Microsoft's Surface RT tablet won't retail for $199

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 15, 2012
Updated • Aug 15, 2012
Hardware, Windows 8

Yesterday everyone got crazy when Engadget put the price of $199 for the entry level tablet running Windows RT in the room. When you look at the article you will notice that it is typical link bait material. A headline that gets everyone crazy, anonymous sources, and no confirmation from a trusted source or even a hint of evidence.

The Surface RT tablets ship with 32 or 64 Gigabytes of storage, 10.6-inch ClearType HD display, micro SD, USB 2.0 and a limited pre-installed version of Office 2013. Compare that to tablets priced for $199, like the Google Nexus 7, which ships with a 7-inch display, and 8 or 16 Gigabytes of storage, and you will notice that the $199 is not going to happen.

When you look at 10-inch tablets, you enter the realm of what Microsoft's Surface RT tablet will likely be priced liked. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 for instance retails for $489 with 16 Gigabyte of storage, the latest iPad at $499 with 16 Gigabyte of storage as well.

Even if Microsoft subsidizes the tablet, it would come nowhere near the reported retail price of $199. If Microsoft subsidizes the tablet, it could retail for $399 or maybe $449, but below that? I can't see that happening, not for the specs the device ships with and even with the prospect of earning money from in-store purchases. As you know, Windows RT users are limited to the Windows Store when it comes to getting applications for their device, and Microsoft gets a cut of 30% of the first 25,000 in sales, and 20% thereafter.

If Microsoft prices the Surface RT too competitively, it could damage OEM relations and support for the device. A $199 Surface RT for instance would leave no room for OEMs to make a profit selling their Windows RT devices, especially since they do not have the second revenue opportunity that Microsoft has thanks to the Store concept.

What I can see happening is that Microsoft will price the Surface RT tablet at the same price point as Apple's iPad and Samsung's entry tablets. What's your take on this? How much do you think will the Surface retail for when it comes out October 26 alongside the Windows 8 operating system?


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  1. MikeFromMarkham said on November 19, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    Thanks for the great tip.

  2. Thomas said on November 19, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    I’m wondering: say you use the standard boot policy. And at some point in time something happens and as a consequence windows does not start properly. How do you get in the recovery menu, since you could have pushed F8 in older windows versions, but with windows 8 you have to go through the PC settings (which are not accessible any more in the example)?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on November 19, 2013 at 5:21 pm

      Windows detects issues automatically as well, and will display the recovery options to you.

  3. jasray said on November 19, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    Great tip! Thanks!

  4. Ramesh Khanna said on November 20, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    Thank you once again. I emailed you about problems i had recently. Once i put in this change i will be able to prevent the problem i had in trying to go to a backup which windows refused to use because i had booted up with a Windows 8 repair disc while the backup was win8.1. The boot of 8.1 was succeeding but the system was in a loop in which it would accept the password and then ask for it again so it was not possible to tell it to boot it in safe mode.

    I just hope nothing happens before i am able to put in your fix.

    I will try to print out this page so a fellow user who is very adept will be avle to put in this fix as well

  5. Marius T said on November 21, 2013 at 10:27 am

    To bad I didn’t knew this when my Win 8 had a problem rebooting endlessly and I had to reinstall,great tip thanks!

  6. Rajan said on November 22, 2013 at 3:36 am


    For Windows XP SP3 pc i am having lot of starting problem.
    Actually i am following what you informed tapping F8 several times.
    But it takes 3 to 6 times to switch off and on only and finally starting.
    Can you suggest me any other best idea to start in one time without switching off and on.
    Expecting yours valuable suggestion in this regard.

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