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Surface RT poll results show a divided reaction for Windows Phone users

The Surface RT is not quite out yet but with pre-orders underway and the pricing finally announced we tossed up two polls to quantify your reactions. Perhaps not too surprisingly the results are a bit complicated and we bet that has to do with the amount of choices now out there (and in the future).

Priced too high or just right?

First up we asked whether or not the base price of $499 dissuaded you from considering the Surface RT. The majority of you (46% of 5,770 votes) said that in fact it did not affect your decision while a smaller but still significant 36% said it did impact your decision. A full 18% were unsure, obviously waiting on the sidelines for early reviews and initial market response to influence their decision.

Although a majority seemed unfazed by the $500 price tag clearly a chunk of our audience were seriously hoping for something more dramatic from Microsoft—whether in the form of a lower base price or a subscription model (akin to the $99 Xbox 360 plan), potential buyers reflected negatively on the price. Of course by most accounts, the 32GB Surface RT is competitively priced and you do get more bang for your buck in terms of hardware compared to an iPad, but it still remains to be seen whether it’s enough to woo new customers.

Clearly Microsoft is in a tough position as they could have easily absorbed a lot of the cost of the Surface RT for a lower base price but it would have completely knee-capped their OEM partners who surely would have bailed due to being unable to compete. It's also an odd question to have to answer because in theory prices are never low enough for any technology when consumers are asked.

Did you preorder?

After the pricing was announced and pre-orders had begun Windows Phone Central polled its users to see how many had committed to the new device. This poll had a larger turnout with 8,104 respondents.

Nearly 20% (1,579) of you had placed a pre-order for the Surface RT in either the 32GB or 64GB varieties. That number may seem low but in fact as a percentage it seems quite high for a pre-order as presumably many more will make a purchase when it actually goes on sale in a Microsoft Store or holiday kiosk. Even more will make purchases if early reviews give heavy praise to the device or it catches on socially.

In fact 13% of you said you were waiting to buy it in the Store, either to get a hands-on or presumably to have more options when purchasing. For instance, the 64GB version of the Surface RT only has the black Touch Cover available even though it comes in four other colors (white, cyan, magenta and orange). That sort of limitation even prevented some of the WPCentral staff from pre-ordering, as we wanted a different combination.

Another 26% fall into the “waiting a bit longer” category presumably for more information and reviews as the tablet becomes available---a fair and rational position. Finally, 40% of the respondents are waiting for the Surface Pro or to purchase another, non-Microsoft tablet running Windows 8. Clearly that number reflects users who want a “no compromise” experience when running Microsoft’s latest operating system.

Kind of want...

Wrap up

In conclusion, if we had to summarize the responses it would seem the initial response to the Surface RT is lukewarm, due to a few reasons:

  • Consumers want a Pro device
  • Consumers want to find out more information (reviews, etc.)
  • Consumers want a different configuration for colors (64GB)

Having said that, we can see on the website that the 32GB base version is back-ordered by 3 weeks suggesting that initial demand has been high. But we’ll have to wait and see how the October 26th hard launch and subsequent holiday season progresses to really get an idea if Surface RT is a hit or miss.

