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Microsoft's Windows RT Surface tablet to launch in October for just $199?

Microsoft will be unveiling its Windows RT Surface tablets this coming October with a price tag of $199, according to an Engadget source. Microsoft first unveiled the Surface family of Windows tablets earlier this year, and pricing rumours have been flying all around the room. The tipster reportedly revealed details from a session at Microsoft's recent TechReady15 conference and notes that the Surface Windows RT tablet will launch on October 26th.

Should Engadget's source be correct, this will definitely put the Surface on the map as an affordable tablet experience compared to competing Android and Apple offerings. With the low-end Windows RT version sporting 32GB storage, Office 2013, a variety of connectivity ports, and weighing in at just 676g, $199 would be an excellent launch price. For comparison sake, the Apple iPad 2 starts from $399 for the 16GB WiFi model (or $499 should you desire the new Retina iPad). Too good to be true?

We'd recommend taking this rumour with a pinch of salt, but Engadget is fairly reliable when it comes to rumours. It sports a 94 rating with Tracour, which is basically a rating system that calculates reliability and trustworthiness of news websites and journalists. So take it how you will, folks.

It's to our understanding that Microsoft will look to price its Windows Pro version of Surface to compete with OEMs and platform competition, but when it comes to Windows RT we can see the software giant being slightly more aggressive in both marketing and the actual cost for consumers to purchase their product. Microsoft has previously commented on pricing for both the RT and Pro versions of Surface:

"Suggested retail pricing will be announced closer to availability and is expected to be competitive with a comparable ARM tablet or Intel Ultrabook-class PC. OEMs will have cost and feature parity on Windows 8 and Windows RT."

The big question is what Microsoft's OEM partners will bring to the table to combat its plans to release in-house hardware. This will be the first real push from Microsoft to create its own devices for Windows and we're excited to get our mucky paws on one a Surface tablet. Also, will the cool flip-cover + keyboard be included in the price, or will we be looking to purchase a few accessories?

What do you think about the rumoured pricing point for the Windows RT Surface tablet? Do you believe it'll be as aggressively priced? Let us know in the comments.

Source: Engadget

Rich Edmonds
Rich Edmonds

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

245 Comments
  • 110% too good to be true
  • Not to good to be true Microsoft made it they can sell it cheap look at Kinect,Xbox,Zune,mouse's,keyboards all easy sells
  • $150 for a Kinect is not cheap, the Xbox 360 released for $500, nothing they have is economy/basement priced.  The items they have sell well because they are made well. This for a $200 initial release would be completely new.
  • Xbox 360 was released $299/$399, not $500.
  • And was -- literally -- the worst-built POC game console ever mass produced.  Among those dozen or so people I know who bought one, it had a failure rate of well over 100%; that is, everyone's broke, and some more than once!  More recent iterations do seem to finally have the QC up to snuff, though.
     
    Hopefully the Surface RT will have a better lifespan than the original crapBox and work more like MS' current versions.
  • Well, if people you know didn't like it then......
     
    I have one.  So do almost all my friends.  There was a problem.  The company replaced all boxes when problem happened.  They won everyone with online gaming and Halo.  People care more about what you can do with the machine, as we have seen with x box and that's why the x box is successful.
  • Yeah gotta agree with U there I love my Xbox but so far I have had the RROD 2X haha and I have never heard of mates ps3s dropping out but oh well :)
    199 sounds reasonable to me coz that will turn out to about 250nzd , quite reasonable haha :)
  • The PS3 AV port goes out and my bros recently did something similar to an Xbox RROD. So it's not better than Xbox
  • I have a 1984 NES that still works perfectly fine.  Two dead xbox's though.  Still, Xbox is the best for online play, I just wish they would drop the damn price of gold.  I let mine expire over a year ago.
  • You probably mean the YLOD (Yellow Light Of Death)
    Both my 360 and PS3 haven't had any major problems until now. Maybe you guys should just take more care of your beloved machines... =)
  • No, it was definitely a RROD (Red Ring of Death).
  • You are correct RROD = YLOD for PS3, of which I have had happen to me 3x and Sony wants to charge $120 to fix... Alot more expensive than MSFT free replacement policy. If you look at the stats of YLOD you will see they were in like with RROD by the numbers. I have also had XBOX 360 since launch and never had a RROD.
  • Nice reality check
  • Speak for yourself. I have 2 PS3 in my household. One old and one new. Neither have had problems. Only problem I have is that it has to download updates all the time. Which isn't a problem lol. And the PS3 Netflix UI is better. I also have 2 xboxes and a kintect. Just sayin.
  • 250 nzd yeah, but knowing NZ it'll end up at 900 somehow :P
  • Yes it was a fiasco, but no it wasn't well over 100% (not quite possible). Also, the main thing is, MS stuck by their product and handed out great warranties. From that people have more confidence in their products and Xbox is now, and has been, in first. Keeping in mind this is the first time this sort of thing has happened; usually their stuff is amazing quality.
  • Keep in mind too that RROD was from a .25 cent part failure, and not made by MSFT, but outsourced like every other company, so it wasn't their fault, but they backed up their product none the less.
  • I never had a problem with the Xbox Infact my one got the red ring as i bought the Xbox 360 so i had no problems when it happened.
  • And still had the best warranty in its class. I preordered my 360 in April...6 months before it's initial release. I got the ring of death a year after, and to this day I have never gotten it again. And I still have the same console in my bedroom, and a new slim in my living room.
  • My original xbox still works great. I have it packed away in it's original box.
  • How the hell can you fail over 100% of the time?
  • ...AND by the buy, there was a whole game in there. Most Kinect games price at $40-50 so the device would be around $99 on its own! =/
  • Please, please, please.
  • Price sounds right. They need to compete against the new Google tablet.
  • But can the google tablet be considered a competing one? A much smaller screen and less capable hardware we suspect (no usb ports or card slots either)
  • I'll second that.
    I was planning to wait for the Pro, but at $199, I'd buy a bunch of them for Christmas presents (parents, in-laws, wife, etc) and at least one for myself. Windows 8 would make some pretty quick in-roads at that sort of price. Above $199, I might consider still waiting for the Pro and I probably wouldn't be giving them away as gifts.
  • can you buy one for me and send it to germany? I'll paypal you the money of course :>
  • that sounds too good to be true.
     
