Surface Drops in Price – Does the Public Still Want One?
Nine months after the first initial release of the Surface RT – the tablet release from Microsoft – the price has already dropped by $150. Announced this past Thursday, Microsoft dropped the price of the Surface RT – their entry offering – in order to entice consumers into buying the RT; the Pro version is still around $900.
When the entry level tablet first came on the scene, there was still some issues with Windows 8, in that people didn’t like it. The fundamental changes Microsoft made actually turned people off from the new interface or forced them into a higher learning curve, which many didn’t want in the first place. So what’s with the price drop?
The original Surface RT went for $600, a much higher price than that of Android offerings and even higher than some of the products by Apple. In the aftermath of a recession, why would a consumer want to spend $600 on a tablet? If that wasn’t enough, Microsoft also reported that they lost money on introducing the RT, like a $900 million loss.
RT vs “Real” Windows
A huge setback with the Surface was the confusion RT brought about. It had two modes – desktop and non desktop mode – which for an OS shouldn’t even happen, especially on a tablet. Then of course there was the fact that RT only allowed for certain features – you could only download from the Microsoft Store, which didn’t have many selections to begin with; there was some confusion over just what you could do with the version of Office that came with the RT – was it commercial, so you could use it for business and school? Or was it only for personal use, like note taking?
There was also, of course, the price. With laptops getting cheaper, the competition between better and cheaper tablets, and the price of ultrabooks vs tablets, the Surface came in slowly, but obviously didn’t win the fight.
Let’s face it – Windows 8 wasn’t the darling that Microsoft was hoping for. The big meat and potatoes market for them is businesses and some businesses still haven’t fully switched over from XP in favour of Windows 7, the last operating system. Most businesses in the US are running Microsoft software, but unless they are in the tech industry, you can expect those that are to be running Windows XP, one of the most stable of OS’s until the introduction of Windows 7 (let’s not talk about Vista).
Despite the confusion and learning curve, Windows 8 isn’t really all that bad; however from the consumer and business prospective, it’s poison. Business folk don’t have time to train everyone on an OS that clearly needs a few hours or days to learn; they already know XP and 7, so why learn something else?
And if that wasn’t bad enough, even some Windows partners, like Lenovo, see the writing on the wall and aren’t planning on supplying any more RT versions of their hardware.
Would you want one?
I’d still like a tablet and at the rate my laptop is going, the tablet might actually need to be a tabtop or ultrabook as a replacement. Microsoft’s problem is they sometimes don’t actually think about the consumer; Windows 8 is great – on a tablet. Touch screen PC’s and monitors are still high end and no one is really flocking to own one. They also made a huge mistake of not entering in the tablet when Google entered or even before that.
It’s like Nintendo thinking people don’t want to play with their friends online, especially those dumb enough to – you know – not live in the same city or state. Will the price drop get more people interested? Or did M$ shoot themselves in the foot by not introducing the pro version in the first place? Why not tell us your thoughts below…