Daniel Rubino
Executive Editor

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

  • I have ordered one yay!
    And I'm first yay! :P
  • *Gets the wicked desire to tattle to Daniel Rubino to delete your comment* lol.
  • +1
  • If they made a 16GB with Touch Cover I would buy it for $500, but not a 32GB without Touch Cover for $500.
  • for my wife im getting her the surface but for me i will wait and see theother tablets before i decide. considering the samsung tab becasue its packed with features, ut once i can see and hold both and then compare prices then i can decide.
  • Saw the Samsung at a conference last month. It was nice enough, but it has a few plastic covers on ports that could easily break off.
  • We ordered the 32g with cover last night. Very likely would have gotten two but I think it's priced a bit high. Will take a wait and see attitude before getting another one.
  • If the $500 included the Touch Cover, it'd consider it.
  • The results of the poll aren't really surprising. Consider how a lot of the people here are about to pony up for a new phone. Not everyone has the money to buy both the Surface RT and a new phone.
  • I think that's a very true statement.  I'm already going to buy 2 new Windows Phone 8 devices, can't really afford a tablet on top of that at least for a few months.
  • Well I'm going to replace the Lumia 710 because my wife wants a bigger screen. I'm not getting one not that I can't but we are on T-MO and there is nothing that grabs me though the 8x is nice yes I wanted the L920 but that isn't going to happen. I'm a big screen guy so staying with the 4.3 doesn't excite me at all. I'm going to get the surface yes for the house. as for WP8 I'm not so keen on what is being offered at i'm not sure..but I wont replace my phone for something i'm not excited about device wise.
  • What bothers me the most is the $100 for 32 GB of additional storage. Why are they following Apple's asshole pricing? Extremely overpriced is an understatement.
  • At least you can buy a 64GB microSDXC card for $50. Just use internal storage for apps and leave external storage for music, movies, and TV shows (the stuff that actually uses up the most storage space anyway).
  • Yeah, that's very nice, but it doesn't change the fact that they are doing the rotten Apple here. 50 bucks extra for a 32 GB upgrade would be ok, but not good.
  • I'm more offended by the overpriced keyboard and video cables (things that elsewhere are much cheaper).
  • I agree with you on the keyboard, but the video cables are standard mini-hdmi, so you can buy other other options from any store.
  • It's not mini-HDMI
  • Then what is it?
  • It's MicroHDMI.  People complaining about price should just buy a cable from someone else ;).
  • It isnt miniHDMI
    Surface RT has a propietary port: 1 Requires Surface HD Digital AV Adapter, sold separately.
  • Agreed
  • agree infinitely!
  • A few things, STOP CRYING, IF YOU DON'T LIKE THE PRICE, DON'T BUY ONE! all these years people have been complaining about the quality of devices OEM's put windows on. Microsoft makes a device out of high quality vapor-mag, place dual memo antennas in the unit(first device to have dual to ensure great reception), gorilla glass 2, & a first class OS and all everyone is doing is crying. MS should have joined the other OEM's and put out a cheap plastic, filled with bloat ware piece of sh*t, then sat back and listen to the whiners. DAMMED IF YOU DO, DAMMED IF YOU DON'T!
  • I just dont have money, otherwise I get the Pro.
  • I feel your pain.
  • I wouldn't consider 20% of preorders for a device that has had no serious reviews to be "lukewarm". That seems a fairly broad thumbs up.
  • Apple is already looking to copy the Surface, yet they're seen as tech leader check this out:
  • And yet it shall be revolutionary!!!!! ..... :-/
  • MS should sue Apple for copying the design. It's funny Apple barks when Samsung copied them and they're no different.
  • They have a joint deal from the 80s so they can't sue each other
  • Over +9000
  • Hardware design isn't included, that's why MS phone don't look like the iPhone and apple used a L900in their court case against Samsung
  • Lets be completely honest what does a iPad need a keyboard for anyways? seriously what app do they have where long typing is needed? Oh yeah thats right note taking and web browsing? There OS for tablets isn't a computer type OS its a iphone made bigger. It's the sole reason I have never purchased one. Oh wait is Apple actually going to make a mac touch friendly like Microsoft did. LOL copying all over the place.
  • Also, they already have a keyboard from Logitech for $100 or so, or lots protective cases with keyboards. So this patent means nothing really, it is even silly beacuse instead of simply touching the 'touch' screen for play, pause, etc. it would be on the back of the device while sitting at a table infront of you... Duh!
