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Can Microsoft get the Surface tablet price ‘right’?

Microsoft have set the cat among the pigeons this week by announcing their upcoming Surface tablet. They are keen to target Apple’s iPad and in doing so, seem to have alienated some of their partners. These companies don’t want to go head to head with the company who supply the operating system for their machines. After all they have to pay Microsoft a license to use it, giving them a price penalty immediately.

Pricing of the new tablet computer has not been confirmed, but many publications and analysts are making their guesses.

There will be two versions. The Windows Surface RT version will be released for ARM powered devices. Windows Surface Pro will be made for higher powered Intel processors.

Microsoft said “Surface for Windows RT will release with the general availability of Windows 8, and the Windows 8 Pro model will be available about 90 days later. Both will be sold in the Microsoft Store locations in the U.S. and available through select online Microsoft Stores.

Suggested retail pricing will be announced closer to availability and is expected to be competitive with a comparable ARM tablet or Intel Ultrabook-class PC.”

If Microsoft can hit a £350/£450 price for the RT 32GB and 64GB models. and £700/£800 for the Pro 64GB and 128GB versions they might have a strong chance. This is factoring in the current prices of the Apple iPad. The Intel powered machines are always going to force a price premium.

Performance may not be an issue, but many have concerns that the battery life will be significantly worse than the Apple iPad. The pricing is going to be incredibly important for Microsoft, they only have to look at the failed attempts from Dell, HP and Research in Motion to dethrone Apple.

Kitguru says: Surface – will it surface at the right price?

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