    If its less than 399...then you have to be insane NOT to buy it if you want a tablet.
    199 sounds too good especially since it will have 32 or 64 GB of memory, some pretty high end features and high end materials...actually my hope is still 399 or 499...
     
    199 sounds stupid. Why would Microsoft take a deep loss on every of these sold? They aren't that desperate.
  • They might not be desperate but it would certainly make the surface a serious choice for tablet shoppers and very affordable for a lot of people considering one.
  • Well, two arguments for the $199 price: They saw Google make the Nexus 7" for $199 and it is selling well. What better way to compete than to offer much more for the same price? Xbox - Microsoft lost $6 billion (est.) on the Xbox by under-pricing it for years i.e. sold for below cost. Lose money on the hardware but win on the software sales of games. It worked. Amazon also does this with the Kindle as those are priced below cost too. So far, it has been very successful for Amazon as eBooks have skyrocketed (remember last Christmas? The Kindle was the holiday gift). Having said that, I'm skeptical too. But MS is a loose cannon right now, seemingly making decisions very last minute. So anything is possible
  • Agree on the Nexus 7 point. But the Xbox point may not totally apply here. You see, in the world of consoles, losing money on a console is a given vs a strategy. Both Microsoft and Sony do that. Nintendo doesn't lose much and tends to quickly break even since they release much less powerful hardware. Console business is built around the idea of "attach rates". That's how many games per console a customer is expected to have. Nintendo has the lowest attach rates by far. Microsoft has the highest. This makes up for the lost money as well as making a very strong business argument to 3rd party game publishers to support your platform (you will sell more here!). This is just business as usual for consoles. Whether it will apply successfully for tablets is to be seen.
  • Exactly. Besides, if Microsoft attempts to sell this way below cost the launch will be tied up in anti-competitive lawsuits at home and dumping lawsuits abroad.
  • SocalBrian - You are forever the Microsoft, and Nokia, dissenter.  No surprise seeing your posts on this one.
     
     
  • Do you think they wouldn't have legal problems if they tried selling this at a loss? At the very least I can see European regulators getting involved at that point.
  • Hasn't Google been making no money or selling the Nexus 7 at a loss since it came out?  No one seems to know exactly but almost all of the internet sites I read seem to think so.  How would this be any different?
  • It's believed Google is at or a little above break even. Given the higher end hardware in the Surface - bigger screen, more flash, magnesium case, etc. Microsoft would need to be a good bit higher to break even.
  • iSocalBrian is back. Brace for the Apple sanctioned posts in 3...2....1....
  • I do agree with you.  Although its something to ponder.  If MS actually does succeed in making WinRT the new Windows going forward, then most consumers will stick to the Windows Marketplace store for their apps.  Suddenly, MS would be getting a 20-30% cut on the entire the multi-hundred billion dollar a year software business.  Of coarse thats if WinRT actually pans out, which is certainly not enivitable at this point.  I'm open to see what changes they make in the future, but for now I can't see myself leaving the good old desktop environment.
  • You don't leave your desktop, you buy both
  • Sorry, what I meant was if users actually stick to the WinRT environment on their actual PC's, or if they stick mostly to the desktop (like I currently do with the Release Preview).  If people with W8 are still on their desktop most of the time, it reduced the chances of them buying apps on the Windows Marketplace.
  • The Surface RT is a console.  Just like the iPad.  They are simply portable gaming systems that also do work.
     
    AFAIK there will be no way to get (paid) software onto any RT device without giving MS a cut.
  • Tablets, like video game consoles, are just entertainment devices.  
    Also, you're not factoring in that when people start using the tablet, they might start using windows phones as well.  
  • All devices you mentioned have a 7 inch screen. No way do they make a 10' screen for 200. There has to be a price difference to warrant a bigger screen.
    I can't see any other OEM like Samsung, who sells a 7' Galaxy Tab for 250, sell a 10' galaxy windows for 200.
  • Interesting, a 7 foot or a 10 foot tablet. Kinda hard to lug around.
  • You sir (or ma'am), just made me lol, thank you.
  • LOL.
  • So.... the Surface is competing with the Nexus 7 now instead of the iPad? Really?
    Did Surface RT shrink in size, features, and specs?
     
