The Microsoft Surface RT went on sale today for $499 for 32gb, $599 for 32gb with Touch Cover and $699 for 64gb with Touch Cover. It appears that lots of people really wanted to get a Surface because the $499 model is already sold out after being available for less than 24 hours.
While plenty of people are complaining about the pricing, I think Microsoft hit it on the mark. The current price points communicate that the Surface RT is a premium product on par with Apple’s iPad but it also says that is a great value because of the additional features and the added storage space. Remember, the $499 iPad is only a 16gb model, has no kickstand and nothing that can really compare to the Touch Cover.
The thing I am most disappointed with Microsoft’s marketing of the Surface is that the only Touch Cover color available in a bundle is black. For a company touting the whole “make it yours” concept of the Surface, only making the black available in the bundle is a mistake. While black is the safest color of touch cover to include, the striking blue color would have made a bolder, more fashionable statement. That blue has come to be a bit of an official color for Windows 8 and Windows Phone because of the Nokia Lumia 900 and cyan Lumia 920.
It is also worth noting all the people that are still waiting for the Surface Pro. A quick look at a poll on WPCentral has 38 percent of Windows enthusiasts passing on the current iteration of the Surface. A look at similar polls around the internet are returning similar numbers.
Granted those who are waiting for the Surface Pro are enthusiasts but in the end, they are the tech missionaries that will ultimately help Microsoft solidify the Surface brand and bring in the converts. They are the ones that will convince their parents, friends and grandparents who come to them for tech advice on which version of Surface to buy. Would Apple be where they are without their fanboys and fangirls? I think not.
That being said, the Surface looks to be a very strong contender against the reigning king of tablets. It makes me wonder what the Apple execs are thinking right now? We’ll have to wait and see the reviews as they come out, but at first blush the iPad could be in trouble.