Did Acer hurt the chances of the Microsoft Surface?

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Remember back in August when Acer’s JT Wang suggested that if Microsoft priced the Surface with Windows RT at $199 that it would negatively impact it’s partners and vendors? So now that the Apple event is over and we heard Apple announce the iPad Mini at $329, here’s where the Microsoft Surface with Windows RT stands in terms of price:

The Price Case Against the Microsoft Surface

So, the argument many have used thus far is that the Surface with Windows RT doesn’t fit in this group above. Well, they’re right. I’m placing the Surface with Windows RT in this group as it’s the lowest model of the Surface available today. If the Surface with Windows RT is targeting the consumer crowd that is cost conscious, it’s a bold move for Microsoft to say they are at a competitive price point. Therefore, let’s evaluate them against the 10” tablet leaders with 32 GB drive:

  Microsoft Surface with Windows RT Apple iPad with Retina Display Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1
Processor Quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 Dual-core A6X with quad-core graphics 1GHz dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2
Memory 2GB RAM 1 GB DDR2 RAM 1 GB
Screen 10.6” 9.7” 10.1”
Resolution 1366 x 768 2048 x 1536 1280 x 800
Battery up to 8 hrs up to 10 hrs up to 9 hrs
OS Windows 8 RT iOS 6 Android Honeycomb
Price $499 $599 $429 (started at $499)
Keyboard? Yes, $119 Sort of (Wireless), $69 Yes, $79

When looking at the specs above, the Microsoft Surface doesn’t look bad at all. The price seems fairly normal. However, the original rumors were that the Surface would include the type cover (without additional charges) and Office 2013 (not just the Office 2013 Home and Student Edition).

The Case For Windows 8

Despite everything, I’m still interested in the Microsoft Surface and Windows 8 application developer. For enterprise users, Windows 8 seems to be the best of both worlds, something that arguably Apple still can’t capture. During Apple’s press conference today, they mentioned that they have 125 million documents in the cloud. They also announced that they’ve sold over 100 million iPads. This means that there’s just over 1 document in the cloud per person. That’s not too impressive. The other thing they mentioned is that developers made over $6.5 billion (with a ‘b’) on applications in the App Store. However, they failed to mention that this also translates to $2.79 billion that Apple themselves have pocketed for developers hard earned dollars. Microsoft is changing the game, slightly, for developers by offering an 80/20 split after the application has made $25,000 in the Microsoft Store.

To begin to learn how to develop for Windows 8, download Visual Studio Express here and visit Generation App, a 30-day training plan for developing a Windows 8 application.

Oct 23 2012 3:28 PM