Surface RT
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Report: Microsoft ships just shy of 1 million Surface RT tablets in 2012

The International Data Corporation has released a report showing an unexpected growth in the tablet market. Worldwide tablet shipments reached a record total of 52.5 million units in Q4 2012. This is the same quarter Microsoft chose to enter the competition with the Surface family of tablets, releasing the Surface RT tablet. But how did Microsoft perform in the first quarter of selling the product?

According to IDC data, the Apple iPad stole the show with 22.9 million units shipped. This was thanks to a strong iPad mini launch, as well as the fourth generation iPad. Samsung came in second, experiencing 263% year-on-year growth and shipping just shy of 8 million Android and Windows 8 tablets. The company sports a handful of Windows powered tablets under the ATIV umbrella. Apple holds 43.6 percent of the market, while Samsung grabs 15.1 percent.

Also in the top 5 vendors, Amazon and Barnes & Noble both witnessed a sharp increase in market share with new products performing well during the holiday season. Amazon shipped more than 6 million tablets during Q4 2012, pushing the company's share to 11.5 percent. Barnes & Noble almost hit the million unit milestone, jumping up to snatch 1.9% of the market and sits in fifth place. Asus beat the company and came in fourth, but experienced a slight dip in market share, down to 5.8%.

Now we check out Microsoft. Noting that the company only entered the market during Q4 last year, Microsoft didn't perform too badly. Shipping just under 900,000 units, the Surface RT didn't pull the company into the top five listing, but it's a start. This is also without the upcoming Surface Pro Windows tablet - it'll be interesting to see the performance of Microsoft after the second tablet is released. 

Surface RT
Strong push from Microsoft. Market too competitive?

Looking back at when the Microsoft Surface with Windows RT was released, we praised the tablet for being bold and of high quality. Consumers also rushed to purchase one with stock problems occurring in multiple markets where the Surface was launched and available. Ryan Reith, program manager, Mobile Device Trackers at IDC had the following to comment on the company's performance:

"There is no question that Microsoft is in this tablet race to compete for the long haul. However, devices based upon its new Windows 8 and Windows RT operating systems failed to gain much ground during their launch quarter, and reaction to the company's Surface with Windows RT tablet was muted at best.

We believe that Microsoft and its partners need to quickly adjust to the market realities of smaller screens and lower prices. In the long run, consumers may grow to believe that high-end computing tablets with desktop operating systems are worth a higher premium than other tablets, but until then ASPs on Windows 8 and Windows RT devices need to come down to drive higher volumes."

The launch could have been better, especially with the holiday season being targeted, but we'll be looking forward to when Microsoft (and OEM partners) continue pushing out new hardware. Microsoft's firmly in the race, let's see what comes next.

Source: IDC

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Comments

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Micah Dawson says:

Not bad for such a short period of time.

aerosmillie says:

....and only being available online (until recently)

shot themselves in the foot with that one but shy a a million not bad for first gen hardware and OS(metro start screen).

Sumit8 says:

who are you guys kidding? It is bad. It is very bad.

I'm not sure how I feel about that. Almost 900,000 seems like a decent start for one quarter, but did they not also say that they planned 2-3 million in built products for their initial run? That would be a pretty big miss, in tterms of sales for expected availability. Then again, we ARE comparing several widely-released devices to the Surface RT, which was available online and only in a small handful of Microsoft stores (as opposed to the iPad, which can be found just about anywhere in the world).
 
So the numbers seem underwhelming, but given that they were almost entirely sold through one vendor (before finally reaching Staples and Best Buy late in the quarter), it's a decent start.

tavisdunn says:

Seems ok to me. Wasn't till recently it was moved into more retail outlets.
 
 

diego3336 says:

900.000 is a good number for such an overpriced and under-powered tablet like the Surface RT. As much as I like MS, I can't agree with the asking price of this, when there are tablets like Nexus 10 out there...