     
    The competitive landscape as I see it:
    Nexus 7 vs. Kindle Fire
    Surface RT vs. iPad
    Surface Pro vs. Ultrabooks
  • The main difference between Xbox and Surface is that Xbox was able to use the same hardware for 8 years. So initially yes, Microsoft took a loss. However a few years down the line and several production line improvements as well as the lowering cost of materials as the parts aged, the Xbox became significantly cheaper to manufacture, and Microsoft now makes a profit on each Xbox sold. The Surface will have to have the newest hardware every year, meaning they will never be able to make up the loss that they will experience because the hardware refreshes will require manufacturing and parts refreshes, so no profit. Ever.
  • Profit made from 'apps'.
  • Pathetic comment.
  • It could also be a subsidized price.  For example, you pay $199, but you sign up for Xbox Live for 2 years and Xbox Music for 2 years?
  • Sometimes taking profits out of the hands of your competitors, causing their quarterly numbers to slip, lowering their book value and allowing to do a buy out because of a cheap stock price, even if only for their intellectual property rights and patents, is more profitable than posting profits....
  • Their competitors are Google and Apple. You think that Microsoft can sell a cheap tablet and cause either of these companies to lose enough money for Microsoft to be able to purchase them? Just sayin'...
  • they get the money back in with purchases from the store or they just want to invest in the new userbase - and try to bush windows 8 desktop and windows phone.
  • The price set at $200 would be perfect! I really hope the keyboard cover is included in the overall price.
  • It is not, at least from the release it was 'also available'.
  • It's already a steal at 200 if that's the price. Asking to have the keyboard included for that price is probably asking too much.
  • Wow great price! I can't imagine that coming with the keyboard. Which now that I think about it, that's why they are all different colors , so you can't pick the one that best suit you.
  • This is my take too. Of this price is legit, there is no way, imo, that it will come with the keyboard.
  • I'm in for 2!
  • Me too
  • I'm in for 3
  • I had no interest in a Surface tablet before this rumor. Now I might pick one up, if it is true. My iPad 2 is getting long in the tooth, though I was planning on holding out for next year's iPad.
    I might be going all Microsoft if that is the case (with my Lumia 900 biding time until the Nokia Windows Phone 8 models are available).
  • Not gonna happen. They will loose more money on selling their windows licenses to oems than they will make im selling the surface
  • Exactly. You lose money to win back marketshare. See the history of the Xbox as evidence for this exact strategy.
  • Not the same because there are no $60 proprietary software programs that will sell millions of copies like Halo for Windows RT.
    Nor is there a $60 a year price tag to use the online service either. Apples and Oranges my friend.
  • Very true but there are the millions and millions of apps that will sell and they will get a percentage of.  If the user base is huge you will have every developer making apps.  That is the money they want to take from Apple, not the hardware marketshare.  There is a reason Amazon has an app store and hardware that they sell at a loss.
  • Not exactly.  You may have forgotten that MS will get a 20/30 percent cut of every app sold in the app store.  If Windows RT is a success they stand to make a ton of money.
  • That 20-30% cut goes to running the store, which is pretty expensive. Apple has generated $2 billion in revenue since the App Store opened 4 years ago, and thats after selling 400 million iOS devices.
    $2 billion / 400 million devices = $5 per device, making this rumor bunk, and it would also piss off all of Microsoft's OEMs if they were to price it so cheaply.
    It'll be $399-499. Microsoft doesn't want consumers to think of the Surface RT as in competition with the Nexus 7 because it clearly does so much more.
  • There may well be programs that sell for hundreds or even thousands of dollars.  What if Adobe makes Photoshop RT?  Or if someone makes RT cad programs?  Or RT scientific computing programs?
     
    RT is the future of Windows, since even the x86 Windows 8 will make it the "preferred" environement.
  • +1 to Daniel... I've been saying/predicting this since they announced the product. They will loose money, because they can afford to do so. They are a software company, and are the only company I know of that actually "intentionally" underwrites hardware decisions as a loss... Xbox, Zune, windows phone (software even) all are predicted losses every quarter... No one else can afford to do that. Glad someone intellectual has voiced the same opinions as me.
  • Might very well happen especially if you have to sign up for Xbox Live and Music service for 2 years.
  • Definitely getting it if this is true. Wow!!!!
  • I will buy one for myself and mom if that's the case
  • I wish this was true!! I've been dying for a windows tablet ever since I bought my Samsung Galaxy Tab!
  • I'm waiting for the pro. But if this rumor turns out to be true, then I'm buying this as well.
  • I want it NOWWWWWWWW!!!!!!! screw this waiting and prancing on every bit by bit of info my brain will explode in anticipation
  • +1
  • +2
  • +3
  • I can't believe, maybe $399 would be right.
  • I can see a 199 price point. If the tablet is 7 or 8 inches, possibly 8.something, 199 would be a great pricing. The Nexus 7, at 250 for 16GB and a Tegra 3 chipset has a solid following at that price. Besides, Microsoft has always been known to sell devices at a loss to get the product in people's hands. Xbox comes to mind. It is the services and add ons where they make their money. HP does it with printers. If Microsoft wants to hit the market hard when they release, they need a price point like 199. They could give them away at first if they wanted to, and charge 100 for the keyboard case as well as a flat fee of 20 a month for 3g connectivity (assuming the hardware is there) and they will eventually make the original loss up in no time. To some degree, it is smart marketing to get more devices into users hands. I am just on the fence between the RT or Pro version, as to which one to buy.
  • Agree.  I can see them offering it at $199, and then marking up the accessories.
     
