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Alpha_ProgDes

Microsoft Surface RT costs $499

31 posts in this topic

So some time ago I posted this:
[quote name='Alpha_ProgDes' timestamp='1345319831' post='4970906']
Supposedly [url="http://www.bgr.com/2012/08/14/microsoft-surface-tablet-price-rumor-199-dollars/"]Surface RT is going to cost $199[/url]. This may be a game changer.
[/quote]

Well now supposedly the price is [url="http://techcrunch.com/2012/10/16/microsoft-surface-rt-priced-32gb-for-499-without-touch-cover-599-with-64gb-for-699/"]$499 with 32GB and no Touch (ie. keyboard) cover.[/url] So aside from first adopters, I don't see the Surface making much of a dent. Especially with the new iPad Mini and 9" Kindle. Microsoft burns themselves again......

So I guess no Christmas present for me. I'll just be waiting for the HTC HD8. Surface, Win 8, and new Metro apps are a no-go for me as it stands.
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This seems like another one of their 'johnny come lately' products that no one will buy, and they'll completely drop support for by next year. They've done that a lot lately. Plays For Sure, Zune, Zune HD, XNA GS. There is barely any pre-release hype for this thing to begin with.

I want one. I think it will have the best programming environment of all the tablet choices. But I think in one year from now, no one at Microsoft will want to talk about Surface, like they don't want to talk about several other things. So it's not a smart investment until it's more proven.

And even then, it just muddies the waters more with tablet programming. Java for Android, Objective C for iPad, and whatever on Surface.
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I'm not so sure. It's pretty good value. There are other options that might be more appealing to some, but I think it's a 'good enough' price. The real problem I see is how expensive the keyboard is.

Keep in mind that MS couldn't really price it too low or they'd risk their brand looking inferior to ipads and price their other manufacturers out of the market. Imo the surface isn't about selling big numbers, it's about setting a benchmark for windows 8 hardware. Afaik that's the main reason google releases their nexus phones as well.
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Oh come on, this is silly - the $199 was just a made up rumour.

$499 is cheaper than the ipad I think? And generally in line with 10" tablets. It's ludicrous argument to say it's expensive, just because it's not as cheap as some ridiculously unrealistic cheap cost that someone made up. I might as well claim the ipad 4 will be 50 cents, and then claim it's too expensive when the real cost is announced. As soon as I saw the rumour on $199, I could just see that these kinds of arguments would come :/

Yes there's a valid argument to say that the real mainstream usage of tablets will be in low cost devices - at high prices, they're luxury products, but at cheap prices, it's tempting to get not one but several for different sizes and purposes. But that argument applies against all the other high end tablets, from Apple, Samsung, ASUS etc.

Johnny-come-lately? That was Apple with phones [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img] If now is late for tablets, then MS don't have to worry anyway, as it means there isn't going to be any further growth. OTOH if there is plenty of future growth in tablets (the thing that concerns MS), then now is certainly not late.

Similarly with the idea of the Surface Pro - if there isn't a demand for tablets that are also usable as laptops/desktops/full blown PCs, then it doesn't matter anyway, MS will just go on selling Windows on PCs as before. But if there is, then they're certainly not late to the market - rather, they're first, as no one has yet to make a tablet that's actually a full blown PC, rather than an oversized phone.

Also consider that this is just one of many Windows tablets - unlike Apple, but like Android, you're not stuck with one product. As with the Google phones, it makes sense that the "flagship" product should be a high end premium product, but let other companies fill the market with cheaper products. I don't think that MS's aim is to dominate with the Surface alone (although I'm sure they wouldn't mind), but to provide a flagship example to other Windows tablet manufacturers, similar to what Google did with phones in the earlier days of Android (the Nexus line has never sold that well compared with other Android phones, but they are an important line).

ETA on comparisons:

Does an ipad mini actually exist yet? With pricing? All I've seen is rumours.

The 7" Android tablets look great, but it's not fair to compare 8/16GB 7" tablets to 32/64GB 10" tablets - if you're going to compare, let's compare like to like. (Plus if you want cheap, the cheapest seems to be Ainol, offering 7" tablets cheaper than Amazon, Google, Samsung or Apple - but do the media ever mention them...?)