MacDaMachine says:

You mean when there are tablets like the iPad?

HitTheBricks says:

Nexus 10 is $499 with no keyboard. It has a higher resolution, but I'd still get a Surface over this thing.

HitTheBricks says:

$399 16 GB / $499 32GB. The lowest Surface RT is $499 with 32GB.

WilliamC1972 says:

I agree. The Surface is much better then the Nexus 10. Smoother, more capable with the USB and SD slot, the keyboard, and of course Office.

PoohGQ says:

A full desktop version of Microsoft Office does count for somethng you know! I own a Suface and no Android device out there can compete in terms hardware build. Please stop comparing apples and oranges when it coms to Surface...

HitTheBricks says:

I bought my wife a surface and she absolutely loves it. We bought the 32GB with Type cover and warranty...total with tax came to around $750. I'm glad I bought it, but I'd have a hard time telling someone else they should buy it for that price. I agree with Mr Reith that they need to lower the price to move more units. I don't know anyone else with a Surface tablet, although my wife said her waiter in Playa del Carmen took her order with one...same week she got hers. That's kinda crazy.

prlundberg says:

Yeah I've had mine a week and I know what you're saying.  Most of what I like about Windows is there. Problem is, so is most of what I hate about Windows.  It's a far more capable platform than Android or iOS.  But it's also more complex and feels unfinished.  I am finding it much more difficult to get comfortable with than either of those, despite years of experience with Windows.   And there are little things that seem to indicate Microsoft is completely out of touch with what people want.  Like choosing their start screen background.   Or having the start button on the desktop.  The arrogance is very Apple-like, without the polished Apple feel.
Overall though the capability for what I need is great.  The USB port, stand, and keyboard are done so well that they really transform it into something more than a tablet.    So while the hardware and Microsoft's profit margins may not justify the price, the overall productivity of it does.  I spent about $650 with tax for the 32 GB and type keyboard, which is in line with its competitors.   

ymcpa says:

They don't let you chose a custom background because the tile cover it up. Unless you want to go back to rows of icons, chosong a custom background will be pointless. The same with a start menu. It's not needed for a tablet and would be difficult to use with touch. On a desktop it makes more sense, but it doesn't take long to get used to using the start screen instead of the start menu.

Razdek says:

Give me a break. That is the worst reason to not at least include the option to have the user be able to make that choice or not. What's the difference between leaving it as is and allowing the user to change the background and how it'll effect how the start menu works? This is some hardcore defending right here.

The reason they have completely removed the start menu is the are planning to completely remove the desktop in the upcoming iterations. It will come to pass as they introduce more and more capabilities to the Metro interface. And they believe Metro will become a complete replacement for the Desktop. Providing Start menu will hinder the progress towards that goal greatly. Hence the decision.

Of course all this is my speculation and I could be wrong, But I don't think I am.

prlundberg says:

That's fine in theory, but the bottom line is people don't like it.  People don't tend to buy stuff they don't like.  Plus they haven't been able to get rid of DOS after 28 years of Windows, yet they feel they will get rid of the traditional desktop soon?  I'm not holding my breath, I don't think they have a clear vision of anything right now.

Cause most multi color backgrounds make the interface very illegible and sometimes downright ugly.

Edit: Sorry for posting reply's in the wrong order.

prlundberg says:

How so?  The tiles are much larger and more legible than typical Android and iOS icons.  And some of Microsoft's own backgrounds are downright ugly.

