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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

October 17, 2012 at 6:00 AM

Surface at $499-$699: What are its chances of success?

Microsoft announced the price for its Surface tablets Tuesday:

  • $499 for a 32-gigabyte version of the tablet.
  • $599 for a 32GB version that comes with a black Touch Cover.
  • $699 for a 64GB version that comes with a black Touch Cover

Are those price points good enough for Microsoft to make significant inroads into a market that’s been dominated by Apple’s iPad?

Here’s what some analysts say, in my print story running in The Seattle Times today:

Though the prices announced Tuesday are “not as aggressive as I would’ve liked to have seen them get,” said Tom Mainelli, an analyst with research firm IDC, “I think it’s competitive.”

One challenge will be the limited number of places where people can get their hands on a Surface — namely, Microsoft’s retail and temporary holiday pop-up stores.

“I think a lot of people would really like to be able to try out that keyboard before they pull the trigger,” Mainelli said.

Here’s another take:

The challenge Microsoft faces is not necessarily the Surface’s price point, said Michael Gartenberg, an analyst with research firm Gartner.

“We know consumers will spend $499 for something they want,” Gartenberg said. What Microsoft has to do is convince consumers that “this is different. And why different is better.

“This is a huge challenge for Microsoft in terms of not only getting the product right but also the message and the marketing right,” Gartenberg said. “The challenge is directly with the iPad, which is very much perceived by consumers as the base choice. Microsoft has to convince them they’re not buying into the wrong platform.”

You can read the full story here.

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