By Alexandra Burlacu | Aug 15, 2012 12:26 PM EDT
When Microsoft unveiled its own-brand Surface tablet in June, tech observers were generally impressed with the device, but the fact that Microsoft offered no details on pricing raised concerns that it would be costly. In the absence of official word on pricing, a new report indicates that Surface may actually be very affordable.
Citing an "inside source," Endgadget reported on Tuesday, Aug. 14, that Microsoft recently detailed the exact launch plans for the Surface tablet during a session behind closed doors at its TechReady 15 conference.
"If things go according to the plan detailed then," Endgadget reported, "the Surface for Windows RT tablet will be launching October 26th - no surprise there - at a compelling price of $199."
The most basic version of the Surface tablet sports a 10.6-inch display, 32GB of storage, and a touch cover that also works as a keyboard. Made by Microsoft, the tablet comes loaded with the latest Office, and touts a sleek aluminum chassis. If the $199 price point is accurate, it means that Microsoft will be gunning against Google's Nexus 7 and other budget tablets rather than Apple's high-end iPad.
Google's Nexus 7 comes with a $199 price tag as well, but it was carefully developed with affordable internals in order to sport this low price tag. It has a smaller 7-inch display and just 8GB of memory, whereas Microsoft's offering packs premium materials, greater storage and bigger size. This would really give the Nexus 7 a run for its money, and it would also pose a big challenge to Amazon's Kindle Fire. The Nexus 7 already hurt sales of Amazon's 7-inch 8GB Kindle Fire. If Microsoft unleashes its 32GB Surface tablet with a $199 price tag, it will crush competition in no time.
On the other hand, such a low price tag, even for the most basic version of Surface, likely means Microsoft will be selling the tablet at a loss. In this case, the company would have to make its money from selling apps and various media for the device. It would definitely put Windows 8 on the map, but would Microsoft be able to recoup its loss? Tell us what you think.
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