The original Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 prices were $499 for 16GB, $549 for 32GB ( [url="http://techcrunch.com/2012/08/15/samsung-galaxy-note-10-1-hits-stores-august-16-499-for-16gb-549-for-32gb/"]http://techcrunch.co...b-549-for-32gb/[/url] ). I believe an Ipad 3 is $499 for only the 16GB version.

Given that Windows's strengths would be things like Office, easier integration with PCs and so on, it seems to me that this strategy is better than going for the ultra-cheap-low-end 7" market. Yes, every platform and device has its pros and cons, but I'm boggled at the argument that the Surface RT is expensive, when if anything it's cheaper than the competition. Edited by mdwh
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The point of the Surface: RT or Pro is adoption. If no one is buying your tablets, no one is making apps for them. Win 8 also as a Desktop OS probably won't get a lot of traction either. It may end up like Vista. So, IMO, the Surface was the best way to introduce Win 8 to the world and get some major adopters. Both users and app devs. To price it against the iPad especially without the keyboard is crazy. The pricing brings up too many questions. Number one is: why should I buy this?
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[quote name='Alpha_ProgDes' timestamp='1350492678' post='4991162']
The point of the Surface: RT or Pro is adoption. If no one is buying your tablets, no one is making apps for them. Win 8 also as a Desktop OS probably won't get a lot of traction either. It may end up like Vista. So, IMO, the Surface was the best way to introduce Win 8 to the world and get some major adopters. Both users and app devs. To price it against the iPad especially without the keyboard is crazy. The pricing brings up too many questions. Number one is: why should I buy this?
[/quote]

Why should you buy an iPad?
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[quote name='Arthur Souza' timestamp='1350493236' post='4991167']
[quote name='Alpha_ProgDes' timestamp='1350492678' post='4991162']
The point of the Surface: RT or Pro is adoption. If no one is buying your tablets, no one is making apps for them. Win 8 also as a Desktop OS probably won't get a lot of traction either. It may end up like Vista. So, IMO, the Surface was the best way to introduce Win 8 to the world and get some major adopters. Both users and app devs. To price it against the iPad especially without the keyboard is crazy. The pricing brings up too many questions. Number one is: why should I buy this?
[/quote]

Why should you buy an iPad?
[/quote]
"It's cool. User-friendly. Everyone has one. And it has a zillion apps." If I was a normal user, that's what I would say.

So why would I buy a Surface?
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The ipad doesn't come with a keyboard at that price either.

Whilst there were plenty of problems with Vista, I've never seen evidence that its adoption was bad - it continued to get sales the way that Windows always does, buy people buying new PCs. Yes, plenty of businesses stayed with older versions, but they always do that - they did with XP, they did with Windows 7. Many people don't upgrade until the service packs come out, which for Vista was basically Windows 7.

I'd say a Surface is cool and user-friendly. These are meaningless matter-of-opinion claims. And no, not everyone has an ipad; most people don't. Software for the RT will be a problem to start with, but by that logic, no one should have ever bought an iphone in the beginning. Plus Windows will have Office from the start, which is more useful to some than 100,000 fart apps or website wrappers. IIRC, Windows 8 software can run on both ARM and x86 (I guess they use packages with both binaries, for native applications?) So that solves the problem long term - there's a massive market long term for Windows 8, even if most of it is on x86, but if the software can run on both, RT will pick up the software support.

Why should anyone buy an iphone? Everyone has Android phones (at least, far more so than Iphones or Ipads).

Indeed, why should I buy an ipad over a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 or an ASUS Transformer?

How about: look at what each one offers, and decide what you like, rather than arguing based on what you claim is "cool" or not.
If we're looking at market success, it doesn't have to beat Apple - I mean, it's okay for Apple to be a runner-up player in phones and desktops, so it's hardly a failing if there's one niche area where MS aren't number one. But of more interest I think will be how it compares to Android. I much prefer Android to anything Apple, but the success on non-phone tablets so far has been disappointing, especially at the 10" level. Nonetheless, I don't see people saying that 10" Android tablets are too expensive, or saying that they've flopped.

