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Ballmer pegs the homebrew Surface tablets in the $300-$800 price range, talks Windows Phone 8

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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Ballmer pegs the homebrew Surface tablets in the $300-$800 price range, talks Windows Phone 8
In his interview for the Seattle Times, where Steve Ballmer dispelled the notion that the Surface tablets will be the "cheaper option" among Win RT/8 slates, he also gave up the supposed price range they are expected to appear in.

Ballmer mentioned the Surface tablets will be $300-$800, depending on the configuration, so we'd assume that a 16GB Surface RT will start off at $300, and the Intel-based Surface with full Win 8 and the highest amount of internal memory will sport a price tag of $799 or so. "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", said Microsoft's CEO. 

There were rumors at some point that Microsoft might sell the Surface RT tablet at cost, or at around $200, in order to quickly gain market share with its new tablet OS for ARM-based slates. This would be crowding out the OEM partners that traditionally work with Microsoft, though, which they were not at all happy about, so it appears that Microsoft might be taking the middle road.

In the same interview he was asked about WIndows Phone 8, and he acknowledged that Microsoft is small fish in the smartphone game still, but that with the new edition the hardware has already caught up, and the tight integration with the world's most popular operating system will pay off in the longer run handsomely:

Q: Can you share some of the broader story you want to tell when Windows Phone 8 rolls out?

A: New phones. With great new software. (Laughs and pulls out from his pocket a pair of Nokia Lumia 920 Windows Phones.)

We've got a big challenge in front of us. We're a very small player, but we have a different point of view in terms of user experience. We've got great cloud integration with the rest of the Microsoft world, which a lot of people participate in.

So I think our point of view on user interface, the great work that our hardware vendors are doing and the integration with Windows should help ratchet us up.

Q: Where do you see Microsoft's position in five years, 10 years?

A: First of all, I'd say: pre-eminent technology company. I think that in a back-looking view, people would say we were a software company. That's kind of how we were born.

I think when you look forward, our core capability will be software, (but) you'll probably think of us more as a devices-and-services company. Which is a little different. Software powers devices and software powers these cloud services, but it's a different form of delivery....

Doesn't mean we have to make every device. I don't want you to leap to that conclusion. We'll have partners who make devices with our software in it and our services built in. ... We're going to be a leader at that.


An interesting take from the above quote is that Ballmer sees Microsoft as more of a device-and-services company in the furture, rather than a pure software player. Even though he was quick to say "doesn't mean we have to make every device", those persistent rumors MS might make a Surface phone at some point could have legs going forward.

source: ST

11 Comments
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posted on 17 Sep 2012, 03:23

1. tiara6918 (Posts: 1247; Member since: 26 Apr 2012)


Why do they keep on using nokia lumia?Did they forgot about their partnership with huawei,samsung(the ativ s of course), htc,etc?

posted on 17 Sep 2012, 03:26 2

2. No_Nonsense (Posts: 826; Member since: 17 Aug 2012)


And have you forgotten that Nokia-Microsoft have struck a deal? It's more than just what Huawei, HTC and Samsung have struck with Microsoft.

posted on 17 Sep 2012, 04:17 3

5. Veigald (Posts: 224; Member since: 13 Jan 2012)


Easy choice if you compare the phones. He should carry what will give the most wow factor when he pulls his phone out, and that ain't Samsung or HTC.

posted on 17 Sep 2012, 03:38 4

3. jove39 (Posts: 1207; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


Surface phone...not bad idea!

posted on 17 Sep 2012, 04:12 3

4. lsguntu (Posts: 66; Member since: 06 Aug 2012)


Not at ALL :)

posted on 17 Sep 2012, 08:08 1

8. pikapowerize (banned) (Posts: 1869; Member since: 03 May 2012)


not really a bad idea not a great idea either! but its a good idea! but they should market it on mass market--on low midrange maybe?

posted on 17 Sep 2012, 06:55

6. ajac09 (Posts: 1217; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)


and he just killed the sales of this product

posted on 17 Sep 2012, 08:05

7. pikapowerize (banned) (Posts: 1869; Member since: 03 May 2012)


well i think its just normal that they should make a surface phone! kinda like the idea! it will be like nexus but the difference between them in nexus isnt skinned and WP OS cant be skinned!

but still its a good (not great though) idea to make a surface phone.. why? coz they should just target mass consumers (low- mid range) but very capable hardware! they should make one and make it a standard to WP device like they did to surface tablet! coz i think they are cheating on their manufacturers that they favor nokia more than any other (even im a nokia fan) coz of that deal...

posted on 17 Sep 2012, 08:45 2

9. snowgator (Posts: 3160; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)


If.... Big if.... A Surface Phone ever comes to see light of day, it better be:
-After Nokia is reestablished as a profitable company. Microsoft needs Nokia worldwide to be the presence they were.

-After WP 8 is established as a true OS player. Not enough sales right now to not shoot yourself in the foot competing against other manufacturers (see above).

-After they see if their Tablets are successful. Tablets are expensive enough, why slice your own throat trying to push smartphones AND tablets. One at a time, MS. You have money, but are not made of it.

posted on 17 Sep 2012, 16:24

10. pikapowerize (banned) (Posts: 1869; Member since: 03 May 2012)


yeah true story!

posted on 18 Sep 2012, 14:29

11. 7thspaceman (Posts: 902; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)


I really donot see Microsoft making a surface Smart Phone at this time. Folks Microsoft
already makes it's line of PC's Called the " Microsoft Signature" but it is not a well
known big seller. Ii's software is a special blend that gives you the full "Windows
software experience that's designed in the software. It's different from an OEM's
computer. I expect Microsoft to have it in thier stores. The hero device I think Microsoft
has that will cause people to come into the "windows stores is ":Microsoft "Surface-Pro" tablet PC. People who know about it know it's a very powerful tablet PC that you can do
serous work on like run full PC programes & PC games and do all the things the General tablets like the Ipad , Andorid Tablets, and the Windows surface RT can do.

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