  • I don't think it's silly because they have no where else to go besides unifying their desktop/mobile OS like MS has done wth Win 8.......but when Apple does it, it will be as if MS hasn't already done it. Many people here who have used win 8 says it's not mad for desktop/laptop, but I'm running Win 8 Pro on my corporate domain along with my AutoCad/Arc GIS group and its smooth as butter, better than win 7. I don't miss the start menu in desktop mode, because right clicking in the lower left corner gives you access to routine tools and I've pinned the productivity item to the taskbar. The real beauty of win 8 will be displayed when people adapt a hybrid device like surface pro. This will be my only computer, when at work, I will extend the desktop to multiple displays :-D
  • As a developer om going to wait for the surface pro, i dont really care about the price point since it's going to be a work tool for me. Using multiple monitors when working and still having the options to use it for entertainment on the road. But first I'm going for the lumia 920, then a surface pro in January/February :)
  • Ye abut that mac touch is like the same price as a MacBook pro fuck that shit
  • That patent was filed more than a year ago, long before anyone had seen the Surface. 
  • And you don't think MS had the surface patent last year or prior??? Ballmer did say MS had been working on Win 8 & tablets long before the iPad. Don't be stupid :|
  • So because MS didn't allow us to see the surface, that means it wasn't patented? Patents don't get approved in a six months, this should be obvious since Apple had theirs last year, it would means MS had theirs prior to Apples filing to be able to put the surface into production.
  • Actually the plans for the surface have been in headquarters since before the iPad even cane out it was 3yrs in the making they managed to make everything smaller than the original plans
  • 500 bucks would be great if its the tablet comes with the keyboard. 
  • I also want to see what other OEM's bring to the table, especially Nokia.
  • I chose "waiting a bit longer" but that was to give time for my wallet to recover from commiting to buy two 920's.
  • Im eating to build up cash and not credit, but mainly to see if MS surprises us in December with a phone to go with my surface and I will buy a package deal :-D
  • I played with a couple Windows 8 systems at Best Buy yesterday. Freaking slick. The salespeople were generally pretty enthusiastic. And what is with that mini apple store in there? Looks like a state fair kiosk selling Dippin Dots.
  • LOOL we have one in Boston too
  • Preordered the 64 gig today. I was going to go to the midnight release but my buddy dropped out. (didnt want to drive over alone) pretty excited, id be very happy if i spent $599 instead of $699. I think $599 would have been the perfect price for me, but it's microsoft brand, and they have never let me down on hardware so im in the game! ;)
  • I am getting one because i am using my $500 MS gift card i got for doing the windows phoen challenge. 
    If it wasn't for that, i would of not gotten it, to me, price is a little too high. 
  • I think it will be successful but not as successful had they been slightly more aggressive with their pricing.
  • Pre-ordered mine yesterday.  32GB with white keyboard... 
  • So, if there is a popup store in your state, do you have to pay taxes?
  • Yes.
  • so this will only be sold thru microsoft? I have quite alot of best buy gift certs i want to use
  • I'm getting a 64GB RT next week at the Eaton Centre. People have to realize that this is a premium tablet. Samsung and the OEM's will pick up the slack with cheaper tablets. 
  • You missed one reason Dan, "Consumers want to wait for a price drop".
  • +1
  • If microsoft would let the keyboard of people's choice come with the tablet, the price would be ok...
  • I voted pro
  • I pre-ordered the 64gb.  I do wish we could have chosen the color of the keyboard.  I will get the Pro when it comes out and maybe sell the RT.
  • I ordered the 32gb then i cancelled it and ordered the 64 gb. The only thing that pisses me off is that they dont sell the Surface by itself and allow you to oder any color touch cover. Other than that cant wait to get my 920 as well and as far as the start menu it can fuck off and die....heh
  • Im hoping for a special offer around thanksgiving/Christmas
  • At $500 I would have preordered under the following conditions:
    (1) 1080p
    (2) free Touch Cover of my choice. Since (1) won't happen this generation, I'll wait and look at the Pro model in January. Still not a guaranteed sale, though.
  • The Pro will start at $800-$900. No sources, just common sense.
  • I'm of the opinion it will be $999 with the cover for the 64gig model.  $899 without.
