Price Range

This weekend, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer dispelled rumors of a $200 Microsoft Surface tablet in an exclusive interview with Seattle Times technology reporter, Janet I. Tu. The importance of the Windows 8 operating system to the company’s future was also emphasized. Mr. Ballmer stated, “The Surface would probably be priced between $300 and $800.”

Up until this point, Microsoft has remained guarded on Microsoft Surface tablet pricing but rumors had been circulating that the starting price could be as low as $199. Ballmer has maintained the Windows 8 Tablets were designed to take on Apple products. In the question and answer period, he stressed the high functionality and quality of the Surface tablet when compared to low cost alternatives such as the “Kindle Fire” ($199). Although “we haven’t announced (specific) pricing,” Ballmer continued, this does give you a better idea of what the company has in mind concerning Windows 8 Tablets. “If you look at the bulk of the PC market, it would run between, say, probably $300 to about $700 or $800,” he reiterated, “That’s the sweet spot.”

Mr. Ballmer went on to stress that the company is switching gears to compete with Apple and moving away from being primarily a software maker. “I think when you look forward, our core capability will be software, [however,] you’ll probably think of us more as a devices-and-services company,” he said. This year will be “the most epic year in Microsoft history.” Orders of magnitude greater than 1995 and the release of Windows 95, he implied.