Can Windows do better than Android here? Just as Apple have settled for distance second place behind Android in the phone market (now that Nokia have ditched Symbian for WP), MS could still do well to rival Android in the larger 10" tablets, even if Apple still end up leading.
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[quote name='mdwh' timestamp='1350500236' post='4991220']
The ipad doesn't come with a keyboard at that price either.

Whilst there were plenty of problems with Vista, I've never seen evidence that its adoption was bad - it continued to get sales the way that Windows always does, buy people buying new PCs. Yes, plenty of businesses stayed with older versions, but they always do that - they did with XP, they did with Windows 7. Many people don't upgrade until the service packs come out, which for Vista was basically Windows 7.[/quote]
Many people went from XP to Win7 by choice. Quite a number of folks uninstalled Vista and installed XP.

[quote]I'd say a Surface is cool and user-friendly. These are meaningless matter-of-opinion claims.[/quote]
And yet, in this market, opinions matters. Opinions of the users. Not hardcore hardware geeks or IT personnel.

[quote]And no, not everyone has an ipad; most people don't.[/quote]
I said if I was an user. I would say that. And yes, quite a number of people have iPad. 50% of tablets users (or more) have an iPad as a tablet.

[quote]Software for the RT will be a problem to start with, but by that logic, no one should have ever bought an iphone in the beginning.[/quote]
What? No. iPhone and iPad were not the first but were the considered the first of its kind. They ran the market until Android came along. So now you have a Microsoft as a late-comer into the game. If you look at the trend of WP7, it's not looking good.

[quote]Plus Windows will have Office from the start, which is more useful to some than 100,000 fart apps or website wrappers.[/quote]
Why am I buying this and not a laptop? Is Surface going to be marketed as an inexpensive laptop?

[quote]IIRC, Windows 8 software can run on both ARM and x86 (I guess they use packages with both binaries, for native applications?) So that solves the problem long term - there's a massive market long term for Windows 8, even if most of it is on x86, but if the software can run on both, RT will pick up the software support.[/quote]
I believe companies will have to release two versions of the software. Obviously an ARM version and x64 version.

[quote]Why should anyone buy an iphone? Everyone has Android phones (at least, far more so than Iphones or Ipads).[/quote]
Because it's a market leader. It's on every phone network but T-Mobile. No phone has more apps than iPhone.

[quote]How about: look at what each one offers, and decide what you like, rather than arguing based on what you claim is "cool" or not.
If we're looking at market success, it doesn't have to beat Apple - I mean, it's okay for Apple to be a runner-up player in phones and desktops, so it's hardly a failing if there's one niche area where MS aren't number one. But of more interest I think will be how it compares to Android. I much prefer Android to anything Apple, but the success on non-phone tablets so far has been disappointing, especially at the 10" level. Nonetheless, I don't see people saying that 10" Android tablets are too expensive, or saying that they've flopped.[/quote]
How about we remember that normal users do not work in the IT department. If given a choice between Android, Kindle, iPad, and Surface, what would convince a normal buyer to buy a Surface? The $100 keyboard?

[quote]Can Windows do better than Android here? Just as Apple have settled for distance second place behind Android in the phone market (now that Nokia have ditched Symbian for WP), MS could still do well to rival Android in the larger 10" tablets, even if Apple still end up leading.
[/quote]
For the record, I want Surface to succeed. And it is impressive as far as hardware goes. But at this point, I can't look at it from a hardware/IT POV. I have to look at it from the user's point of view. And right now, I'm not seeing enough "WOW" or solid reason to make me go buy a Surface as opposed to a 9" Kindle or iPad.
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[quote name='mdwh' timestamp='1350500236' post='4991220']
The ipad doesn't come with a keyboard at that price either.[/quote]
The iPad isn't claiming to be a laptop replacement, either.

[quote]Whilst there were plenty of problems with Vista, I've never seen evidence that its adoption was bad... Many people don't upgrade until the service packs come out, which for Vista was basically Windows 7.[/quote]
My last company was so badly burned by their attempts to adopt Vista, that they also refused to adopt Windows 7 (and likely, will refuse to adopt Windows 8, as well). Unless you are in a market segment that required DX10 support (read: gaming), Vista was a disaster.