Benerages says:

Im a big Fan of Windows 8 and i cant wait to sell my ipad to get an asus transformer book. Microsoft did a great step forward with Windows 8. But what i never understood was the introduction of that Windows 8 RT ... i mean who ever wants an RT Version if u can get a Windows 8 Pro Tablet where u are able to use every single Software u are already using ... I really never understood why someone would buy that Windows 8 RT. I dont see a Market for it and yet those Numbers just show that im right. Im pretty sure that the Pro Tablet will be the real Tablet we all have been waiting for. Ipad never wins compared to a Pro Tablet as u can just do more with it. But it wouldnt be any great difference between an Ipad or an RT Tabelt. Both are closed Systems u really dont need if u have tastet the great and open World of a Pro Tablet. But .... start pushing those ... u almost cant buy any Pro Devices just yet :(

sholokov says:

I understand where you are coming from, but everyone doesnt want a $1000 tablet when they already have a notebook or a laptop. That said, I purchased Surface RT knowing that the Pro will be out soon but I did not have a need for it. I need the tablet for basic browsing, email, time-pass games etc. For everything else, I have a Desktop running Windows 8 Pro and  a laptop running Windows 7 Ultimate.
In addition to the above reasons, I didnt want a tablet that has a fan running in it to cool it down. My RT lasts me over 12 hours of mild usage. I can use remote desktop to my Desktop (upstairs) for all my other needs. And with MS office pre installed, it was a no brainer.

prlundberg says:

Yep, I originally wanted a Pro.  Until I found out the price.  It may be worth it to some people but not to me.  The RT will get me by until the market matures a bit more.

ymcpa says:

You have to remember that the spec are equivelent to an ultrabook that costs mre than $1000. The keyboard won't be as good, but you get to use it as a tablet as a bonus.Every review have said that the fans are silent. So, that is a none issue. The battery life is an issue. The battery life will be at the low end even for an ultabook. For the price they should have bundled office with the pro as well.

pallentx says:

Surface RT does everything I need in a tablet. Email, Web Browser, remote desktop, printing, network file access and Office. RT is cheaper, lighter, thinner and has double the battery life. I don't need Photoshop on my tablet. I do wish I could have the pen in one note though, and GPS.

LimeSoda says:

The surface rt is a better tablet experience than full blown win 8 laptops with a touchscreen. Its perfect for students. No malware/virus issues as its a very controlled environment (all signed exes) and excellent battery life

JimmyFal says:

People, (techies), seem to forget that there is this whole other class of consumers. The ones that can use a tablet to do everything they need to do. Coincidentally, they share another trait. They are the ones that endlessly seem to end up with 4 rows of toolbars, and 5 or 6 PC Optimizer Pro icons on the screen, and their kids can't seem to play Minecraft without installing Java, ending up with outdated versions, and systematically getting whacked on every Google search by a drive by java exploit.
Yea, WE, the techies, never get hit by this stuff, because as some like to characterize, we are not "stupid". Well consumers don't want to be told their stupid, and they want use technology like everyone else but they don't necessarily have the "common sense" as SOME like to refer to it, to not get in to trouble.
THAT is what Win RT is all about. As someone who deals with these types of problems that average consumers get themselves in to trouble with, RT is a very welcome addition to the Windows family. Now that all of us techies have had their hands on it for a few months, and assisted Microsoft in beta testing their product, it is time to bring the price down by a couple of hundred dollars to drive consumer adoption sooner rather than later.

dreamfly says:

Just increase the resolution and lower the price.  MS can't really expect to have the same margin as Apple.

That's the only reasons I didn't buy an rt

Duffau says:

Why not? I think the pricing is right on for THE premium windows rt tablet. Thinking from a business standpoint, its better to start at the $500 price point and come down if necessary; a price increase is never favorable when a product is refreshed. And it MS is definitely in it for the long haul so they can tweak things as they go, but I think the price is pretty reasonable for what you get. IMHO

Doug Blowers says:

i love mine. bought it off an app developer on Craigs list for 350 without keyboard cover.

Junior_bg says:

In Brazil, tablets running Windows RT costing up to $ 3,499 .00 (US $ 1756,61). Potential consumers are already buying iPads and Galaxys Tabs. Microsoft and tablets are doing wrong in Brazil.

ymcpa says:

How much are ipads and Galaxy Tabs going for?

bobk212 says:

-Don't know what "muted" reaction they're talking about. User reviews for the Surface have been great.
-You really can't judge sales until Surface is sold in more retail outlets. Most people are not going to spend 500 bucks on a tablet they've never touched before.
-Price for Surface was fair considering you get full version of Office and expandability that other tablets don't have.
 

