Microsoft Suface RT

Microsoft announced pricing today and started accepting pre-orders for Surface RT. Here’s what I think of that, and my current plans.

Surface with Windows RT graphic
Surface with Windows RT graphic
Graphic from Microsoft.com

Microsoft finally announced pricing for their Surface RT tablets. The base model, sans keyboard cover is $499. It’s $599 if the cover is included. The 64GB model, with a cover is $699. The Type Cover, which is a more traditional keyboard is a $130 add-on. Comparisons to the iPad prices is inevitable, and also pointless (in my opion of course). If you’e trying to decide between them you should look at features and what you want to do with it. The price will probably be comparable when you’re done. I also suspect if you’re trying to decide between Surface and iPad you should probably go with the iPad.

So if that’s my opinion why am I considering the Surface RT? Did I say considering? Let’s face it, my decision to get one is all but finalized despite already having a iPad.

  1. I’m looking for some tech I can get excited about. Windows Home Server is at a dead end. I’ll have mine for a long time, but it will be boring (and hopefully reliable). I’ve no desire to move up to Microsoft’s “real” servers. And that decision was made without even considering cost, it would be too much like work. So I’m looking at Surface RT to be both different and exciting.
  2. The last PC I bought, a Dell laptop, was a lousy out of the box experience thanks to Dell’s “services” and crapware. I vowed if I ever bought another PC that I’d go with Microsoft’s Signature line where they remove the crapware. I’ve already read some oem’s offering their own services with the tablets. I equate that with crapware until proven otherwise. I view the Surface as a clean reference design.

So those are the two reasons I’m considering the Surface RT. How do I think I’ll use it?

  1. Let’s face it. I already mentioned the primary reason – I hope it’s something I can get excited about. This reason alone isn’t going to make it a best seller at these prices.
  2. It has a full office suite (no Outlook) and a attached physical keyboard. There’s potential there. The lack of extended hands-on reviews means the keyboard cover may fail to meet expectations. I currently carry my iPad to work daily, I expect the Surface to replace it.
  3. I’m hoping the Surface is so good that I can sell my iPad but that remains to be seen.

Now that pricing has been announced I’m less optimistic about success assuming success is defined by units sold. The price is definitely a speed bump and I hope the oem’s will step in to market lower price models. But with the oem’s a lower price will mean lower quality. Microsoft had an incentive to sell at cost, the oem’s need to profit on each unit sold. Or maybe Microsoft will offer some sort of promotion to get large quantities into the enterprise. If they offer some sort of oem incentive for consumer sales they’d upset Surface buyers. Then there the apps issue. While the built-in apps are nice and the Office Suite differentiates it from the iPad, there need to be some apps. Sure, maybe the key apps are enough to start with but there needs to be more.

Anyone else have a Surface RT in their future?

2 thoughts on “Microsoft Suface RT”

  1. Home Server is dead? Whoa, have I been under a rock or something? 😉

    Yes, it is awesome to have something from Microsoft to get excited about. Even though the pricing didn’t undercut the iPad by a great margin I still think there is value in the product at the price it was set at.

    1. Hi Dave, I said “dead end” not dead 🙂 I expect my WHS to be around for many happy (but boring) years.

      I think value is a good word to use and agree it is a good value.
      Ray

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