Microsoft Defends Surface Pro's $900 Price Tag

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The Surface Pro will be launching on February 9 for $900. That's only for the 64GB version as the 128GB model will go for $1,000. It costs even more when you throw in the touch or typepad, and other accessories. Isn't this all a little too much? Tami Reller, Windows Finance and Marketing Chief, doesn't think so. In fact, she think it's an incredible value if you start looking at the "right way."

In an interview with GeekWire, Reller says that the $1,000 price tag of the Surface represents a value to the typical Apple buyer who spends that much on a MacBook Air alongside an extra $500 for an iPad:

Compare it to a typical Apple buyer, who is going to get a MacBook Air, plus an iPad. That’s a more interesting comparison. … If you’ve got a buyer who needs both a computer and a tablet, Surface Pro is $1,000, vs. $1,000 plus $500 (for the MacBook Air and iPad). I think that’s the interesting comparison.

She goes on to say that the Surface Pro represents a better value over the competition because it's a touch-based system. It means the device is a tablet and an Ultrabook - it's everything the modern technology user wants in a single system.

Microsoft will probably not have any luck in attracting the hardcore Apple users who are perfectly content with throwing money at multiple devices every year. The value that Surface Pro presents to those users is negligible. The company needs to focus on the PC user that will most likely skip the Surface Pro and opt for a similarly specced notebook. To those consumers, Reller says they have to look at the big picture:

You have to look at design, pen, touch performance. You look at it and you say, OK, I’m getting Ultrabook-class PC with the added benefit of a tablet package. It’s all I need. $899 plus a keyboard of my choice, I’m into the $1,000 category, and I have all I need, in a premium package.

Are consumers going to be swayed by that argument? It's legitimately hard to say. Many people say that they plan on purchasing the Surface Pro after skipping on the Surface RT last year. These consumers want the full Windows 8 experience, and the Surface Pro mostly delivers if its largely positive reviews are to be believed.

Regardless, that starting price of $900 is a pretty scary proposition for consumers. For $100 less, consumers can get the 128GB Retina Display iPad. Is the newness of Windows 8 able to win out over the familiarity of iOS? Microsoft certainly thinks they can, but consumers may not be as adventurous.

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