    Given that these tablets will only be available at Microsoft stores, I really don't see why oems would balk at this price point given that oems will have a much wider distribution channel with their offerings.
  • Anybody want to buy a bridge?
  • Seems a little too good to be true and I don't want to get my hopes up, but at the same time YES PLEASE
  • Even if it's 399 I can guarantee you that the keyboard cover is not included this kind accessory is never included. They will charge 40 or more for it...
  • Keyboard is on every surface. Confirmed by MS during launch.
  • Keyboard is available on every Surface. Confirmed by Microsoft during launch. ***
  • Available for, certainly not included.
  • By pricing the Rt so competitive they can afford to price the Pro more laptop in price. Xbox is a good reason why. It worked by kicking sonys legs out from under them. They now make a profit
  • Yes and no, they don't really profit from the sales of Xbox, but they do make money on Gold services... And they also did knock Sony in the ditch by undercutting the competition.
  • The Xbox is a poor example, period. The Xbox uses the same hardware for 8 years, meaning manufacturing costs come down, Microsoft makes a profit on every Xbox sold now and has for a long time. A tablet has to be refreshed every single year, meaning no profit, ever, if they sell it at a loss. The only source of revenue would be from application sales, which would not make up for the loss they would take on selling a 10" tablet for $199. I can see, maybe, $299. This would still be at a loss, but a small enough one that software sales might make up for it. But that's still stretching it.
  • I'm sorry, but how do you know they would take such a big loss? Are you in the tablet manufacturing business?
  • For this price I'm going to buy one for every member of my family! :-P
  • This can't be true...although I really wish it is.
  • $199 with a subscription like Office 365, Xbox Music, or Xbox Live.
    $399 with no subscription.
     
    My guess.
  • This makes a lot more sense. 
  • Count me in, already have a subscription to Xbox Live. And who doesn't?
  • I think he means a new subscription paid through MS. Everyone I know buys live cards in sale rather than their pay on their card through Xbox.
  • I have gold and Zune pass... But I can cancel a pass or two and start anew... Not on contract right now anyways right? LOL.
  • It don't think this is true - but if it is, I'm gonna buy RT version in addition to Pro one*.
    * - provided it is available in UK
  • I'm not getting my hopes up but man I hope this is true. For $199 I'll get at least one launch day. They may sell at a lost but for that price they won't need to spend a dollar on a huge marketing campaign. I can think of at least 10 people I'd get to buy one as well. 
  • Talk about marketing, has anyone seen the huge marketing campaign Nokia earlier said they'll do in June and July?  Me neither.  I've started to suspect their marketing money mostly went to price discounts.
    Microsoft must have plenty (probably an understatement) of money prepared to market Windows 8 and RT.  According to their previous announcement, I don't think that money can be used to lower Surface price, but who knows.
    I still think $199 for a 10" is too low, unless it's bundled with a bunch of paid services. 
  • I've seen alot of online ad marketing for the Lumia line
  • I honestly would pay twice that, and I expect it to be closer to that price. 200 bucks is WAY to low unless Microsoft wants to takes a huge loss to promote the hardware a la XBox. Plus 200 sends a mixed message, cheap and unrealiable, in my opinion. I don't consider myself an elitist like most Apple fans but a higher but fair price would give a subconscious reassurance that it's a worthy purchase.
  • I've read before that win8 is just to break into the tablet market. Thats why it isn't even a real OS. Not downing it but its common knowledge every other ms is has been pretty terribly recieved
  • Os*
  • It is a real OS, Windows 8, Windows RT and Windows Phone 8 are real OS.
  • @ chazt3n, thats the dumbest thing i have ever read.  if Microsofts Operating Systems are so terrible, then please explain why 85-90% of all Enterprise machines run Windows...you are either a linux or android fanboy, probably both....
    WIndows RT is a real OS, designed by real developers for a real company...
  • Companies like Apple love people like you. Just because Apple marks up their hardware to 3x what it costs to make doesn't affect the quality in any way. It would be the exact same quality tablet at 2x the manufacturing cost. Stop letting greedy corporations pray on your insecurities (and your wallet).
  • So true. It's an old school marketing strategy that still fools people.
     
    Take Grey Goose Vodka for example. It never used to sell but the creator of the stuff literally just put "Made in France" on the box and doubled the price and loads of people bought in to the "premium" quality! 
  • True, and its not that great, platinum 3x distilled (made in France) and at 1/4 the price tastes just as good. Besides, most people mix their vodkas so no need to buy top shelf unless you sip it on the rocks... Adding juice or soda to a top shelf is actually an insult to elitists... Just saying.
  • Android is cheap and cheap. (hate Android) Apple is expensive and good. (not a fan) And Microsoft is trying to be (with this, if accurate) cheap and good. I like my phone and dislike iPad and all Android tablets. I like this price.
  • I agree with that
  • Awww if this rumor is in fact correct... that would really make me consider buying the WinRT version instead of the Pro version.... FINGERS CROSSED!
  • IF that's the price... I am sold.
     
  • I think this price is highly unlikely. But then again, Microsoft is eagar to get into the tablet market, so this price would mean instant succes and marketshare! I will wait for the Pro I think. Let's hope the Pro is also well priced like the RT version!
  • I would say big sale small profit get as much as u can out there the market is already flooded with Android tablets so that price is welcome by me would be getting two my daughter and myself waiting on wp8 also screen size of 4.5 at least with all the other good stuff.
  • Calm down, loyalty to a corporation of choice isn't a good thing in the slightest. Seriously think about it. Youre just a number to them so don't take it personally when a stranger doesn't see things your way.
  • looks like ill be getting both rt and pro after all :D
  • +1
  • Where does this rate on the rumor mill?
  • Yeah, I just thinking about the rum-o-meter.
  • Looks too good to be true.  At that price I will buy 2!
  • I came.
  • 3 please....
  • LOL, hahah if this were true I'd buy one for every member of my family.  No way this can be true though, the components cost more than that.
  • $199 Here take my money, TWICE! Talk about trick or treat, UNICEF is getting jack at the door this Halloween.
  • LOL
  • Well if the RT version is selling for $200 then that might mean that the Pro version might sell for around $600-$700 which beats over $1000 any day for me.
  • So Microsoft is bundling Windows, Office and high end hardware for the same price as a 7 inch crappy android toy? If you believe this, I have a bridge for sale.
  • Just one pathetic comment after another, you're on a roll
  • He has a point. And a good one. Just because you want something to be true doesn't make that something true, nor does it make it even a possibility based on the facts.
  • It's the RT version. So, Office isn't free.
     
