See that image above, tell me it doesn’t look sexy. The 10 inch widescreen, the click out stand, the thinner chiclet style keyboard. I know it’s not an iPad, and I have recently fallen in love with mine, but Surface does look gorgeous, and there are reportedly going to be a lot of them!
An IDC market researcher told CNET that Microsoft are expected to build around 3 million Surface Units in 2012 alone (or is that Surfi as a plural?)
Plans are for a ‘few’ million units to be built 2012 alone; “probably a little over 3 million, both [Intel] x86 and ARM”. This was said to CNET in a telephone interview with IDC analyst Bob O’Donnell.
Surface RT will run on ARM processors and is expected to launch on October 26th, and will be like new, no bloatware and no legacy products will work on them, a clean er, ‘slate’ if you will. The x86 tablets expected early 2013 (Feb is the current rumour) will run legacy products in addition to Windows Pro which will have extra enterprise based features.
IDC believe that if Microsoft are indeed building that many Surface units, then it is unlikely that they will be restricted to retail Microsoft store’s only. In the same phone conversation with CNET Mr O’Donnell stated “I Think they’ll sell it through traditional retail also. You can’t build that many products without having a much wider distribution strategy. They just haven’t shared that [strategy] yet.”
More on Price
Whilst there are lots of rumours running round speculating on the price Surface will eventually debut at, nothing has yet been confirmed by Microsoft. Swedish website ‘Webhallen’ had it an early pre-order scheme in place with a price that was $899 but this turned out to be a ‘holding placement’ as they were just as in the dark as the rest of us. Other rumours have speculated that the price will be a mere $199 which would make many people very happy, just not Microsoft’s OEM partners.
O’Donnell seem to think there could be two ways of getting your hands on a Surface. Buy it out right for around $599 (again no confirmation on that, just speculation) or get it for $199 on a two-year subscription which entitles you to certain services.
The subscription theory has been getting a lot more press recently and has been getting more credible. Take the $99 + $14.99 per month Xbox deal. You get a 4GB Xbox, a Kinect unit and 24 months Xbox Live Gold membership. Is Microsoft doing a similar arrangement for a cheap Surface and then subscription service out of the question? It would appear not.
If Microsoft were to do a subscription based deal, what would it look like? Say you did get the Surface itself for $199 and a monthly fee of for the sake or argument $14.99 would could they offer?
For one, you could have unlimited access to Xbox Music, Xbox Video’s & Netflix, those 3 in themselves would certainly keep you entertained for quite some time. There may even be other products yet to be announced along with Windows 8.
At the end of the day, it wouldn’t be a great idea as a company to further antagonise their OEM partners by shifting the Surface for $199, as they would be completely undercutting them, but man, I really hope they do!