I just shipped a Surface RT to Iran. Practically smuggled it! Had a friend's father who was coming back bring it for me.

But I agree. $500 is too much for it, and I had to stretch my resources to get one. We all thought because it's a new territory for Microsoft they would be gentler with pricing and come up with like $300 to $350, which would have been AWESOME.

I mean having the same price as the iPad 4? That thing has an established, viable ecosystem and has better hardware too. People don't even know what RT is, I mean c'mon, how would you expect people to go for something they even don't know?

That 900,000 units were shipped to die-hard fans like me. Other than that, people just hear "get an iPad, iPad is very good" and you want to compete with that, using an unknown thing -- that is hard to explain to people even IF they ever tried to gather more info about it!

Microsoft is making mistakes recently, under Ballmer. I hate to see it happening. They were practically late to EVERYTHING. Just imagine if instead of Google, MS was there to provide an alternative to iOS. If they weren't so lazy to innovate like Apple did in the first place with iPhone. Looking back, now I hate Ballmer mocking the iPhone saying "this is too expensive and we got this... that'll do Internet, it'll do Email" I mean how ridiculous was that?

ymcpa says:

Actually, what he said wasn't ridiculous. When the iphone came out is was very expensive and really didn't do much. It just looked cool. When the carriers subsidized it so it cost $200 and the app store came out, than it became a big product. Balmershould have realized that the touch screens apple was using would become important and should have began developing their own responsive touch screen phone. The same with the apps. They responded too slow.

What I am saying is, he didn't see the revolution coming. I did, the moment I held the iPhone in my hand. Virtually every touch-screen device was a pain to use back then (with resistive touch) and I hated all of them. All devices felt like they had invited you to a lag-fest. WinMo, Symbian, all of them.
If you ask me, there was no real smartphone before the iPhone (one that would catch on, not just a lonely device in a corner that no one cared about) and Ballmer made fun of this only thing that started a revolution.

Why is it that Google saw the opportunity sooner? Where was Microsoft with Ballmer saying "I like our strategy, we've sold ... devices when Apple has sold none"? If Microsoft had seen this coming, with their experience in the mobile market they could have been where Google is now. And Windows Phone is arguably better than Android, it just needs a few feature adjustments. If they had started right when Google did, WP would have had its feature and app inventory full by now.

If anything, that's lack of insight on Ballmer's part.

hwangeruk says:

No. Ballmer bashing is silly. Microsoft posted some of its best numbers ever over the last 2 quarters.
RT. RT isn't just a device. RT is WINRT the core. This core now runs on Phone (why we waited 2 years for WP8), Tablet, Notebook and Desktop. Moving closer to a single compile target makes making Apps for each platform and porting much much simpler. MS still need to execute better, still need to resolve internal Win Div vs Dev Div politics, but to suggest Ballmer is doing badly or its "personally" down to him is ... inexperience. He has overseen a rennaisance at Microsoft. For example MS are usually late, with TOUCH COMPUTING, MS are ahead of its rivals and right on time. Looking at my Mac with Launchpad (its version of Metro start) is minimal compared to what is in Win8. Apple were driven by Steve Jobs on the iPhone, and with that, they did excellently. Mac PC sales are down this Q from 5 mill to 4 mill. So phone and tablet is where the action is, but even the mighty iPhone is looking for new markets as the west is saturated. I think Ballmer is right, the iPhone IS too expensive for a phone. The amazing thing about Apple is, they have made people want it so much they are willing to pay! 600 dollars versus 200 dollars for an iPhone 5 vs Lumia 620 - that  price difference is insane! 

