According to Seattle Time’s recent interview with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, the price of the much anticipated Surface, originally rumored to be priced at around $199 USD, may instead range from approximately “$300 to about $700 to $800.”
In defense of the pricing, Ballmer compared the Surface to the cheaper, more entertainment-centric tablets such as Amazon’s 7-inch Kindle Fire, which he believed could be appropriate for doing casual activities such as reading, but not for the more resource demanding tasks like doing homework. Suggesting that cheaply priced products tend to be less good and “chintzier,” the CEO is confident that the Surface will be a very competitive product from the “features perspective.”
During the interview, the status of Windows 8 and the software company’s future were also touched upon. Ballmer believes the PCs will still have a promising future, arguing that the launch of Windows 8 will propel PC shipments and expand the market even further. Similar to what some are predicting, though, the Microsoft CEO feels certain that at some point, the boundary between a tablet and a PC product will be blurred following the release of more mobile computing devices. In a way, this points towards several theories suggesting how smartphones and tablets may one day replace traditional laptops.
With regards to the subject of the company’s future, there seemed to be an air of optimism. Asked how they will look within 5 to 10 years, the CEO predicted that Microsoft will still likely maintain its software roots, but will at the same time evolve into a devices-and-services company.
In spite of all that was discussed, what most consumers will probably still be curious about, other than what strategies Microsoft will implement in the face of Google and Apple, is how much the Surface is actually going to cost. As pointed out by sources like Gigaom and The Verge, there is a possibility that the Surface may be offered at a cheaper price if consumers subscribe to the Xbox Music Service. We may have to wait until the release of the tablet on October 26th to find out.