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Debunked: $200 MS Surface Tablet Rumor

Engadget reported earlier this week that the Microsoft Surface tablet would sell for prices starting at $200, but clearly that device won’t be coming from Lenovo. According to a recent interview in Bloomberg, Lenovo’s Win8 and Windows RT tablets will cost considerably more, with an estimated retail that isn’t predicted to drop below $400.

I told you so.

David Schmoock, head of Lenovo’s North America operations, went on the record with a number of details on Lenovo’s tablet plans. The Windows 8 tablets, which are going to be running on higher end hardware, will cost $600 to $700, he said. And while he wasn’t specific about the Windows RT, he did say that “RT will play in consumer and retail at very aggressive price points".

The article also states that the Windows RT tablets will cost $200 to $300 less than the tablets Windows 8 software. This comes as no surprise; we’ve know ever since the Surface tablet was unveiled that Windows RT was intended to be more limited and compete directly with Android and the iPad, while the Win8 tablets will be premium devices with greater software compatibility.

This detail about the Windows RT price point was confirmed by Schmoock.  “It will do well but it’s going to be more of a consumer price point play to begin with," he said.

I hate to repeat myself, but I told you so.

If Lenovo is going to price their tablets $400 and up, do you really expect Microsoft to undercut them that badly? I don’t. It would kill any chance of Lenovo making a profit on these tablets. Sure, they’re going to get at least a few tablets out of each OEM, but if MS undercuts them too much that will be all. MS will be stuck as the only Windows tablet maker in a market increasingly dominated by the iPad.

And besides, do you recall Microsoft’s last foray into hardware, the Kin phone? I’m still not convinced that MS won’t screw up the Surface tablet just as thoroughly as they did that phone. If MS is left alone with Kin tablet in an iPad world, I’m buying another iPad.

P.S. See, this is a perfect example of why bloggers need to think about rumors before they repeat them; it would have saved many from tabloid blogging.

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JC August 22, 2012 um 11:09 am

Do you read what you type "The Windows 8 tablets, which are going to be
running on higher end hardware" yeah i5’s plus not ARM for Windows 8 RT that’s
the Version that they might sell at the 199.00 price point. There intent is not to make
money at first but, to get out there and also to make sure that their OEM don’t put out
crap like they’ve done with laptops adding 15 extra buttons and loading it with crap
that frustrated customers then blaming Microsoft on their short comings or the
perception that’s is Windows Crap. Now it will be on them to set it up.
About time because economical or price to kill is ok but, Crap is Crap.
That’s my rant and I am sticking by it!

Jonas August 23, 2012 um 6:40 pm

Kin phone? The latest major hardware from Microsoft was Kinect. The fastest-selling consumer electronics device ever.

We also got the Xbox 360 itself and a lot of PC peripherals to add to the list of very sucessful hardware.

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