Microsoft’s Surface RT tablet has been out for just over a month and is generating a lot of interest from business customers. However, due to RT’s inability to run legacy software (non-RT versions of Office, Adobe Acrobat, LOB apps etc) the general conversation has gone like this:
“Wait for the Surface Pro”
“When’s it out”?”
“How much is it?”
“Erm…not sure”, we’re still waiting to hear from MS”
Well, now we’ve heard. Officially announced by Microsoft, the pricing is:
Surface Pro 64GB = $899
Surface Pro 128GB = $999
Converting them in GBP at today’s exchange rate gives:
Surface Pro 64GB = £560
Surface Pro 128GB = £623
but it is rare that costs of software & devices so truly follow the exchange rates, so it will be interesting to see the final UK price.
These are actually cheaper than those “leaked” from Germany a few weeks ago (Microsoft Surface Pro Pricing Leaked) which is great, as many considered those leaked costs to be too low to be true!
The specs haven’t changed and are as detailed in this post (Microsoft Surface Pro), giving quite the bang for one’s buck.
One thing that hasn’t been confirmed today is Microsoft’s plans for the sale and distribution of these devices. Will the retain the “direct from MS” strategy of the Surface RT or use the more common model of selling via retail stores as well as via the “Channel”, the network of distributors, resellers, VAR and other partners. The latter is the current way that most businesses purchase their laptops (as well as other IT equipment) and if Microsoft choose not to let them into the party, that will be a very poorly received decision…both by resellers and their customers.
The majority of businesses are not set up to make multiple, sizeable purchases via credit cards on websites and they don’t want to change that – thus Microsoft could be losing sales to their OEM partners (which they will at least say isn’t a bad thing) or perhaps Apple. If there are businesses out there happy/prepared to purchase directly from the MS site, there will then be scores of distributors/resellers upset at missing out on potential sales to their customers.
I’m of the opinion that the Surface Pro must, and will, be available via the Channel and retail stores but it would be nice to see it confirmed by Redmond.