    Just sayin'.
  • In the video, MS said that Office _is_ included on the RT, and separate on the Pro. In fact, with Office being the only desktop-style app on the RT, not including it would be silly.
  • I'm pretty sure its just starter though right?
  • Regarding office Engadget had a story that the rt will only get a lite version preinstalled.
  • $199 and a 13 hours lasting battery? Mmm...i am willing to pay double that as long as the quality of the hardware and feel is as good as the ipad.
  • No way in the world is that going for $199. If so I want 2
  • Honestly I don't like the existence of this rumor.  First of all, I highly doubt its true, and all this does is make people even more resistant to the idea of $399, which I think would be an incredibly reasonable price for such hardware.  Secondly, if it is true, it would have been much better for MS if they could have controlled the announcment of this price tag.  Imagine them announcing this price tag as they open up pre-orders.  My wallet would have already been ready to buy one at $399, so I would have easilly ended up buying 2 or 3 instead out of pure excitement.
  • if it is priced 199 and 399 I would buy. bOth!
  • Yes please.
  • It might be a good move to price it that low...IF their plan is to try to lure consumer into buying the Window 8 ecosystem.
  • If this is the true price I would definitely get one to replace my aging iPad Gen 1.  In addition I would hope for similarily competitive pricing on the Surface Pro.  However I am not getting my hopes up as imagine the outcry from the OEM's? 
  • Right in time for my birthday
  • If the keyboard cover is Not included I'll wait for a blackfriday sale. If it is included I'll pick it up day one.
  • I appreciate everyone has a different view of what something is worth but, you are one tough customer =]
     
    I don't know how much it will be worth but, I think you're going to be disappointed later this year
  • this price seems too good to be true. I am only giving it the time of day (and small excitement) since its coming from Engadget.
  • I need 4 of them if it's 199
  • I hope for you's guys sake it's true, but for me I didn't need one at $400 and I don't need one at $200. I ain't need or want a tablet at all.
  • Ok so why comment?
  • I though it was a Dr. Seuss joke.
  • I ain't need to hear bad grammar
  • I wouldn't hesitate to pick up an RT tablet at $199 but I'm betting that price isn't accurate. This is one case where I'd be more than happy to eat my own words.
  • As long as it stays under $500 for the RT its a steal in my book. If it was $200 ill get two at launch one just for the bathroom incase I forget one when I go in :D
  • Oh Sweet Mercy.
    I'll get it day ONE if this is true..
    I swear it on the eyes of my child.
  • I'll assume this is close to true... but probably at a carrier-subsidized contract price or as a limited wifi only model. This pricing puts it squarely in the Kindle Fire price-range, so I can see it having similar hardware limits or some sort of subsidizing going on... or maybe as a launch promotional pricing that goes up later. This is super exciting, because it leaves a lot of room for the Pro side to be that lower range of Ultrabook pricing in the $700-900 range, which is Ultra-exciting. I can certainly see Microsoft doing this to help consumers AND partners get their foot in the door and beat the hell out of Apple's offerings and drive interest. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE "make it so!"
  • Also, if it's true, I'll be buying them for my whole family at Christmas just to prevent any iPad purchases.
  • Good now I will buy one or wait for pro price than get that one instead :-P
  • Maybe the 30% Ms is earning from the apps sold on the marketplace has its weight on their price strategy too.
    With my wp7 apps, for example, Ms earned some thousands $$. I don't know how much money apple is doing with App royalties, but I suppose is a huge number.
  • I am getting the RT and Pro along with the WP 8 (Nokia) for sure. Whatever the price. Been saving for this.
    Coming to the price point, if MS and really pull this off... It's a BIG step ahead in capturing the Tablet market and make a big dent in the iPad and Android tablet sales. 
    Microsoft Take my $$ already!!!
  • I'll buy two or more at that price.
  • This can't be true. Seriously, why should Microsoft sell it for such a low price? Market share isn't Microsoft's problem. People are already excited for Windows 8. With a $200 prize tag they would ruin their own business and make their OEM partners angry. And almost nobody would buy a Windows 8 machine and pay additionally for Office. The rumored 7" Xbox Surface tablet may be the $200 tablet.
  • Wow, great price. It would make me buy it even though I don't really need a tablet. IF it ever gets available in my country, of course.
    (Hey, MS, I'm talking to you!)
    Autumn will be very interesting, indeed!
  • How trustworthy is Engadget? That's my question. I'm hoping this is Microsofts Trojan horse. Sneak in and take all if not most of the competition.
  • Either way the thought that they are already behind in market share, they need to show that they are serious and the more RT versions out there the more developers are going to create apps for the platform. Take a hit and then make it up on windows license and all the purchase made with apps,games,videos,and music. Just like the xbox
  • Dude, if they truly sell for $199, I'm going to buy one for each hand.
    Eric
  • Anybody want to buy my Nexus 7 and my HP Touchpad? Bundle set real cheap. Jk but this is a great price if it holds.
  • Could be a rumor planted by Apple/Google to raise expectations only to have them dashed at launch when we see the real price. 
  • If it is true, the OEMs will have conniptions. Thing is, it would really help them in the long run too. Instant market share for Windows RT. Once it has that foot in the door it becomes a lot easier for other OEMs to launch Windows RT devices. Albeit maybe not at the price they would like. If true, I'm in for at least one. But I doubt it is true.
  • You just made me look up "conniptions"! :D
    On topic, I was planning to skip the RT and wait for the Pro but this price would make me get an ET as well. There's gotta be a catch somewhere.
  • That crapbox out sells all the other crap boxes out there.. Given the fact that the ROD was a problem. People did not run to PS3 in roves. We dealt with it and kept on hamming, thanks to MS 3 year warranty.
  • The PS3 is more if a crap box than the Xbox will ever be.
  • How so? And I ask that as someone who owns a 360 and not a PS3. Gotta have valid reasons to back up claims than just spouting ridiculous fanboy nonsense.
  • And you don't think the Xbox being called a crapbox is ridiculous fanboy nonsense?
  • If you Xbox motherboard dies, just move your hard drive to your replacement console. Ps3 board goes? I hope you kept everything backed up to USB or the cloud. If not say goodbye to hundreds of hours of playtime in your save games.
  • Exactly,some people just don't get it. I will not allow anyone to shoot down the ecosystem in any way. I don't care if I get banned for doing so.
  • How about 299?
  • I really doubt this is the case, but if it is, I may just get a Surface AND a Surface Pro.
  • At this price can they make these fast enough? I can imagine seeing SOLD OUT and BACKORDERED. I wish there was a Microsoft store closer.
  • Too low.
  • I'd probably even camp in front of a MS Store to get one at this price!
    Too bad there are no MS Stores in Germany   (= 3=)
  • I would camp out and make a road trip to get one.
  • Much as I would love to believe it, I really don't see this being possible. They would have to be awfully optimistic about the success of the Microsoft Store if this were to be their ARM price point.
  • What I think is going to happen is it will be 400-500$ and they'll give a rebate and accessories package making the value of the tablet after you get all that stuff to be like $200, when really you spent 400-500$. One thing we can conclude from this is Microsoft is most likely going to be pretty aggressive when it comes to pricing. I'm really hoping to see the surface Pro around 600-700$.
  • Good deal.
    This reminds me of the $99 Lumia 900 launch (US ATT).  "Too cheap to be good" will be the the Microsoft hater headline.
     