[quote]How about: look at what each one offers, and decide what you like, rather than arguing based on what you claim is "cool" or not.[/quote]
We are all domain experts in computer-centric fields. Our decision-making process little resembles that of the average consumer (and I would submit, that 'cool' features heavily).

But even if we set aside competition from the iPad for the moment, what reason does the average consumer have to buy a $500 ARM Surface over a $300 laptop? The laptop is significantly faster, runs x86 applications right off the bat, and doesn't have a confusing new interface. The iPad answers this question almost exclusively via the 'cool factor' - it's not clear to me that Surface can do the same...

Also, what is with no Windows 8 version of Office? If I wanted desktop office on my iPad, I'd VNC.
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All I have to say is that Microsoft is blowing it with this pricing scheme. Like it or not, given a choice between an iPad or anything else at the same price, they'll take the iPad. And I can't blame them when it comes to iPad versus Surface. iPad looks great, it is easy to use, it's fast, and it does everything the typical consumer expects it to do. And then it has all of those apps. Surface has an unproven OS, a fraction of the apps, and, in my opinion (and I'll bet many others') a less attractive build. Unless Windows 8 is a home run, I see a Touchpad fiasco in Microsoft's future. Or a Blackberry Playbook situation where the company refuses to cut a product that is surely not a success. Edited by smr
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I don't think its priced poorly for what it is (the touch cover it too expensive though), its more the fact that they could have (and I believe, should have) priced it more aggressively than they are. The build quality is as high or higher than apples, the hardware is as good or better than apples (screen is lower res, but IMO Apple's retina resolution is more bluster than actually useful, and reduces battery life potential), and I'd even argue that the OS/interface is better than Apple's both on the outside and under the covers. What Microsoft really lacks is the established software ecosystem, especially for the Surface RT that won't run desktop software.

The good news is that Microsoft, through Visual Studio and a vast array of APIs that are shared with the Windows Desktop, has the best developer story around, bar none. If you make your app or game for iOS, you get essentially one device class (iPad or iPhone/iTouch), and you can port your interface to the other but the size difference makes for a significant re-work. On Win 8, you'll get Tablets, plus a huge desktop market for the same cost (you can add more value by re-working for enhanced resolution and keyboard/mouse, but the basic app will work relatively well even without), and you can port to the Windows Phone 8 for a similar cost as iPad->iPhone.

It's hardly in the bag, they need to get a strong ecosystem established quickly, but that's really the only hurdle they face (that and overcoming Apple's 'cool' factor). I'm sure there's some bean-counter somewhere that warned them off of pricing the device even 50 bucks lower, but the thing is that its either going to languish and fizzle quickly, or it'll be bigger than Apple -- that might sound hyperbolic, but Windows 8 on the desktop (especially), along with integration of sharing and services across Win 8, Surface, Xbox, and WinPhone 8 essentially eliminate the possibility of them just "doing well". Domination or irrelevance are the only two destinations on this line, IMHO.

That's why they should have priced more aggressively -- because its the best thing they can do to avoid failing immediately. It would be a wise investment. That said, I'm certain that part of the reason for the premium pricing is because they didn't want to disenfranchise partner OEMs. Microsoft is probably happy to hold the premium space (which is essentially what Apple does, though they have no competing devices), and leave the lower-margin value space to OEMs.
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I have one of these, I have no need of an iPad or a Surface (although I would take one if someone gave one to me).
[attachment=11811:xformer.jpg]
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[quote]But even if we set aside competition from the iPad for the moment, what reason does the average consumer have to buy a $500 ARM Surface over a $300 laptop? The laptop is significantly faster, runs x86 applications right off the bat, and doesn't have a confusing new interface.[/quote]
not to mention the laptop comes with a keyboard.

pricing it at the same price as the most likely technically 'superior' ipad3 is suicide.

they had two options to succeed
1. release what they have cheaper < $400
2. release at 500 but make it technically superior

Its like MS still hasnt realized nowadays theyre not as big as apple, thus cant act like apple & expect the rest to fall into line
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[quote name='zedz' timestamp='1350518182' post='4991281']
pricing it at the same price as the most likely technically 'superior' ipad3 is suicide.
[/quote]
How do you figure the ipad is technically superior?
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[quote name='Daaark' timestamp='1350509528' post='4991255']
Bregma, did you buy the dock for your transformer? I didn't bother.
[/quote]
I did (well, technically, my employer did). Because it was really cool. Whoops, it's a tablet. Whoops, it's a laptop. Splendid, really.

