We got our first look at the ad campaign for the Microsoft Surface this morning. It was a fine ad, but it still didn't answer the most pressing question that's been around since the Surface was first announced - the price. For some reason, Microsoft just seems hellbent on not revealing the price for its flagship product. On the other hand, the Microsoft Store has no problem revealing the price.
TechCrunch reports that the Microsoft Store accidentally updated this morning with the official price for the Windows RT Surface. You might want to sit down for this. The 32GB Surface without the touch cover will cost $499. If you want the touch cover, the price will go up to $599. The 64GB touch cover Surface will run you $699. If you want the much cooler type cover, that will cost you an extra $129.99.
So let's get first impressions out of the way - it costs too much. Of course, the iPad also costs too much. Microsoft and Apple are going to duke it out this holiday season to see who can sell the most over priced tablets. Apple is going to win that one because the iPad is already engrained in American consumer culture. The Surface? Not so much.
To be honest, we should have seen this coming. Steve Ballmer said that the Surface would be competitive with other tablets on the market. I thought he meant the Surface was going to compete by being cheap. It was the only thing that made sense. A $300 Surface would totally rule the holiday season. Now the Surface is just another overpriced tablet that will get even less exposure as it's only available from Microsoft's retail and online stores.
Maybe I'm being too hard on it though. There are plenty of people who refuse to buy Apple products, and have been waiting for the Surface. Maybe those people will help Microsoft take back the holiday season. Unfortunately, those aren't the mainstream consumers that Microsoft so desperately needs to get Surface and Windows 8 into the hearts and minds of Americans.
It should be noted that Microsoft jumped the gun on the price announcement. The original order page has been taken down. That doesn't mean the price will magically shrink when it goes back up. Microsoft is apparently dead set on competing with Apple at their own game. They should have taken a page out of Google's and Amazon's playbook by lowering the price of the Surface through hardware subsidies. Why they didn't is the next big mystery to solve.[Image Source]