  • I only said "other tablet" cus I want/need (my 5 year old laptop just died 2 weeks ago) a pro tablet now. So I am going with the "Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T" (hell of a long name...). If surface pro was out now then I would have a hard choice to make, but Im a Dev (needed a keyboard) and I want to pen input for photoshop (basically becomes a free cintique, for those that do not know cintique is a wacom product that is used by digital artists, with pen input). And the large screen (biggest that I know of in any tablet coming out this year). So like I said Need PRO now so its the Samsung for me... BTW here is my valueation (you make your own but this if mine) for both Surface PRO and any other w8 tablet with pen input, and core processors(atom would drop the estimate):
    $650 netbook (considering RAM and processors)
    $1000 cintique
    $800 tablet (considering 128GB storage)
    $2450 TOTAL VALUE
    And the Samsung is just $1200 (ya i know that not cheap but your getting 1/2 off at this rate) but you can also add in $200 PMP, and $100 portable DVD play for your kids if you carry around those things, which I dont so I did not add it into my valuation.
  • I'm picking 1 up at a store because I refuse to wait for delivery, I need it harder than a fiend lol. I would have liked it to have included the cover but, im happy to finally have a unified ecosystem
  • But the delivery in the US is going to be on or before the 26th, so there is not waiting involved... Or do you just mean the few hours between when the physical store opens and when the delivery truck arrives?
  • Lol, I think the person is referring to the 32 gb w/o cover option that is now 3 weeks out.
  • I've been waiting for a Microsoft tablet a long time. I hate Android and Apple is boring and old. Im waiting on what I ordered and the 26th better not get pushed back
  • I got the 64gb, and am perfectly happy with the black cover. It's the most "neutral/classy" of the colors and therefore makes the most sense to include by default.
  • Keep in mind this is wpcentral users - they will naturally be more power-user oriented as enthusiasts. If you polled the masses, I think you may find that RT is all a  lot of folks really need and are happy to be able to save some money with RT. 
  • I think if you polled the masses iPad is all they need. 
  • Socalbrian, if you're polling users on wpcentral outside of yourself, the will need the RT version as stated above. If they wanted an iPad, they wouldn't be on wpcentral, but would be trolling like you, now as MJ would say, "Beat It"!
  • I dont know why consumers in the U.S. Are complaining.... I was defo considering the surface RT, but almost £500 for base model with cover was clearly taking the piss...
  • I know, right! 500usd is roughly only 312gbp so 500gbp (800usd) is ridiculous! Plus I want a lumia 920 its just not possible!
  • It's a premium product being sold at at discount even at the entry level model. A comparable iPad will cost you much more and you won't be getting USB or expandable memory among other things.
  • I'm gonna have a ball wit my 32gb with cover especially if there are good games at launch to play with a Xbox controller plus $50 for 64 GB memory card for my Xbox music subscription and movies
  • Where'd u find the $50 64gb microsd card? I only see $60 everywhere else.
  • Just Bing 64 GB sdxc on ur phone they got one for 35 and SanDisk is 53
  • I feel like a kid a Christmas I check on my ish every hr damn near to see updates about the surface I hope we get treated better for preording and they arrive early
  • I think no NFC and GPS is a terrible draw back :(
  • Off Topic: Guys check this out. Jaime Rivera is being destroyed. He told people not to preorder the Surface and MS body guards got him! Aaahahshahah check it out. It's funny.
  • He tends to bring that stuff on himself.  It's an article meant to get pageviews, and some of his reasoning seems to come down to "they didn't let me use it beforehand, so I'm gonna hold it against them until I feel like they've made it up to me".  That line of thinking is pretty ludicrous in my humble opinion, but to each his or her own.  I personally would not be flaming someone on the internet, as it's bad karma to begin with and childish to end with, but it still bears repeating that it IS the internet, and if you're a troll that leaves your comfortable spot under the bridge, you might get run over.
  • MS should ban its employees from ever releasing information to this guy for his site and be sure not to discount any Microsoft developer tools he may use.
  • MS Surface 32GB w/o Touch Cover: $519 CAD
    MS Surface 32GB w/ Touch Cover: $619 CAD
    MS Surface 64GB w/ Touch Cover: $719 CAD
    Coloured Touch Cover $129 CAD
    Type Cover $139 CAD
    Apple iPad 16GB: $519 CAD w/4G $649 CAD
    Apple iPad 32GB: $619 CAD w/4G $749 CAD
    Apple iPad 64GB: $719 CAD w/4G $849 CAD
    Simple Cover $45-80 CAD
    Google Nexus 7 8 GB $209 CAD
    Google Nexus 7 16GB $259 CAD
    No cover available
    Amazon Kindle Fire 7" $159 CAD
    Amazon Kindle Fire HD $199 CAD
    Amazon Kindle Fire 8.9" $299 CAD
    Amazon Kindle Fire 8.9" 4G LTE $499
    Leather Cover $45 CAD
    Only one of these can act as a fully functioning computer and thats the Surface. Seeing the price comparison it looks like no competition for me.
  • That's why I bought the Surface 64GB. $719 CAD. But I am pissed about the proprietary video out. They should have just used DP or HDMI.
