As Surface RT Sales Slump Microsoft Announces Expensive Windows Pro Tablet

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Struggling from a lack of interest for their new Surface RT tablet, Microsoft has today announced pricing for their Surface Windows Pro.Late yesterday, upstream supply chain sources revealed that Microsoft has cut orders for their  Windows RT Surface tablet  by half.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer admitted overnight that the Surface RT had only achieved ‘modest’ sales’ on launch.

At a shareholder meeting yesterday, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer admitted that his company could have been “more proactive” in addressing the tablet space after the Surface RT was launched nearly a full two years after the iPad hit the market.

While Ballmer told stockholders that “we see nothing but a sea of upside” as it moves forward with its current strategy of making software and hardware, its first device may not be faring as well as its internal projections may have indicated.

Microsoft said the Company is looking to have a recommended retail price of  $899 for the basic version of its Surface with Windows Pro tablet.

The device will be released in January and features an Intel chip allowing it to run the full version of the Windows 8 operating system.

The price is $400 more than the existing Surface with Windows RT tablet, which is less powerful and does not run programs such as Photoshop.

Ballmer said the fact his firm was releasing its tablets more than two years later than Apple might have contributed to its share price being outpaced by its rival.

“Maybe we should have done that earlier.”

The Surface is designed to be combined with a keyboard which is sold separately

Both versions of the Surface can be operated as a 10.6in (26.9cm) touchscreen tablet, or snapped into one of the firm’s keyboards to mimic the functionality of a notebook computer.

The new device will come with 64GB of storage for $899 or 128GB of storage for $999. Neither price includes one of Microsoft’s keyboards, which add at least another $99.

One industry watcher noted that the new computer would face more competition due to the fact more Window 8-powered computers have been announced than Windows RT ones by other manufacturers.

“The Intel-based version of Windows 8 is far more attractive to the market than the Windows RT version as consumers today can’t ignore the fact that they may just be a version of a program that they want to run built on the old architecture which the ARM-based version doesn’t support,” Ken Dulaney, a mobile technology analyst at consultants Gartner, told the BBC.

“But there will be a lot of other Windows 8 hybrids out there that also allow their screens to be detached from their keyboards.

“So I’d suggest that buyers sit back and wait for other products which may be even more compelling or cheaper and not become too fixated on what is a first-generation Microsoft device.”

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