  • hit the nail on the head right there my friend!
  • I doubt it
  • I'll take (2) for $199 each
  •  
    05/10 in rum'o'meter
    Ouch :(
  • I'd buy two at that price... damn.  I'd be happy with pricing it AT what iPads start at.  $199 though... gotta be too good to be true. XD
  • people should stop thinking of this as a competetor with the iPad or the semi-annual Asus Transformer upgardes.
     
    It's a netbook with an optional keyboard.
     
    A netbook with similar specs is under $249 at Walmart. That's with a MS licensing fee that we'll assume the Microsoft will probably not charge itself. I don't think that a 10" tablet for $199 is totally unrealistic in that circumstance. THAT is why Acer is pooping themselves over this. 
    Even adding the keyboard as a $69-99 extra would still put this well within the budget of most students and homes.
    One of the biggest complaints with Android and iOS tablets is about the need for replacement apps to substitute for the ones we enjoy on our Windows laptops and desktops. Windows 8 may have a new UI, but it IS still Windows. Clearly, we won't be playing the latest PC games here, but we will have MS Office. No more converting avi or wmv videos for an iPad: just drop in CCCP and/or VLC Player. heck...no more glitchy iTunes to load your tablet with music or videos. USB flash drive. Wanna read your comics? Comical already works for Windows. 
     
    Now the Surface Pro: that market is the ultrabook. At $499-599, it would dominate THAT market as well as having a major impact on the 10" tablets like the iPad. Esp if the base Pro model at $499 has 64GB vs 16GB for the iPad. 
  • What they should do is sell it at 199 if you have a WP and 399 if not.
  • +100
  • This is one area that MS needs to attack. Throw in phones at reduced rates when bundling purchases or I wouldn't be surprised to see them add 12 month XBL gold accounts, points or both.
  • *Closes eyes* Please be true. Please be true.:D
  • Seeing the recent rumoured performance benchmarks and now these rumoured pricing I cannot see how I could possible resist. This is clearly a borgian implant so devious that we are definatly going to become slaves to this tablet.
     
    I am thinking $199 is way cheap but then the Nexus 7 suprised me as well but this takes it to a whole new level. I think I am going to slap another 100 smackers on this price just so I can sleep better.
     
