviously pretty discouraged about their mobile strategy in the immediate future right now.

The lost decade (2)

Dr. Evil (3501) | about 2 years ago | (#41687149)

"when Apple released the iPHone in 1997"

Ballmer's lost decade is messing with your measure of time.

can't pilfer profits from desktops (1)

Locutus (9039) | about 2 years ago | (#41686857)

Microsoft can not run down prices and survive at the bottom in the tablet space. So they are "adding" features to make their tablets closer to the laptop/desktop feature set or should we say usability model. They will advertise their system runs an office application suite or parts of it and have desktop like capabilities. Apple can't really say this. Therefore you see why Microsoft is pricing their system up so high IMO.

will it fly? I doubt it but they are a great marketing company so we'll see.

LoB

Re:can't pilfer profits from desktops (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about 2 years ago | (#41687067)

Applications, office suite, connectivity, plus... big number purchasers (local governments,
still to their necks in MS products anyway -- is that any other way in the US from Europe?);
they may pull it off.

I hope they don't.

Absolutely. (1)

Tough Love (215404) | about 2 years ago | (#41686869)

Steve Ballmer simply multiplied the price by the bazillion units the powerpoint slide says will ship and wow, it just makes Microsoft's market cap way bigger than Apple's. So obviously the price is justified.

what would acer do? (2)

perlchild (582235) | about 2 years ago | (#41686883)

The people saying the surface has to undercut the ipad are missing the point... Microsoft's strategy is to anchor a higher price for windows rt tablets...
So the oems can undercut the price without being over their own costs...(Which they would pressure microsoft about...)

We all want to be regarded as elite don''t we? (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about 2 years ago | (#41686897)

Even if is is for the 15 days of being early adopter.

What's to justify? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41686903)

They offer a product for a price, and people take it or leave it.

It's the Kindle comparisons that kill me (1)

Crypto Cavedweller (2611959) | about 2 years ago | (#41686907)

Shallow tech journalists keep insisting on putting the Kindle Fire HD into tablet comparisons, I've already seen them doing it with Surface. For what it is I'm sure the Fire HD is nice, but it most definitely isn't a full-featured tablet to compete with top Android or (soon) Windows tablets.

I'm not sure... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41686931)

maybe we should ask the 50 people who actually buy one. :)

Let me see... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41686953)

I can get one of these or 2 Nexus 7... the choice is clear. It's a shame, I was really looking forward to purchasing a surface, they seem to have done a lot of things right. I'm not even gonna look at the price when the full blown win8 comes, it's gonna be the same as a small car.

not a tablet (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41686987)

The pricing revealed to me that this isn't intended to be an iPad killer. It's meant to be a paradigm shift in PC form factor and interface. When you think of it less like a competitor of the iPad and the first iteration of the future of the PC then it isn't that bad. Although - the RT limitation of running only app store apps (when we can't even see what apps are available yet) completely sapped me of interest in that model at that price. $250 less for the RT and I might have still been interested.

I still think of it as iPad 2 + iWork (1)

WilliamBaughman (1312511) | about 2 years ago | (#41686991)

When I look at the surface, I see a tablet with the screen and SoC of a $400 tablet (iPad 2 or Asus Transformer Prime), bundled with software (Office instead of iWork) that costs $30 in Apple's app store. So in my mind, it should cost $430. That said, people must be ordering it, because the basic version is sold out [microsoftstore.com] and new orders are shipping later. Of course, Microsoft could just have thrown up that statement to attract attention. Even if they have sold many, we don't know how many. We're just going to have to wait 90 days and look at MS's financials.

Bonus 'SK8' board application in the price ? (1)

axonis (640949) | about 2 years ago | (#41687049)

Well try do this with any other over priced tablet or even a junk android one from China, A Microsoft exec has turned his into a Skate Board "windows sk8' [thesun.co.uk] , really shows the value of materials used in construction and its solid engineering. Coolest thing i've seen today actually !

It's the same price as the iPad. (1)

elabs (2539572) | about 2 years ago | (#41687099)

I don't see where you get that it's $120 more than the iPad. It's exactly the same price as the iPad. If you get the extra keyboard then yeah, that adds a bit to the price. I preordered my last night and I can't wait for October 26th. Christmas is coming on Halloween this year.

am i missing something? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41687113)

Fta, it looks like the surface purchased with the keyboard is priced the same as an iPad, not more. Without it is $100 cheaper.
The iPad has apps, but as long as the surface has the 5 or so I'll actually use that's fine. You don't need a giant app store...it help, but all you need are the apps people want.
The iPad has a better display, but for anyone who isn't comparing them you won't notice. My tablet won't look awful after staring at my work monitor and cell phone all day.
They may not pull anyone away from an iPad, but that's not who they're targeting. They're aiming for functionality in a work environment over playing angry birds in hi resolution.
I'm an android fan myself, but I'd put the surface over the iPad if I need something I'll bring to work.

Overpriced... (3, Insightful)

Bert64 (520050) | about 2 years ago | (#41687189)

Companies produced Android tablets which competed with the ipad on price, they didn't sell...
Windows RT is mostly in the same boat, it is a new entrant to the tablet market but is known in other market segments and has relatively few tablet specific apps.

MS are hoping that the windows brand will sell tablets and encourage developers to make apps, however it may just do the opposite... people tolerate windows on the desktop largely because its already ubiquitous, but they are unlikely to put up with it on a tablet when the ipad is the benchmark.

I also suspect that the windows brand will backfire in other ways, users will buy it expecting to run their existing software and then be disappointed when they can't...

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