March 31, 2023

Bits Blog: Microsoft Surface to Start at $500

The Surface tablet, as displayed by Microsoft in June.David Mcnew/Reuters The Surface tablet, as displayed by Microsoft in June.

As the days tick down to Microsoft’s introduction of its Surface tablet, the company has revealed how it plans to price the product — more like Apple than Amazon.

Instead of adopting Amazon’s lower pricing on the Kindle Fire, Microsoft said it would sell Surface for a starting price of $500, the same starting price as the current generation of Apple’s iPad. People who buy that Surface model will get some extra perks though, including 32 gigabytes of storage — twice the amount of the cheapest third-generation iPad — and a 10.6-inch display, rather than the iPad’s 9.7-inch display.

Microsoft said it would sell a 32-gigabyte Surface bundled with a black Touch Cover, a keyboard that doubles as a protective shield for the tablet, for $600. A similar bundle with a 64-gigabyte Surface will cost $700. Microsoft will sell Touch Covers separately in a wider assortment of colors for $120, and a different type of keyboard cover with moving keys, called Type Cover, will sell for $130.

It’s clear Microsoft is aiming Surface at what is shaping up to be the premium portion of the tablet market, which Apple currently dominates. Amazon, in contrast, seems intent on using price as a weapon to gain market share against its rivals. The company recently introduced an 8.9-inch-screen Kindle Fire that starts at $300.

Microsoft has not yet said whether it will bring out a version of Surface that competes in the small-screen tablet category. Google’s Nexus 7 tablet starts at $200, while Amazon’s seven-inch Kindle Fire starts at $160. Apple is expected to announce a new, smaller iPad next week.

Surface will go on sale Oct. 26 in Microsoft retail stores in the United States and Canada. The company said the product would be sold online in Britain, China, France, Germany and several other countries. Microsoft said a limited quantity will be available for ordering on Tuesday at noon Eastern time.

The company also began showing a new Surface television commercial on Monday evening, featuring an odd collection of foot-stomping girls in school uniforms and dancers using their Surface tablets as percussion instruments.

Article source: