It’s about damn time.
Microsoft announced the Surface product family on June 18th. After eight months of waiting, Microsoft announced that on February 9, the fully-capable, Windows 8-packing, Intel-powered, actually-really-novel Surface 8 Pro will finally hit stores in the U.S. and Canada.
The Surface Pro is the big daddy in the Surface family.
Microsoft has renamed, or partially unnamed its Surface RT tablet to merely the “Surface.” The Surface RT struggled in the market through its first year in the wild. It has been mostly replaced by the new, and quite nice, Surface 2.
However, Microsoft intends to continue selling the Surface RT for some time, perhaps getting rid of unsold inventory, at a reduced price.
The Microsoft Surface RT is a PC. It’s not a mobile device and it’s not a tablet, it’s a PC. And Microsoft’s first self-branded computer. It is, in short, the physical incarnation of Microsoft’s Windows 8.
The expectations and competition for the Surface are daunting.
At first glance the Microsoft Surface tablet running Windows 8 Pro looks expensive: A 64 GB version will cost $899 and the 128 GB version will be $999. (Microsoft — NASDAQ: MSFT — announced pricing yesterday.) Critics may say you can buy a full-blown PC or laptop at that price. But that’s exactly the point: Surface Pro is a full-blown computer that doubles as a tablet.
The gap between a full-fledged PC and a touchscreen tablet has finally found a bridge in the Microsoft Surface Pro. The Windows 8 device will be available for purchase on February 9, but we got a sneak peek with the Surface Pro and took it for a test spin in the Fly Or Die studios.
So what’s the verdict?
Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) might be planning to sell its Surface for Windows RT tablet for $199, a staggeringly low price to potentially counter Google Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire tablets. Is Microsoft ready to make some Surface tablets loss leaders, figuring to make up the shortfall on application and media sales, according to a published report?
If you, like me, took some offline time this weekend, we're a bit late to the latest slap fight in the world of Windows RT. Until recently, there was only one functional player in the Windows RT space – Microsoft, and its Surface 2 tablet – but Nokia has stepped into the ring, and one of its suppliers is talking a little trash.
No shame in that, of course.
Microsoft is in a tough spot. Windows RT is all but dead in the water. But Microsoft has approximately a zillion and a half Surface RT tablets collecting dust in warehouses. And so Ballmer and Co. continued its ignorant fight against Apple and the far more successful iPad with another TV spot that pits the two against each other.