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MSFT Partners Said to be Worried About Surface Release

By - Source: DigiTimes | B 21 comments

The competitive price for device is seemingly worrying partners launching pricier Windows 8 tablets.

In the run up to the release of Microsoft's debut tablet, partners of the firm have reportedly expressed concerns about a decrease in interest from the software giant. Due to Microsoft's focus on establishing its own hardware business, partners feel their software supplier "will no longer be concerned about its downstream partners' thoughts or complaints."

DigiTimes' unnamed sources expressed concerns about the pricing of Surface. In particular, they believe that RT model's $499 starting price will provide an extremely competitive price for other vendors due to release Windows 8 devices at higher prices.

Windows 8 tablets will be released by the likes of Acer, Asustek Computer, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Fujitsu, Lenovo, Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics and ZTE.

A 32GB model without a touch cover for Surface is priced at $499 (which sold out a day after pre-orders commenced), or $599 for a model with a black touch cover. This is in addition to a 64GB model that comes with a black touch cover and is priced at $699. Keyboard covers are sold separately at $129.99, while touch covers in different colors are sold for a price of $119.99.

Surface launches alongside Windows 8 on Friday.

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Top Comments
  • 23 Hide
    guardianangel42 , October 22, 2012 10:42 PM
    Considering the hardware manufacturers providing PC's based on Microsoft's software have been doing such a terrible job, I'm glad Microsoft is making them sweat. This can only be good for the consumer.

  • 14 Hide
    Neverdyne , October 22, 2012 11:07 PM
    bavmanThis tablet is overpriced for what it offers. Will not do well.


    Tell that to Apple.
  • 10 Hide
    dalethepcman , October 22, 2012 10:46 PM
    Also considering that most Tegra 3 tablets are in the $400 price range, Microsoft selling one at $500 is just about right.

    I am not sure what the manufacturers are complaining about. Make a better product, listen to your customers, compete instead of sit on your ass and you will do fine.
Other Comments
  • 23 Hide
    guardianangel42 , October 22, 2012 10:42 PM
    Considering the hardware manufacturers providing PC's based on Microsoft's software have been doing such a terrible job, I'm glad Microsoft is making them sweat. This can only be good for the consumer.

  • 10 Hide
    dalethepcman , October 22, 2012 10:46 PM
    Also considering that most Tegra 3 tablets are in the $400 price range, Microsoft selling one at $500 is just about right.

    I am not sure what the manufacturers are complaining about. Make a better product, listen to your customers, compete instead of sit on your ass and you will do fine.
  • -1 Hide
    Inferno1217 , October 22, 2012 11:01 PM
    dalethepcmanAlso considering that most Tegra 3 tablets are in the $400 price range, Microsoft selling one at $500 is just about right.I am not sure what the manufacturers are complaining about. Make a better product, listen to your customers, compete instead of sit on your ass and you will do fine.


    Not true Nexus 7 using Tegra 3 can be had for as little as $199.
  • -2 Hide
    bavman , October 22, 2012 11:05 PM
    This tablet is overpriced for what it offers. Will not do well.
  • 14 Hide
    Neverdyne , October 22, 2012 11:07 PM
    bavmanThis tablet is overpriced for what it offers. Will not do well.


    Tell that to Apple.
  • -3 Hide
    bavman , October 22, 2012 11:18 PM
    NeverdyneTell that to Apple.


    They're both overpriced. Microsoft didn't really go out of its way to make it better. The tegra 3 is faster than the A5X, but sucks compared to the A5X's graphics power. Apple obviously has the better screen too.

