Industry sources asserted that Microsoft’s Surface tablet will initially be offered only in WiFi version, even though analysts opine that its lack of cellular connectivity won’t be seen as a major limitation.

What could, however, likely be perceived as problematic is the Surface’s asking prices, allegedly set at $599. This would put the WiFi-only Surface just thirty bucks shy of Apple’s 16GB 4G iPad 3…

Bloomberg has the story:

Wi-Fi-only models are the larger part of the market right now and Microsoft’s decision may enable it to keep costs down, said Ben Bajarin, an analyst at technology consulting firm Creative Strategies.

Still, it could curtail the company’s efforts to promote Surface as a device you can use anywhere and in any way, Bajarin said.

As for the rumored $599 price target (if The Next Web is to be believed), it’s in stark contrast to Steve Ballmer’s reassurance at Monday’s Surface unveiling, when he said the device will “be priced like comparable tablets”.

In another move that could confuse would-be buyers, Microsoft said it will offer a high-end version of the Surface alongside an ARM-based version. This beefed up Surface will run Windows 8 Pro and Intel’s chips for backwards compatibility with legacy Windows software.

That device should be priced in the neighborhood of Ultrabooks, Ballmer said.

Sorry about the video (courtesy of Read Write Web), I couldn’t help myself.

Two things here.

First, Microsoft will likely down the road offer a cellular version of the Surface, but clearly it would be far more prudent to have both WiFi and cellular flavors on offer from day one.

And second, regarding price, Microsoft obviously wants to reap the margins on this thing. They could give up margins and offer the Surface at a lower price, perhaps even at a break-even price.

That, however, would seriously undermine OEMs who wouldn’t be able to price-match the Surface because of the royalties paid to – wait for it – Microsoft for using Windows 8 on their tablet products.

PC makers reportedly hinted at feelings of “betrayal” over the Microsoft tablet, though some like Acer think it’s just a ploy to drive Windows 8 adoption.

Looks like Microsoft is playing a dangerous game here, no?

  • imot65

    Three Simia troglodytes vs a Homo Sapiens…

    … the monkeys sees… the monkeys do…

  • YujinNY

    there are rumors saying the battery last 7 hours…..compared to the 10 hours on the iPad.

  • Kok Hean

    That is a computer with the full version of Windows, that’s what makes it feel pricey, but look at it at a laptop user’s perspective, a smooth tablet with Windows 8 is actually reasonable.

  • Pukka12

    I wouldn’t have a problem paying that price. The fact that this thing runs windows is awesome. It worth it. I’ll be picking one up. This is the first real competitor to the iPad.

    • They have an i5 chip which will make it really hot. I bet it will be hotter than the ipad3. I know they give some air movement but it would not be enough even a laptop that has fan can be very hot

  • Bad bad recipe. This could have disaster written all over it.
    1. Price. It better be the exact same price model or less than iPad or Surface is toast.
    2. So Surface will introduce a High End version, and an Arm-based (inferior) version to help confuse consumers. iPad gets it right with simplicity. So…when you ad 4g models on top of those other two versions, you’re really going to confuse non-techy buyers.

  • tward09

    I think that it should cost more than the iPad, as it isn’t your run-of-the-mill tablet. If Apple released a tablet with full OSX on it, do you honestly think they’d price it the same as the iPad? No sir. The Surface will reasonably be able to do more than the iPad. The iPad is a companion to your PC or Mac; this is a replacement.

    • ReanimationXP

      Why so many downvotes? He’s got a point. This is basically a tablet version of a Macbook Air.. which starts at 1 grand. I’m surprised Apple hasn’t released something similar, and I guarantee they would price it much higher than iPad if they did.

  • At first I thought this tablet might steer people away from iPad but the more I learn the more I realize it is a hodgepodge of things that won’t work together very well. For example, the Windows 8 Desktop (not to be confused with the new Metro UI) will still be using ClearType pixel-to-pixel technology. So my question is, doesn’t that pretty much make it impossible to have a retina display for any x86 tablet? If you don’t know what I’m talking about go into Control Panel, Display and set a custom text size (DPI) to 200% and notice how it makes Windows 7 look. I really think mixing old with the new is going to cause some usability problems. 🙁

  • Well_Said

    I love using windows 8 on my new MacBook Air 13 mid 2012.

    • And I like to install Mac OS X Mountain Lion on my Windows 7 HP desktop.

  • I think the price won’t be like that. Microsoft wouldn’t price their products as high as Apple. And as for performance, let’s not judge it before the mass media tries it 🙂

    • Well thats why apple sells there new OSX mountain lion for $20 while Microsoft sells theres for $100 to $200 dollars. Microsoft will over price there stuff they do it with there software why not there hardware.

  • twited21

    No 4g no likey likey

  • Dan

    I think people are giving too much credibility to rumors.

    Imo, the ipad is more of an entertainment accessory, play games, watch movies, surf the web. For me, the iPad was never really a computer replacement, I tried, but I could never be as productive as I would be on a computer.

    The Surface, will run windows and most likely have the same multitasking capabilities. We know it will have USB outlets, so most likely you will be able to connect accessories like a mouse, keyboard (real size), printers, external hard-drive and even a full size screen. This could truly be a computer replacements.

    I have high hopes, if it can do everything I just mentionned, you can bet you @ss I will drop my iPad like a hot potato.

    • I still won’t run games or high end programs like photoshop cause the ram
      Is to low..

      • Dan

        you’d be surprised the garbage pc’s that photoshop can work on. At work, i had photoshop cs4 running on a gig or ram, a 6 year old cpu and 128meg vid card.

    • jgr627

      You might as well drop your iPad now if you can’t seem to create any content… the apple team we don’t need any zombies over here

  • ExRoot

    Seems to me the price is right when compared to a iPad. I have an iPad and I have tried and tried and can’t be productive on it. So many limitations. I don’t care how hard I try. Surface appears to be a tablet with windows. A real operating system. I’m sorry buy I would gladly play the higher price. I hate to say it but my iPad is used for emal and movie watching as well as web surfing. There i said it. I have never said that before but I am finally admitting this this is a toy and not a real productive device for what I need. I used to argue that is was a real device but I have come to see it really is not.

    I’m ready to move on to a windows tablet.

  • How about this. Buy the wifi iPad 32Go + a smart cover + a bluetooth keyboad and tell me which is cheaper?

    I’m not switching my iPad for this but dont compare oranges with apples. (no pun intended)

    • ReanimationXP

      They haven’t made it clear if it comes with a keyboard cover or not. I would guess it doesn’t.

  • I love the surface design and hope it will be sold soon.
    Yes MS did copy the hole presentation procedure from Apple, which is not quite smart specially when performed poor. But one thing they forgot to copy and that’s what I love about Apple, the way Steve Jobs presented new Products made you want to buy it even when it was considered too expensive.
    But the big difference is that after Apple made you craving for the new gadget they had it in the Stores soon afterwards. MS you forgot the most important part of the hole thing it doesn’t cut if you didn’t manufacture them in big numbers already!
    I bought my 1st Apple MacBook Air 13 this week since I can’t wait 6 month.

  • Wael Abdo


  • they should have a 16gb lower end version n a 64gb higher end version, n assembled the best specs ever, redesign the best UI ever for MS…..price it lower, n MS should have a fight…..