Unfortunately, Microsoft listened to the highly paid professionals instead of the guy in Adventure Time boxer shorts, and did not price the Surface at $199. Instead it’ll be $499. Well, really it’ll be $599 with the keyboard cover. But it also has something beyond that that the iPad doesn’t: an extra 16GB of memory.
But will it catch on at that price? Maaaaaaybe. There’s one gaping flaw with it, though: It’s not going to run your old Windows programs. But, hey, it comes with Office!
That’s really the problem here: This is essentially Microsoft’s tablet ecosystem, instead of a full-featured Windows PC. There are already problems with that. For example, it might be a bit up in the air as to whether this thing will run Steam, which it really should right out of the box. Microsoft is being a bit restrictive with the apps that can run on this, which is pretty much the worst thing you can do.
Honestly, I’m not really sure the Surface can compete as an iPad killer, but I do think it’s going to eat heavily into the laptop market. Realistically, Microsoft isn’t selling a tablet so much as a laptop that can become a tablet. While the restrictive software can be a sticking point, for people who hate and fear switching operating systems, this will be their iPad.
I’ve got little doubt the professional grade Surface will be in the hands of every single office drone who formerly got a laptop within a couple of years. There’s just too much there, from the ability to “write” on it to the overall look and feel of it, for corporate customers not to latch onto it, which is what has so many PC manufacturers crapping their pants in fear.
Do I think it can compete with the iPad? Nah. But I also think that the crappy numbers the PC market posted last quarter are something Hewlett Packard, Lenovo, and the rest should get used to.