Also, I needed the keyboard attached in order to root it.
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Why do people always compare tablets to laptops and netbooks? They are two completely different concepts, with completely different usage scenarios. It's like asking why you would get shoes when you can get a shirt? You can happily use both. They aren't mutually exclusive, but they both fail miserably if you attempt to use one as the other.

Netbooks and Laptops run full/normal computer software, and are useful for things that require data entry. You open it up and you sit in front of it, and you work on something. They also have much better specs, but specs aren't everything.

Tablets are very different. It's something very versatile that you put in your pocket, or bag, and pull out to quickly accomplish a task. They run small programs that are set up to quickly fulfill specific tasks and then let you move on with your life. They aren't for doing work on like a netbook or laptop.

When I want to read a book before I go to bed, do you think I want to boot up an os, open up this big clamshell case, and have this hot machine sitting on my lap or in front of me? Of course not. I just grab my weightless tablet, touch the icon of the book, and I'm ready to go instantly. I can hold it however I like, to best match the format of whatever content I'm looking at, and turn pages with a small finger flick. If I'm really tired, I can lay all the way down and prop it up beside my head.

There are many usage scenarios like the above where the laptop, netbook, or PC fail miserably compared to a tablet. It's not always about bigger specs. Why use a bigger, ckunky machine just to look at something, or get a small bit of information? It now seems silly to sit at a PC to do 99% of the things I used to use it for.
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I'm viewing this on a transformer. It's only competing if you buy the keyboard dock, which I didn't. And it's a bad competition, because it runs a tablet OS, with tablet software. Much like Windows 8 on the tablet, without the desktop mode.

That's the flipside of my post, where trying to use a tablet like a full computer because clunky and silly^. :)
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[quote name='Daaark' timestamp='1350535605' post='4991335']
I'm viewing this on a transformer. It's only competing if you buy the keyboard dock, which I didn't. And it's a bad competition, because it runs a tablet OS, with tablet software. Much like Windows 8 on the tablet, without the desktop mode.

That's the flipside of my post, where trying to use a tablet like a full computer because clunky and silly^. [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img]
[/quote]

The transformer book has the same form factor with the full version of windows 8. The whole point of windows 8 is that it should work as a tablet os and desktop replacement. They are trying to beat everyone to a market where a tablet can replace your laptop/netbook.
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[quote name='way2lazy2care' timestamp='1350565313' post='4991415']
They are trying to beat everyone to a market where a tablet can replace your laptop/netbook.[/quote]
I'm not sure that market exists.

My iPad is fantastic for browsing the web, watching Netflix, playing games, and reading books. But next time I need to recompile a C++ project encompassing a couple of million lines of code, I would really miss the quad-core i7 in my laptop...
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[quote name='swiftcoder' timestamp='1350567396' post='4991423']
I'm not sure that market exists.

My iPad is fantastic for browsing the web, watching Netflix, playing games, and reading books. But next time I need to recompile a C++ project encompassing a couple of million lines of code, I would really miss the quad-core i7 in my laptop...
[/quote]
Why do you think a tablet can't have those specs?

The specs for the transformer book are up to i7, 4GB of ram, nVidia 630m, 11.6-14 inch screens available, SSD and HDD both available. Iirc there's an HP convertible and the samsung convertible that both also have good specs.
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[quote name='way2lazy2care' timestamp='1350570205' post='4991433']
Why do you think a tablet can't have those specs?
[/quote]
Power consumption. With those specs, you would be burning your fingers and the compile would quit half way through its
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A tablet doesn't even need those specs. It's a consumption device, not a creation device. I'm not sitting and squinting at that tiny screen to work on something.

[size=1][i]edit:holy shit spelling![/i][/size] Edited by Daaark
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