Sometimes I don't know if to laugh or cry. Microsoft has been responsible in so many ways for shaping the way we work and play, but at the moment it really is struggling to find its feet. The Redmond company has released its ridiculously high pricing for the Intel based Surface tablet with Windows 8 Pro, while at the same time rumors are surfacing (sorry, no pun intended) that Microsoft has ordered a cut in the production of its ARM based Surface RT tablets.
The Surface tablet with Windows 8 Pro will cost $899 for the 64GB version and $999 for the 128GB model. Other than the odd gold plated or diamond studded tablets that have been made especially for the insanely rich, these are the most expensive tablet on the market. Well done Microsoft, great way to launch a new product, make it the most expensive – ever.
With a budget of $899 it is possible to buy a 10.1 inch netbook with Windows 7 (for $250 or less), a Google Nexus 4 with a quad-core CPU, 2GB RAM, 4.7 inch display and an 8 megapixel camera (for $299) and buy a Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ (for $299) and still have change to take the whole family out for pizza. So either I buy an Intel based Surface tablet or I get a netbook, a smartphone and an Android based tablet for the same money… Hmmm… tough choice!
But the pain doesn't stop there. According to an official tweet from Microsoft, the Surface Pro will have approximately half the batter life of Surface RT. To be fair, Microsoft are aiming the Surface Pro at the Ultrabook market and it does have a 1920×1080 full HD resolution display, a full-size USB 3.0 port and it will run your current Windows 7 desktop applications as it is a full PC.
As for the Surface RT, Microsoft's attempt to enter the ARM based, low power consumption tablet market, the outlook (sorry, too many puns today) isn't that good. According to sources from upstream suppliers of the Surface RT, Microsoft has cut the production in half. Microsoft wanted to sell four million Surface RT tablets by the end of 2012, but it has now changed its estimation (and therefore the production quota) to just two million.
Healthy competition is good, it spurs innovation. What would you suggest Microsoft does to get back on its feet in the tablet market.