September 16, 2012
Microsoft's Ballmer Says Surface Tablet Pricing To Be Between $300 And $800
The Seattle Times published an interview with Steve Ballmer late yesterday. One of the questions touched on pricing for the Microsoft Surface Tablet announced earlier in the year. Here’s the relevant portion of the interview:
Q: The iPad has the largest share of the tablet market, but its soft spot, it seems to me, is the price.With the Surface, are you planning to compete with the iPad on price or on features?
A: We haven't announced pricing. I think we have a very competitive product from the features perspective. ...
I think most people would tell you that the iPad is not a superexpensive device. ... (When) people offer cheaper, they do less. They look less good, they're chintzier, they're cheaper.
If you say to somebody, would you use one of the 7-inch tablets, would somebody ever use a Kindle (Kindle Fire, $199) to do their homework? The answer is no; you never would. It's just not a good enough product. It doesn't mean you might not read a book on it....
If you look at the bulk of the PC market, it would run between, say, probably $300 to about $700 or $800. That's the sweet spot.
My own feeling is that people buy tablets for a variety of reasons, and price is one of them. If an individual wants to consume media, check email, and browse the Internet casually and not much else, then a Kindle, Nexus 7, or a tablet by Samsung or Visio might just be the perfect device. And let’s not forget that the expected iPad mini may fall into that category at a decent price as well. I think it’s clear that Ballmer sees the Surface as a direct competitor with the iPad and not much else, at least by putting it in a price range of $300 to $800.
He’s bullish on Windows 8: “I'm not paid to have doubts. (Laughs.) I don't have any. It's a fantastic product. ...” Whether or not the Surface is successful remains to be seen. I don’t doubt that it will penetrate the market. The proof will come if the consumer is satisfied with performance, battery life, apps, and the like for the two different models. I’ll wait to see how it performs in real life before I’d consider getting one. [MG]
Thanks "Diamond Jim" et al.
"It" will replace my blogging fashion statement that appeared in this photo. Frankly, I can't remember if I was wearing a pair of pants when the photo was taken by the Blog Widow but I do recall that just outside the blogging-in-action photo there was a bottle of Guinness.
So let's launch into a shared appreciation for a blues legend -- one of Roy Buchanan's live performances of Roy's Bluz. In this video clip he is playing his guitar with one hand while drinking a beer with his other hand. The only other similarity is that, like Buchanan, I may die under mysterious circumstances in a local jail someday. Yes, a shirt may or may not be involved. [JH]