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? 

  • close
    The Microsoft Surface tablet.
    View Caption
  • About video ads
    View Caption

The Microsoft Surface is a go. 

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

Recommended: The 20 most fascinating accidental inventions

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). 

Perhaps not surprisingly, analysts are already lowering expectations for Microsoft's tablet, eWeek reports today. 

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." 


We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.