    I was disappointed when microsoft announced the specs of the tablet because theres nothing impressive about them at all, compared to whats on the market. Only bright side is that others will make windows rt tablets
  • 8 Hide
    teknic111 , October 22, 2012 11:27 PM
    I believe the Microsoft Surface will be one hell of a tablet, however, the pricing to high. If Microsoft was smart, they would be selling this thing for $300 or less. Their number one priority should be getting this tablet into as many hands as possible, not trying to make profit right off the bat. They need to take as much market share away from Apple and Android tablets as they can. Once they build a solid user base and mature their app store, they can increase the price of Surface. I think the current price points are gonna cripple an otherwise awesome tablet.
  • 1 Hide
    zybch , October 22, 2012 11:54 PM
    bavmanThey're both overpriced. Microsoft didn't really go out of its way to make it better. The tegra 3 is faster than the A5X, but sucks compared to the A5X's graphics power. Apple obviously has the better screen too. I was disappointed when microsoft announced the specs of the tablet because theres nothing impressive about them at all, compared to whats on the market. Only bright side is that others will make windows rt tablets

    You should perhaps take a look at the numerous reports that the surface screen is perceived as better than the iPad's due to the far lower reflectivity (or something). I know my iPad is useless in any kind of bright environment unless you need a mirror, and it will be interesting to see how my pre-ordered surface copes.
  • 4 Hide
    bystander , October 23, 2012 12:23 AM
    teknic111I believe the Microsoft Surface will be one hell of a tablet, however, the pricing to high. If Microsoft was smart, they would be selling this thing for $300 or less. Their number one priority should be getting this tablet into as many hands as possible, not trying to make profit right off the bat. They need to take as much market share away from Apple and Android tablets as they can. Once they build a solid user base and mature their app store, they can increase the price of Surface. I think the current price points are gonna cripple an otherwise awesome tablet.

    Microsoft cannot do this, because their partners would have a cow. For them to force all their partners to lose money to compete with Surface would be a relations nightmare. As you can see, $500 is already causing issues. You also have to take into account that with that $500, people are getting MS Office, which typically sells for over $150.
  • 5 Hide
    CaedenV , October 23, 2012 1:41 AM
    bavmanThey're both overpriced. Microsoft didn't really go out of its way to make it better. The tegra 3 is faster than the A5X, but sucks compared to the A5X's graphics power. Apple obviously has the better screen too. I was disappointed when microsoft announced the specs of the tablet because theres nothing impressive about them at all, compared to whats on the market. Only bright side is that others will make windows rt tablets

    Surface has a better quality, but lower resolution screen when compared to the iPad, which is why it does not require the same graphics horse power in order to drive said screen. Personally I would like to see it with a higher res screen... but then again I would wait for the x86 version anyways as that is where all of my programs currently live.

    One of the volunteers at my work got to play with a surface 2 weeks ago, and assures me that it is amazing and smooth from case design to touch and interface integration. His only complaint was of the keyboard, but he also said it was better than no keyboard at all... just not great. Personally I think it is a little overpriced for what you are getting, but I guess that money went into case design instead of raw hardware specs.
  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , October 23, 2012 2:19 AM
    $1B in marketing...

    Microsoft will certainly push this to Enterprise customers, because of their large presence there. But realistically most Windows apps that business use today won't run on it. Including MS Office will help, as long as it is not crippled. Except to see a big push by Microsoft and Citrix to support virtual desktop clients on it. That has helped the iPad and MacBook Airs work their way into corporate environment.

    But PC/tablet vendors do have reason to worry. They rely on Microsoft for the OS and software environment and are constrained by Intel as well. The two highest costs on a PC are the processor and the OS. So the PC vendors pretty much fight for the commodity market and thin margins. Microsoft can contract out the same factories in Asia that companies like Apple, Dell, HP and others use. They see what Apple has done and probably figure if they can take a big chunk of the profits in the market - both software and hardware, and to heck with the PC/tablet vendors.

    Some of the PC/tablet manufactures will get out of the market of selling their own brand products and just Asus builds the Nexus for Google.

    In the end we could end up with Google and Microsoft selling the complete "ecosystem" - hardware and software, just like Apple. I am sure Google and Microsoft would like that. There will remain a market for low-end commodity devices, particularly in developing countries, but there is nothing to keep Google or Microsoft from go after those markets as well.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , October 23, 2012 2:44 AM
    The M$ action will only move people away to the competition, Google tablets, Apple tablets..etc
    But that is happening anyhow. Ever since M$ brought out win8 with no easy user experience.
    A bit of a shame.. but m$ will have a big drop in shares fro this bad decision.
  • 4 Hide
    godfather666 , October 23, 2012 2:53 AM
    As others have said, the PC hardware manufacturers have made such unimaginative, stale, boring and problem-ridden hardware over the years - they needed a shaekup.

