Surface Pro Pricing Announced


Microsoft’s Surface RT tablet has been out for just over a month and is generating a lot of interest from business customers. However, due to RT’s inability to run legacy software (non-RT versions of Office, Adobe Acrobat, LOB apps etc) the general conversation has gone like this:

 

“Wait for the Surface Pro”

“When’s it out”?”

“January”

“How much is it?”

“Erm…not sure”, we’re still waiting to hear from MS”

Well, now we’ve heard. Officially announced by Microsoft, the pricing is:

Surface Pro 64GB = $899

Surface Pro 128GB = $999

Converting them in GBP at today’s exchange rate gives:

Surface Pro 64GB = £560

Surface Pro 128GB = £623

but it is rare that costs of software & devices so truly follow the exchange rates, so it will be interesting to see the final UK price.

These are actually cheaper than those “leaked” from Germany a few weeks ago (Microsoft Surface Pro Pricing Leaked) which is great, as many considered those leaked costs to be too low to be true!

The specs haven’t changed and are as detailed in this post (Microsoft Surface Pro), giving quite the bang for one’s buck.

One thing that hasn’t been confirmed today is Microsoft’s plans for the sale and distribution of these devices. Will the retain the “direct from MS” strategy of the Surface RT or use the more common model of selling via retail stores as well as via the “Channel”, the network of distributors, resellers, VAR and other partners. The latter is the current way that most businesses purchase their laptops (as well as other IT equipment) and if Microsoft choose not to let them into the party, that will be a very poorly received decision…both by resellers and their customers.

The majority of businesses are not set up to make multiple, sizeable purchases via credit cards on websites and they don’t want to change that – thus Microsoft could be losing sales to their OEM partners (which they will at least say isn’t a bad thing) or perhaps Apple. If there are businesses out there happy/prepared to purchase directly from the MS site, there will then be scores of distributors/resellers upset at missing out on potential sales to their customers.

I’m of the opinion that the Surface Pro must, and will, be available via the Channel and retail stores but it would be nice to see it confirmed by Redmond.

Microsoft Surface Pro Pricing Leaked


Microsoft Surface Pro is the upcoming Redmond produced tablet that will run full Windows 8 Pro, and thus allow installation of legacy/LOB apps etc. We’ve seen recently the hardware spec for the device (https://richardgibbonsuk.wordpress.com/2012/11/05/microsoft-surface-pro/) and now, via Softpedia, we’ve got leaked pricing from Germany.

128GB Surface Pro = £729 / $1165 / €909

64GB Surface Pro = £648 / $1035 / €809

If those prices are correct (and there’s a high chance they’re not) then that is some quite amazing and aggressive pricing from Microsoft.

I can almost guarantee that all the customers I’ve spoken to about Windows 8 over the last few weeks would purchase those units with barely a second thought. Organizations are, in the most part, sold on Windows 8 and sold on the tablet form factor…it’s the £800+ price tag of many Windows 8 devices that causes them to pause. So a Core i5, 4GB RAM, Full HD, 64GB SSD device for £648 would be a real winner.

It is for that reason that Microsoft MUST ensure this device is available via “The Channel”, the network of distributors, resellers, VARs, LARs etc that make up 95%+ of their business. I’m seeing us lose sales at work, as customers are set on buying the Surface RT & so are going direct to Microsoft. In some cases, we’re able to cross sell to another Windows RT device such as the Samsung Ativ Tab but not always…and that’s to be expected. The Surface RT is such a great piece of hardware that people are bound to want that in a lot of cases. I’m sure this is the case for all the other resellers across the UK and indeed any other location.

Microsoft Surface Pro


The Microsoft Surface RT is making waves in the consumer space and, to some degree, the world of business too. It looks great and runs great…but it doesn’t run legacy software and doesn’t integrate into Active Directory managed domains. Due to this, many organizations are looking to wait for the Surface Pro which will run full Windows 8 Pro/Enterprise..

We don’t have a nailed on release date yet (other than at least 90 days after Windows 8 RT) but we do have specs:

  • Screen size = 10.6” ClearType Full HD, 1920×1080, 16:9
  • Weight = <2lbs
  • Storage = 64GB & 128GB
  • Memory = 4GB
  • Pen Input = Yes – pen included with purchase
  • CPU = 3rd Gen Core i5
  • Connectivity = Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0
  • Ports = Full Size USB 3.0, Micro SDXC slot, Mini Display Port

You can see the full spec here:

http://download.microsoft.com/download/3/7/A/37A9C06B-DB3D-4189-99EC-C1EE175234DE/SurfaceWithWindows8Pro_US_CA.pdf

The pdf does still mention the RT version of Office being included for free – I think someone might need to update that!

I like the spec of the machine, it looks decent but I feel the lack of 3g/4g is an odd omission. I read on the Reddit AMA that they had to choose between 3g and the Vapormg casing and that trade off, on a consumer device, makes some sense…but on a business device? I’m not so sure.

Even if people don’t really use 3g on tablet devices (and I’m sure MS studied/conducted research that showed this) it’s still the kind of thing that can put people off purchasing. If there’s another device with similar spec and a similar price AND offers cellular connectivity, I anticipate many would choose that.

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