    So the new price is $299... Aaaah that makes me feel better already.
  • 200-300$ would be a sweet spot for me.  I would replace all of my families computers with one since these might be all they would need at home.  The notable exception is my brother and myself, we play games that require PCs.  But that doesn't mean we can't each have our own Surface to use when not near PC or rather not use WP.  I'm looking for a reason to chunk my iPad.  We'll until ATT release app on Surface it still has a role to function as my uverse controller/guide.
  • It could be a brief intro price to get them in the wild.
  • YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!
    Ahem.
    I think that is going to be killer, but it may be a necessary competitive price point if the Surface is going to be huge.
  • Not too good to be true, I just hope it is. Many would have said that Lumia 710's being sold at £99 in the UK would be too good to be true, but yeah, it happened. Microsoft could be selling them at coat or just below cost, who knows, but they will make tonnes of profit in the longterm if they can get handsets into peoples hands. Doubts remain as to whether consumers will be interested in RT, and Microwoft isn't even in the tablet game atm. This pricing structure would change all that, overnight.
  • Skeptical. Sounds too good to be true. BUT, that's exactly what I would want. Where does the line start?
  • Of course they can't really compete evenly with the iPad right now, so why not price it ridiculously low to get them on people's hands. So maybe it could be true. I hope it is!
  • What about the idea that this is the price with some kind of subsidy?  Like a cell phone plan or what they've been testing with the Xbox 360 by selling it for $99 and then making payments every month for Xbox Live.  If it's $199, I'll get one for sure.  It already looks better than the overpriced and overrated iPad.  
  • In the UK, they would be free with a cellphone contract, that's standard practice here, so I do hope not. That would make the retail price on these things about £600 lol. Too much, way to much.
  • My body is ready
  • Female code please! Thanks!
  • Shut up and take my money!!!
  • Joder.
  • Advertised it well
    Price it low
    FTW!!!
  • I need a rumor meter on this.
  • There is without a doubt I would buy this for 200 dollars.  TAKE MY MONEY MICROSOFT TAKE IT ALL.  Ohh wait it's only 200 bucks.  Time to accesorize. 
    In my opinion I think this would significantly put Microsoft in a better position because 200 dollars is just damn cheap, assumingly if this rumor is true.  But damn this is like the second best news all week for me.
  • So, first you run an article on how it's going to cost way too much, and now one on it being super-cheap!
    What Microsoft showed off in June with the Surface announcement was a premium product - slapping a mega-cheap price on it would require some serious, SERIOUS subsidisation from Microsoft.  It's one thing to stick it to your own partners by entering the tablet and PC market with a line of your own hardware, it's quite another to slap a bargain-basement price on it. If we think the OEMs are complaining now, just imagine the howls of protest if this price were true?!
    More likely we'll see a fairly sensible price tage that's similar but (hopefully) marginally cheaper than the iPad.  That way, we can see a product hitting the market that can't be immediately dismissed as 'too expensive' but isn't going to anger the OEMs too much either.
    Give the OEMs a slap in the face as a wake-up-call? Microsoft will do that. Stab them in the back? Not so much.
  • Agree 100%, there is no way Microsoft would risk putting itself in a bad position with its partners by putting the Surface RT out at this price. They'll need to work WITH their partners to have RT tablets compete against iPad.
  • Never, ever, going to be $199. No chance. Now people will be ticked when it comes out at a higher price. Rumor started by Acer or apple LOL!
  • 299-399 is ideal and considering what you get, it would make the most sense. It still greatly under cuts the iPad and I could care less about the Nexus.
  • If this is a true price range that is awesome.
  • If it's true I'm definitely getting an RT.  I was a little hesitant concidering there aren't many apps for W8 but I just bought a POS $100 Android tablet to get a feal for the OS.  So for $200 I would buy a nice built W8 tablet that at least has a web browser that can I can do stuff with.   My $100 POS Android tablet has a hard time surfing the web. 
  • $199 sounds great, it would give them a foot hold against Apple, make it easy to beat out Android, and they suck people into the XBOX Music/Video/Market Place to make back the money they loose for the $199 price tag. As a matter if fact if the RT comes in at the $199 I will be getting it on launch day to replace my iPad, and then still be able to make the case to my wife for buying a Pro model after the first of the year to replace my old on it's last leg MacBook. (it's a much harder sell on getting a Pro model for $1000+, if you just dropped $399 for the RT) The more I think about it the $199 pricing could help push a lot more of the Pro models that would Cary the more premium price tag because more people would double dip.
  • Netbook? What year are you stuck in? That would make the iPad a netbook too?
  • They make money off every app you buy, so if it does release for 199, it may be 199  out of the gates but 199+30% of every app you buy goes to Microsoft. If they want to catch up to apple and stop google in their tracks they'd better sell these for 199. I doubt it though, HP/Dell/Lenovo can't make one this cheap and Microsoft wouldn't under cut them by 50%. I'm betting 399.
  • People are saying it's too good to be true... But this makes the statements that Acer's CEO made make a lot of sense... This would explain why he firmly believes Microsoft is making a mistake. There is no way partners can compete at that price... They're not going to sell they're stuff at a loss... The only one who can gain from this price pont is Microsoft.
  • If this is true, I will be getting both RT and Pro.
  • I'll take 4
  • I don't think this is feasible. The Google Nexus 7 just launched and is selling (at production cost) for $199. Uping a tablet from 7" to 10" increases the cost of the display, and more significantly, the cost of the battery. $299 would be a stretch, but within the realm of possibility, however $199 I don't see being possible unless Microsoft is willing to take a ~$100 hit on every device sold, from now until forever. They can't intro this product at $199 this year and increase the cost next year, it won't fly with consumers.
  • I had the old Xbox and now I own a Xbox 360 and I never seen the ring of death. Microsoft can make great hardware!
  • Gosh I hope so! MS really needs this!
  • At that price, I'd buy one for my wife and I both! That said, there is no way I see them going that low. My guess it that it will launch for $399, which still undercuts the new iPad and falls in line with other tablets of that size. I'd love to be proven wrong, though!
  • Almost peed my pants upon first reading it. But then after thinking about it, maybe it's to good to be true? The price would probably be around $299 to $399.
  • At this price I'll buy both
  • No wonder Acer is so pissed off
  • Nah. Acer is being a baby about all this. They need to pony up and put something great out there. They are sore because they are not in the first tier of OEMs producing tablets. Here in Japan they are viewed as a strictly bargain PC. Don't get me wrong. I have an Acer Iconia 500W I bought just to play with Win 8. I love it, but it likely will be blown away by the Surface.
     
