Surface to iPad: Microsoft opens tablet pre-orders

32 GB version is priced at $499 without touch cover, while the 64GB version is priced at $599

Microsoft has launched the pre-order for its Surface RT tablets. But you will have to wait to pre-order yours in the UAE for a while.

Currently Surface can be pre-ordered only from eight countries and no country in the Middle East is part of the list. The actual sale will begin from October 26 and the product will be available online and in-store in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom and the United States.
 
The 32 GB version is priced at $499 without the touch cover while the 64GB version is priced at $599.
 
However the touch cover and type cover – two different variants that come with a full functional keypad is being sold separately for $120 and $130 respectively.
 
Earlier this year Microsoft had announced two different variants of Surface tablets – the Windows 8 Pro and Windows RT. The Pro is powered by Intel and AMD chipsets while the Windows RT runs on an ARM processor.
 
The device comes preloaded with Microsoft Office 2013 and is considered to include more desktop features than any other tablet in the market be it iOS or Android.
 
While Microsoft has an advantage over other tablets even as they vie to replace the traditional laptops and notebooks, the tougher task for Microsoft will be to compete against some of its own partners such as Dell, Acer and Toshiba.
 
According to Sarah Rotman Epps a senior analyst at Forrester Research she is still waiting to hear answers for some pertinent questions from Microsoft regarding how it plans to move forward and market its new product. “Will Surface expand distribution beyond Microsoft’s stores and website? If Microsoft believes it’s making the best hardware for Windows… how does it expect its OEM partners to respond? No comment on both fronts,” she notes writing on the latest issue of Forbes.
 
“Surface may defy categorisation, but it can’t defy market realities. To succeed as a product, it needs to expand its distribution footprint: To be in as many retail channels as the iPad by Black Friday would be game-changing but seems unlikely at this point. And if it takes that expansive path, it will do so at the expense of PCs,” she added.
 
[Homepage picture courtesy: Microsoft.com] 

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