Microsoft Surface Pro: Official Pricing Set
Microsoft has officially set the price for its upcoming Surface Pro tablet computer. When it goes on sale early next year, the device will retail for $899 and up.
Microsoft's Surface tablet officially launched on October 26, 2012 (along with Windows 8), but observers made clear that was just one of the versions of the Surface that Microsoft has been developing.
The Surface released in October runs Windows RT, a slimmer version of Windows 8 designed for portable devices with more limited hardware specifications. The new Surface Pro is capable enough to run a full-fledged version of Windows 8.
Surface Pro Uses Intel Core i5 Processor
To run Windows 8, the new Surface Pro will include 64GB of storage capacity and will utilize an Intel Core i5 processor. It will cost $899.
A more powerful version of the device will run on the same processor and include 128GB of storage, priced at $999. (Source: cnn.com)
These versions will also be capable of running "legacy" Windows 7 applications, Microsoft has said.
By comparison, the 32GB Surface available at retailers right now utilizes an ARM processor chip. It's priced at $499 and up.
Analysts Concerned About Price, Performance Gamble
Obviously, Microsoft is hoping large numbers of consumers will be willing to pay substantially extra for a far more powerful device supporting more elaborate software features.
Some analysts believe the steep pricing of the new Surface models is designed to make room at lower prices for Microsoft's hardware partners in the highly competitive tablet computer market.
Back when the Surface was first announced last summer, there were rumors these hardware partners were upset with Microsoft's decision to release a tablet device. Any such problems seem to have been resolved.
"The Surface Pro pricing leaves room for device makers to come down in price without compromising margins too much," noted Gartner analyst, Carolina Milanesi.
"This is an enterprise play, not a consumer play, at least for now." (Source: computerworld.com)
But J. Gold Associates' Jack Gold doesn't think it's a smart strategy for Microsoft. In a recent interview, Gold suggested that competitors will easily undercut the pricing, and thereby outsell Microsoft's Surface Pro.