After yesterday's TV advertisement, Microsoft finally unveiled the pricing for its Surface tablet - the ARM Windows RT version that is. The cheapest Surface - 32GB without touch cover - will set you back $499. They're aiming straight for iPad pricing here, ignoring the popular cheaper Android offerings.
The pricing was revealed in Microsoft's online store, which right now only serves the US - a link for non-US residents currently leads to an empty page, so I can't give you the European pricing just yet. Most likely, they'll just substitute the dollar sign for a euro sign.
The 32GB version without a cover is $499; the 32GB version with the Touch Cover is $599. If you opt for 64GB, you'll have to part with $699. We're looking at pre-orders right now, but they'll ship by 26 October. No information yet on Surface Pro, the Intel version.
All things considered, the Surface RT is looking like a hard sell. It's the same price as an iPad 3 - but the iPad 3 has far more momentum behind it, including far, far more applications. Worse yet, the Surface RT has a paltry 1366x768 resolution, while the iPad 3 has that beautiful (don't try to deny it!) 2048x1536 display.
Compared to Android tablets, it ain't doing so well either. Both the Nexus 7 and the Kindle Fire HD are far cheaper ($200 and $299 respectively), and the Fire HD has, to boot, a 1920x1080 display. A lot will ride on just how successful Microsoft will be at advertising Surface as a full PC instead of 'just' a tablet, and, not entirely unimportant, just how much users actually care about that.
I was originally planning on buying a Surface RT - I like Metro on my phone - but I'm not going to shell out $499 for this. Had it had a 1080p display, it would be worth considering - but like this? No thanks. Drop it to $300-400 and we'll talk.