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Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer   (Source: Jim Wilson/The New York Times)
Microsoft executive hints that Surface will be priced similar to the Apple iPad

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) CEO Steve Ballmer isn't exactly reserved, but he tried to play coy when asked about pricing of his company's upcoming Surface tablet. Still, that didn't stop him from dropping a bit of a hint.  He commented in a new interview with Seattle Times:

We haven't announced pricing. I think we have a very competitive product from the features perspective. ...

I think most people would tell you that the iPad is not a superexpensive device. ... (When) people offer cheaper, they do less. They look less good, they're chintzier, they're cheaper.

If you say to somebody, would you use one of the 7-inch tablets, would somebody ever use a Kindle (Kindle Fire, $199) to do their homework? The answer is no; you never would. It's just not a good enough product. It doesn't mean you might not read a book on it....

If you look at the bulk of the PC market, it would run between, say, probably $300 to about $700 or $800. That's the sweet spot.

The comment not-so-subtly knocks Google Inc.'s (GOOG)/ASUSTek Computer Inc.'s (TPE:2357Nexus 7 and, Inc.'s (AMZNKindle Fire HD, both of which are priced at or below $300 USD, while offering cautious praise for Apple, Inc.'s (AAPL) iPad.  This isn't the first time Mr. Ballmer has shown some love for the iPad, which stands in in contrast to his general negativity on all other things Apple.

Mr. Ballmer is careful not to be too bullish on his own offering, commenting, "We'll have to see whether Surface is a success or not because we haven't shipped any yet. But it certainly has the elements of success."

Microsoft Surface
The Microsoft Surface

But he's much less on the fence about Windows 8, the operating system that powers Surface.  Despite Microsoft's contentious decision to unroll the time-honored start menu into a second, more graphically rich touch-compatible screen (formerly known as Metro), Mr. Ballmer is convinced Windows 8 will be a hit.

He comments:

We're trying to really re-imagine the world from the ground up with Windows 8. ... And then people orient their development schedules around Windows 8 and its new properties and attributes.

You know, Windows 8 is going to do great.

I'm not paid to have doubts. (Laughs.) I don't have any. It's a fantastic product. ... It ...brings us into this world of much more mobile computing and more mobile form factors. I think it's going to be hard to tell what's a tablet and what is a PC

We'll have to wait and see whether both products -- Surface and Windows 8 live up to the CEO's hopes.

Source: The Seattle Times

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Nice Hyperbole
By Reclaimer77 on 9/17/2012 11:05:59 AM , Rating: -1
If you say to somebody, would you use one of the 7-inch tablets, would somebody ever use a Kindle (Kindle Fire, $199) to do their homework? The answer is no; you never would. It's just not a good enough product.

Granted I'm an adult, so I don't have "homework", but as an owner of a Kindle Fire I have to laugh at this sort of desperate rhetoric. I cannot think of anything "homework" related that an extra $300 for an iPad would enable someone to do that the Kindle cannot.

This is just hyperbole in the extreme and it comes off as just really baseless hype. While the "not good enough" Kindle was selling millions of units, Balmer was sitting with his thumb up his fat ass offering NO competing products.

RE: Nice Hyperbole
By retrospooty on 9/17/2012 12:17:26 PM , Rating: 3
I can't grasp why Ballmers opinions on the iPad or the Fire's are at all relevant.

Given a mic. Cook will spout the iPhone/iPad advantages, Page will spout Android and Ballmer will spout Winmobile. What a shocker.

RE: Nice Hyperbole
By andrewaggb on 9/17/2012 12:52:25 PM , Rating: 1
I get frustrated the second I try to do anything remotely resembling work on my ipad. I grab my laptop, wait for it to boot, and use it instead...

Surface rt will come with microsoft word and excel and a keyboard(ish), so you probably could so some homework on it. I'm doubtful you'd want to... But I'm pretty sure it'll be like trying to work on a netbook. Cramped keyboard, small display.... you know, awesome!

I do want to get a surface, if for no other reason than to try it :-). If it sucks I'll just sell it after a month.

RE: Nice Hyperbole
By sviola on 9/17/2012 5:02:31 PM , Rating: 2
Well, with Surface Pro (sporting a core i7), the stylus and keyboard, and I can see a great on the go productivity platform, which is light and has good performance. You can take hand notes using one note, do some coding with your preferred IDE on the desktop and use MS Office for other tasks. You can even do some light image processing stuff.
I know that if I were a college student this would be the perfect piece of tech to accompany me: hand write classes, take all your e-books with you, have all desktop tools available and still being light and with good performance. And it has its place on the corporate world as well.

I think MS has a winner on the tablet market. And I can see OEM's taking good advantage f the platform as well(I read somewhere that Lenovo has a 13 inch tablet on the way sporting a core processor as well and that would be an improvement on screen size).

"If they're going to pirate somebody, we want it to be us rather than somebody else." -- Microsoft Business Group President Jeff Raikes

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