Confirmed: Microsoft Surface Priced at $499
Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) has confirmed that its upcoming tablet will be offered at three price points: $499 (32GB Wi-Fi model), $599 (32GB Wi-Fi model with keyboard cover) and $699 (64GB Wi-Fi model with keyboard cover). The device will ship on October 26.
The rest of the story appears as it was originally published.
After months of speculation, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) has reportedly announced that it will charge $499 for the 32GB base model of its long-awaited tablet.
According to Time Techland, Microsoft will also sell a device and keyboard combo for $599. For an additional $100, consumers can obtain a 64GB model with the keyboard cover as well.
This price is significantly higher than the rumored sale price of $199, which analysts thought would be possible through subsidies. (Microsoft could have sold Surface at a reduced rate in exchange for Office 365 subscriptions.) But unlike Amazon's (NASDAQ: AMZN) seven-inch Kindle Fire and Google's (NASDAQ: GOOG) Nexus 7, Surface is a full-sized tablet that comes equipped with a high-end operating system, Windows RT. It will run real Microsoft programs (including Office) and allow users to perform many more tasks than the average tablet.
A Microsoft representative was not immediately available for comment.
Now that the price has been announced, Microsoft's primary objective is to build buzz for the highly anticipated device. Outside of the tech community, few consumers are aware of all the tablets that are shipping this holiday season. Microsoft plans to change that -- and steer consumers toward the Surface -- with a massive ad campaign for Windows 8.
Five million seems to be the golden number among tablet manufacturers. In addition to Google and Amazon, which are expected to build five million tablets each this holiday season, Microsoft is expected to unleash a large number of Surface tablets in the fourth quarter.
Citing component suppliers in Asia, The Wall Street Journal reported that the Windows maker will produce three to five million tablets before the year's end.
Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), which is expected to unveil the iPad Mini this month, is expected to ship 10 million units before the end of the year. Other reports indicated that Apple may ship half as many units, placing it squarely within the five million range of its competitors.
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