Microsoft announced a few months back, the Microsoft Surface, which in its entry level will make use of the all new Windows 8 RT and ARM processors. Amazon has also announced the new Kindle Fire line, which will be bumped up to a higher resolution screen and even includes an 8.9 inch that will sell for $369 for its 32 Gb.
The top of the line Kindle Fire HD (not including 4G access) lines up almost perfectly with the lowest entry level Microsoft Surface. So, why should Microsoft sell its Surface entry level tablet for less than its equivalent Kindle Fire HD? The answer is simple… to out-Amazon Amazon’s strategy. Microsoft will be coming in late, very late in the tablet game… but where other OEMs have failed with their own Android “me too” tablets; Amazon has captured in less than a year 22% of the market, out-shining all of the other Android OEMs. Now with a solid footing it is aiming to undercut the iPad which is confirmed to be preparing its own 7 inch iPad mini in Brazil.
It’s going to be a bloodbath… and while Apple focuses on Amazon and producing a tablet that competes with the entry level Kindle Fire or Fire HD 7; Microsoft should try to enter the market and take it by surprise much like Amazon did last year… The potential is obviously there and could be a huge move by Microsoft.
What everyone complains about in Windows 8 RT is that it does not offer a full desktop, and Microsoft has the perfect excuse for that… it is the entry level models, and it comes with MS Office 2013 included! What more can you expect! If you want a full desktop experience, just spend a few more Dollars and buy yourself a higher end model or one that has equivalent hardware but with the brand new Atom multi-core (such as IBM, Dell, etc) that use less power but can still run the full version of Winows 8 as opposed to Windows 8 RT!
$300 is a great price to compete with Amazon, Google and the iPad at the same time. Microsoft Surface RT is about as close to the iPad and Amazon Kindle Fire HD (top tier) as it can be. Compare all these devices and they all come up short to an Ultrabook, Laptop or Desktop: obviously! But the closest match is certainly and without a doubt the Microsoft Surface RT. All these devices have the great advantage of being mobile while not sacrificing functionality and keeping a huge battery life. But their distinguishable factors are not necessarily that unique, except the Microsoft Surface RT.
Microsoft Surface RT devices have a more “premium feel” than Google and Amazon’s devices which technically allows Microsoft to charge a little bit more than their competitors as the Surface RT offers MS Office and will allow users to potentially skip the idea of getting a PC altogether. At the same time, the Surface RT comes head-to-head with its Apple counterpart with the benefit of offering MS Office and being a bit less expensive than its equivalent iPad. So, while Microsoft could charge more; charging less for their Surface RT will enable to undercut all other competing devices without leaving the consumer feeling that they purchased a “cheap device” as was the case last year with the Kindle Fire first generation.
At the highest end of the spectrum, the most expensive iPad compared to the most expensive MS Surface has no place as the iPad is still a kid’s toy compared to the business level PC replacement the the Microsoft Surface Pro will provide with the Intel i5 processor, more storage, higher screen resolution and overall design of its OS and device.
With October being one of the busiest months in terms of product launches in history, Microsoft is pushing forward with a completely renovated software UI, hardware lines, developer products, server-side systems, even its own media organization. I am very excited to see this much innovation and high quality coming out of Redmond’s Giant.