PC company executives who are sweating over the effect that Microsoft’s new Windows 8 Surface tablet may have on the market have been told that the new device could cost as much as $800.Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer told the Seattle Times the Surface’s starting price will “probably be $300 to about $700 or $800.” Ballmer also said that Microsoft was looking to expand their hardware offerings in the future.
Electronista said the $300 price point would seems to describe the Surface RT, a consumer-oriented version running Windows RT. The $700 to $800 range more likely describes the Surface Pro, a model that runs the full Windows 8 operating system and has already been described by Microsoft as intended for consumers looking to replace their notebook computers.
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|Steve Ballmer with new Surface tablet|
Ballmer’s price points may come as relief to Microsoft’s hardware manufacturing partners, who were taken aback by the Redmond-based company’s sudden decision to enter the hardware space. Previous rumors had pegged the Surface’s debut pricing at around $200, a price point well below anything the major device manufacturers would be able to match.
Ballmer also said the coming years would see Microsoft retaining its software core, but moving toward becoming “more of a devices-and-services company.” The commitment to at least some presence in the hardware sector would seem to lend credence to rumors that Microsoft is already working on a successor to the Surface.