    Their complacency has really hurt Microsoft and imo has given MS no choice but to enter the hardware market.
  • 4 Hide
    super d spamalot , October 23, 2012 3:05 AM
    godfather666As others have said, the PC hardware manufacturers have made such unimaginative, stale, boring and problem-ridden hardware over the years - they needed a shaekup.Their complacency has really hurt Microsoft and imo has given MS no choice but to enter the hardware market.


    Quite right. The only reason I didn't pre-order the surface is because I never buy something without having had my hands on it first, but comparing it to the plastic-y low quality RT crap being put out by the OEMs almost made me break my own rule.

    PC OEMs have been pushing low price, low quality crap with Microsoft's reputation plastered all over it for years, it's about time Microsoft started doing something about it.
  • 1 Hide
    alextheblue , October 23, 2012 5:13 AM
    Inferno1217Not true Nexus 7 using Tegra 3 can be had for as little as $199.
    It's smaller. Maybe compare 10" class devices to 10" class devices? The Surface is a tad bigger screen than most of those too. Also the Tegra 3 in the Nexus is slightly slower than the one in Surface. Anyway when I look at the quality, materials, and features of the Surface vs the Asus RT device, it makes me stunned that Asus is trying to sell their Tab RT device for MORE than the superior Surface. Vivo Tab RT should start like at $450, at most.
  • 0 Hide
    assasin32 , October 23, 2012 7:02 AM
    Wouldn't mind seeing them make a cheap laptop for windows 8 arm based computer, give Chromebook a bit of competition there and truely try to make it a niche computer market there. If they do that mabey we get lucky and people start making those things what netbooks were suppose to be, cheap functional laptops.
  • 0 Hide
    diddo , October 23, 2012 10:36 AM
    guardianangel42Considering the hardware manufacturers providing PC's based on Microsoft's software have been doing such a terrible job, I'm glad Microsoft is making them sweat. This can only be good for the consumer.

    Competition is good for consumers, but I disagree with the premise.
    Hw manufacturers did an excellent job to fulfill market requirements: buy more at less.
    In two decades prices went down and manufacturers / lines of products with high prices were regularly wiped out of the market or had fallen to a ridiculous market share for a few aficionados.
    The open hw standards in Windows hw market, till now, made unsuccessful any form of marketing based other than the price.
    Design is terrible, marketing is even worse as new lines of products emerges before they can be recognizable by users, what would you can expect in terms of quality after two decades of accurate selection in the other direction?
  • 0 Hide
    mindiji , October 23, 2012 10:38 AM
    In particular, they believe that RT model's $499 starting price will provide an extremely competitive price for other vendors due to release Windows 8 devices at higher prices.

    http://www.evaluestores.com/
  • 2 Hide
    brushrop03 , October 23, 2012 11:32 AM
    teknic111I believe the Microsoft Surface will be one hell of a tablet, however, the pricing to high. If Microsoft was smart, they would be selling this thing for $300 or less. Their number one priority should be getting this tablet into as many hands as possible, not trying to make profit right off the bat. They need to take as much market share away from Apple and Android tablets as they can. Once they build a solid user base and mature their app store, they can increase the price of Surface. I think the current price points are gonna cripple an otherwise awesome tablet.

    Agreed, though I wouldn't go as low as $300. Then people may start asking why is it so cheap. If you consider the price $500 is fair for the hardware you get. If you start too low, going up later wouldn't be easy. I'd say $400 for RT version and $750ish for the Pro.
  • 1 Hide
    mariusmotea , October 23, 2012 12:07 PM
    NeverdyneTell that to Apple.

    Both are expensive, but you can not compare a product with ~ 300 000 apps with one that has lower than 1000. At launch windows 8 RT will be like Chrome OS. No Marketshare, no apps, no experience.
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