  • They are using a proprietary video out? I thought it was micro hdmi on the RT and display port on the Pro?
  • Reviews seem to be calling it MiniHDMI, but from the looks of what's been posted on and the rest of the internet, it looks a lot more like a MicroHDMI port.  The cable connector looks too small to be miniHDMI as well. Given the HDMI spec on that thing is supposed to be HDMI 1.4, it would make sense it's Micro and not Mini (Micro is an HDMI 1.4 spec, Mini is 1.3).
  • Well they were trying to pack many ports & quality features in the smallest package possible. I'm basking in it, as MS is ensure all of the third party accessory maker who chose to make accessories for the iphone/iPad & not win phone have very little chance of selling an accessory for surface, PAY BACK IS A MOTHER :-P
  • + infinity
  • I was happy with the price and ordered one :)
  • I would of ordered 2 but not having the choice of color key board I want on the 64 GB version is stupid,and to make thing worse they try an apple rip of price of $140 for it in Australia.
  • I agree but then i will just go to a MS store and get a cyan one to match my 920.
  • Got the 32gb with Cyan cover nearly the second it went online. I am one of the lucky ones that got my order in before it went upside down.
  • Lucky #2 here. Also added a type cover. Not sure which I will use more, but wanted at least one touch cover.
  • Early adopters are also paying development costs that is always tacked onto new devices. There will be bugs. There are always bugs so there is a benefit to waiting, you can wait. The prices will drop. Me, now that I've figured out how to pay for it, I can't wait.
  • :-D, too bad I haven't figured out how to pay for two yet. I have money for one, but can't get it unless the wife has one too
  • Then you're in trouble and will be sleeping on the couch. :-P
  • If it was £100 cheaper I would be happy I would buy one. I think £300 is a perfect price. Now It looks like I'll have to buy one from America just to save myself £100. Its ridiculous how its so expensive in the UK. And its cheaper in USA. I would love to see comparisons to the kindal fire he and the nexus 7, galaxy tab 10.1 and iPad just to see if the price stands up
  • Hadn't really thought of doing that. Forget paying like £500 for one, that's way too much it's stupid but if I can buy one from the US and ship it over I'd definitely do that! Like I've said before, $500 (£300something) is a really really good price, but £500 ($800) is ridiculous. If MS had started it at £350 without a keyboard instead of £399 I think they would have sold so many more units in the UK. £350 seems like an absolute bargain but £400 just seems too much without a keyboard that will cost another £100 extra
  • Already having the Samsung Slate 7 (reads Surface Pro equivalent), I just want the light travel version so preordered the RT straight away. There will be even lighter RTs from the other OEMs, but all have downsides, i.e. only plastic stuff, none has a full USB and especially no touch cover...don't want a clamshell...then I would buy an ultrabook...
    For the price I think MS hit it spot on (of course I also would not mind to pay less...). 100$ cheaper than the same memory iPad3 AND they have to price it this way, otherwise they would pi$$ off their OEMs's not Apple...MS still wants to partner with the Samsungs, Asus', Lenovos of the world... ;-)
    And V Turk is right...US is by far the cheapest, I also ordered there...UK and EU are massively more expensive - Sorry for stealing one off your market...Greetings from Singapore ;-)
  • I ordered a 64GB model the day that pre-orders were announced, and just ordered one for my wife for anniversary present today.  I was going to wait for the pro, but i thought I have an ultrabook that will be upgraded to window 8 for 14 buck (or whatever that promotion was this summer) that is my "pro".
  • I will buy a Surface RT for my gf and a pro for myself as soon as its out. HTC 8x for her and lumia 920 for me ;)
  • Aren't u such a nice bf. She'll never leave u for another man. I've to do the same or I might get a letter from the pre-marital divorce lawyers :-)
  • He's just forward wife basically confiscated my Series7 Slate with W8 after she found out how nice it is for media consuption, work,  etc.
    So can't wait to get my Surface to have my own tablet again ;-)
  • Yeah...dunno about the forward looking part..i guess i can say im downward looking w/the arrow.pointing down ;-) gf wants to see how mine is b4 pulling the trigger on hers and plus she wants a 920 which she has been saving for to buy unlocked.
  • Hopefully she won't get on your case about you getting the "better" of the devices :-)
  • Windows 8 is gonna be good
  • Waiting for my 64gb surface
  • Must have pro!
  • Totally agree. RT doesn't make any sense for me... it's basically like an iPad or an Android tablet... I want the full Windows 8 experience.
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