    First, the $199. This actually doesn't surprise me. I think back to my lessons in HS when I learned the phrase "loss leader." That was the bargain item placed in the window to attract the customers, who almost invariably chose the more expensive model. I predict $199 for the 32GB Surfqace RT. This allows some room for the 64GB to run, say $399. Still competitive, but likely now selling at a profit. Then the Pro can come in at $599-700 and the 128GB pushing $1000.
     
    We also need to remember that rumor has it the second gen Surfaces, maybe with other screen sizes, etc are on the horizon as well. Sounds like a pretty well-rounded ofering if true. Much more so than even the venerable iPad. All this still gives OEMs plenty of room to position some great tablets. 
     
    Myself. I actually like Windows 8 on my Fujitsu i3 core laptop, so I will lean towards a 64GB Surface RT.
  • I really hope this is the case. I'll be waiting for the release with cash or credit in hand.
  • I will buy 4 instantly at this price. If they enforce a 2 per customer then I'll have my wife get the other 2. Seriously, if there is one company that can pull this off it's Microsoft. Like Daniel said, Microsoft has a history of losing billions in the short term only to make it all back in the long run. They have done it. And I think if they do it with the Surface we might witness one of the biggest product launches in history.
  • OEMs could probably care less about Surface RT, they're more worried about the success of the x86 - i.e. their real bread and butter - at this point. We haven't seen as much of a commitment to Windows RT tablets yet as we have with the touch ultrabooks, and if that's the case, MS will probably need to pull some weight in order to get RT some reasonable marketshare. At the right price, e.g. $199 or $249, the Surface RT can be a boon for a lot of budget casual users, the education market, young users, etc - in aggregate, a pretty big market that iPad is penetrating relentlessly. If MS can tap into this into market, not only will it begin edging into iPad territory, but it'll also attract a comparable level of app developer support for Windows 8 RT. I think the Surface Pro should be sold at premium pricing so as to level off losses from RT and to keep the OEMs content, and even then I can see the Pro succeeding among professional users, enterprise, etc.
  • Reading so many comments begging for a $400 price point just proves to me how much Apple has people all screwed up. The Nexus 7 flying off the shelves while being a quality product shows that people really want to buy nice tablets for less if available. If the Surface RT was the same it would put a dent in the sales of every well received tablet from the Kindle Fire to the Nexus 7 to the Ipad version 430xsz. Microsoft has a target it's aiming for and that is integration and relevancy for it's products in the post PC era of computing. With Windows 8 software and the varied Windows 8 hardware they plan on building on top of the Iphone/IPad making inroads o the lives of the average Joe across the globe. What we will be seeing is the next shift in how we integrate with our devices combined with the next shift if how they integrate with each other whether on the go, in the home or at the office. My work gave all our sales reps IPads and they are basically useless for what we do. The Surface RT or Pro could replace the IPads, use the software we use out the box and replace the windows laptops the company provides each sales rep while increasing productivity. If the revolution starts at $199 I am buying 3 in February. Heck I might by 4 and sell the well received Acer 100 we have I got on Black Friday last year for $199.
  • I think this rumor is true. Why? Remember that Wang dude from Acer who went ape at MSFT on surface? He mentioned that MSFT cant priced the surface at $199, because that will kill OEM. He wanted MSFT to priced them at 499 or 599. And now, this. A leaked from internal. Makes sense right? This is what makes acer truly upset. I say stuff it,just sell it for $199 and kill every other competitor out there !
  • Honestly I don't know why OEMs would complain about a cheap Surface RT... For Windows machines, their bread and butter is x86, and I bet you the Surface Pro will be offered at $999 at the minimum to reconcile with the OEMs. However, Microsoft may actually have an interest in seeing Win 8 RT succeed, and there's solid potential for RT being adopted for , entry-level, consumption and to an extent, education. If the OEMs are going to continue with shirking aggressive support for Windows 8 RT, then MS has every right to step up.
  • I wudnt be surprised if a Microsoft purposly let the info slip about it being 199 then took to the forms to see everyone's reaction to it, apple fan boys are screwed because they were talked into buying an overpriced tablet then want to look down on windows mainly cuz it doesn't cost as much that's what it's come down to PRICE apple fans feel inferior cuz they blew away 600 bucks on a tablet that does nothing more than the surface rt does hell if I paid that price id talk it up to but then everyone laughs because u spent soo much on nothing but you laugh cuz we paid so little for a lot......i laugh
  • Now seeing this, I'm in two mind what to do..... I was going to hold out and get the Pro; but if this price is correct then I'll get this and grab an i7 laptop.....
  • Very much doubt that this is true. Paul Thurrot has reported that he has seen the line up of some WinRT machines and hinted very strongly that they will be priced very similarly to the iPad. He doesn't say this is specifically the case for the Surface as he is unable to reveal precisely what he knows but, even if he is not referring to Surface, are MS really going to hugely undercut the OEM's? I doubt it. Hope I'm wrong though!
  • Waw.. Ill buy it
  • I will buy both winRT and PRO.
  • $199 for Surface RT thats a grand slam! At that Price it's not to pick one up... If this is true I will be looking forward to getting both the RT & the Pro....
  • If this is true, then I believe this is the one I'll get over the Surface Pro. That price would be unbeatable.