Surface: Microsoft reveals price tag for its Windows 8 tablet
Can the Windows 8-powered Microsoft Surface tablet compete with the Apple iPad and the Samsung Galaxy Tab line?
The Microsoft Surface is a go.Skip to next paragraph
Google Glass goes on sale, for one day only
The Samsung Galaxy S5 ships this week. Is it worth your cash?
Facebook will make its Messenger app mandatory for mobile chat (+video)
Apple iWatch could cost more than $1,000, analyst says (+video)
Sizing up Cortana, Microsoft's answer to Siri
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
Beginning today, people can pre-order the Windows 8 tablet, which is being positioned as a high-powered alternative to the Apple iPad and the Samsung Galaxy Tab. The Surface is available at three price points: $699 for a 64 GB model with a "Touch Cover" (a case plus keyboard, basically); $599 for a 32 GB model with a Touch Cover; and $499 for a 32 GB model without a Touch Cover.
Available colors include Red, Black, Cyan, and Magenta. Pre-orders are currently expected to ship by Oct. 26; you can order a device here.
So let's get down to it: How seriously should you consider buying a Microsoft Surface?
Well, it's worth noting that as of late this summer, Apple owned a whopping 69 percent of the tablet market, with Samsung (the maker of the Galaxy Tab line) in a distant second and Amazon (maker of the Kindle Fire line) in an even more distant third. With the release of the iPad Mini – which is widely expected to launch late this month or early next – Apple could see its lead grow even larger.
Apple has the momentum and the apps (more than a quarter of a million iPad-specific apps are currently available in the iTunes Store). By comparison, Microsoft is starting from scratch – and since the Surface prices line up more or less with the iPad prices (the iPad starts at $499, too), it's going to take a lot for consumers to switch from the entrenched device (the iPad) to the unproven up-and-comer (the Surface).
In related news, Brian White, an analyst at Topeka Capital, recently returned from a trip to Asia, and he reports that the "PC industry is headed for a muted December quarter." In a note obtained by Business Insider, White said the "the sentiment around Windows 8 was overwhelmingly negative during our trip as the supply chain is experiencing little life ahead of the Oct. 26 launch."