20 Aug 2012

Microsoft has yet to unveil their official Surface tablet pricing since the news broke in June.  It would seem that Lenovo is revealing some clues to what it plans to offer for pricing on Windows RT tablets.

Lenovo is one of the OEMs at work on creating Windows RT tablets and notebooks that will be released around the same time as the Windows 8 launch in October.  David Schmook, head of Lenovo's North America operations revealed a few details regarding pricing.  Schmoock stated that those purchasing ARM-based Windows RT tablets can expect to pay between $200 and $300 less than if they were buying a Wintel machine running Windows 8 (an Intel based x86/x64 version).  It would seem that Schmoock wasn't speaking about Lenovo specifically, though.

"RT will play in consumer and retail at very aggressive price points.  It will do well but it's going to be more of a consumer price point play to begin with."

Schmoock also elaborated and said that Windows 8 tablets will cost $600 to $700 (and likely the Surface Pro models).  This should imply a much lower starting price for Windows RT tablets, say in the $400 range, which would make the Windows RT tablets a good competitor with Apple iPads on a price level anyway.  With the limited apps that will initially be available with Windows RT devices, setting the price level in this range may attract some who don't necessarily want to go with an Apple device and remain on the Windows side.

The Tech-Stew Take Home

It's been speculated now for some time that Windows RT devices would probably need to come in around the $400 price range to be competitive.  These statements certainly help to bolster the idea that Windows RT devices can be priced right to help bolster their sales.  But what Microsoft really needs is to have applications available.  What sells devices for most people is the application availability.  Of course we shouldn't expect that there will be a plethora of Metro/Win 8 Style apps right at launch, but hopefully in time the content will grow. 

Success for Windows RT may not also depend on necessarily the exact number of apps that are available, but rather the right type of apps.  Most people are only concerned with being able to run a certain number of apps and only a certain amount that they actually need.  Give Windows users a portable device that will run Windows and all their favorite applications and you have a device that many would want to own, assuming of course the device is user friendly and runs well (an issue that has plagued Microsoft portable devices in the past).  Hopefully developers will begin to jump on the Metro bandwagon and develop apps that people will want to use.  This will lead to Microsoft regaining a certain portion of market share in the Tablet/Mobile device arena that they have lacked for so long.

Source:  Tomshardware.com

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