Microsoft Surface Tablet

An IDC analyst reported to CNET recently that Microsoft is gearing up to build millions of Windows 8 Tablets. IDC estimates the company is initially planning to produce over 3 million Windows 8 Tablets and although they have yet to reveal the actual pricing on the products, the IDC analyst shared his thoughts on this area of discussion. He also scrutinized the rumored $199 Microsoft Surface tablet.

In a phone interview IDC analyst Bob O’Donnell said Microsoft expects to build, “Probably a little over 3 million (units in 2012), both [Intel] x86 and ARM.” He went on to say the Microsoft Surface tablet (RT), built around ARM processors would not support older software that runs on Windows 7 but the Intel-based Windows 8 Pro will run legacy software. In reference to Microsoft’s production and sales strategies O’Donnell continued, “If they build a few million units there’s no way they can sell it through Microsoft store only, so I think that they’ll sell it through traditional retail also. You can’t build that many products without having a much wider distribution strategy. They just haven’t shared that yet.”

On the possibility of a $199 Surface tablet O’Donnell stated, “There could be two ways to get Surface. Buy it outright for, let’s say, $599. Or $199 for a two-year subscription and you can get X, Y, and Z — which, oh, by the way, works out to more than $599.” O’Donnell has serious doubts about the subscription hypothesis though. The surface is essentially a PC product and he does not think a subscription-based pricing model would be successful.