Duffau says:

^this. MS had an iPhone like device in the works a decade (maybe a little under, can't find the article now) before the iPhone released, but it was scrapped when they realized it was way too expensive (at the time it really was). Even the iPhone came down in price after release and people had to get rebates. I think they're doing fine and the record profits agree with me.

Compare the iPhone to the flagships, not to 620. There is no doubt part of the price of the iPhone is because of that "class" factor that Apple products have. But what you shouldn't overlook is how rich the Apple's mobile ecosystem is. People are paying for a hassle-free experience and a rich pool of applications that is already available and is pioneering new apps.

This all counts.

If they only had sold it cheaper........

jgbstetson says:

I have and enjoy my surface, but it has some glaring faults. The way libraries work is aggravating, the mail and apps lack function, and it is somewhat slow. But 1st Gen, no real surprises. I hope they'll continue to make improvements at this rate.

erasure25 says:

Weight and battery (4-5 hrs vs 9-10 hrs). Plus, some people don't need to run all x86 apps everywhere. I can't speak for everyone, but I enjoy the lightweight and long battery and the ability to work on my office docs and excel sheets, plus music, videos, fb, games, etc. I have a desktop at home (and at work) for those other x86 apps.

hwangeruk says:

yup, love the 10 hours battery life on my Surface.

Abdul9 says:

Considering the fact that you can't get them in stores in more than 90% of the world, that says it all. I wanted to get my hands on a Surface to test it but i have had no luck till now. The funny thing is that i live in Germany, a place where one would expect MS to make their products available. I have already been saying this and i will keep saying it till something changes, MS is setting their priorities wrong. I mean unavailability of the Surface rt in stores, half baked Wp8, missing apps, broken apps...... Should i continue. MS is holding a lot of superior hardwares back.

Biggest problem is Apple duesch-bags trashing it without even ever touching. On the same note, they would still trash the Surface after using it, no matter how great it is.

Bushybro says:

Apple douche bags are the worst!!

Bushybro says:

900,000 happy customers, me included :-)

Bushybro says:

Well some people are just not ready when the revolution arrives....that and technical issues ;-)

pookiewood says:

To MS.  IT'S THE PRICE YOU IDIOT!  Drop all SKU's by $100 to $150 or include the Touch KB!  Eat the cost this time around!!  Well actually I don't think you would be eating the cost since the Touch KB is way cheaper to build than what you charge for it.  Come on MS.  Make this thing successful!

dukrem says:

There wouldn't be much eating the cost. I remember reading it only costs ~$200 to build, and the keyboard is under $20.

Bosh19 says:

Microsoft should have merged Windows into the phones instead of Windows Phone into the desktop.

Yeah, they did that (the first part) with Windows Mobile. It didn't work out very well now did it?

pallentx says:

I thought it worked pretty well, they just didn't put any effort into a smooth GPU.

It didn't even have proper touch input support. The UI had to be changed to cope with the post-stylus world iPhone created. And they finally did what Bosh13 asked for with the core components, put the NT kernel in there.

I don't see how else they could have done it, and what was left from Windows Mobile they could possibily keep.
Their attempt for a new UI is praised by almost everyone, and the kernel thing was the right choice too. Apps had to be written for the new input too.
Also, their team went over this in an 8-hour session (I think) and they finally decided there was nothing they could keep from WinMo.

They just did all this TOO LATE. That's what makes me mad!

pallentx says:

Also, what they have done is to give you both. Eventually, the hardware may get to the point where there is no longer a need for ARM, but until then, I very happy with the compromise they've settled on with RT.

nsg1000 says:

the price will come down, all prices do.

dukrem says:

Microsoft needs to follow it up in the next few months with a 1080p rt model with one of the new processors from CES (either tegra 4 or the snapdragon), and sell it for the same $500 as the current one. They could then keep making the current model and drop its price to $300-350. They also need a mini model for around that price.

Dark_Halmut says:

Agreed. I'd like a surface but the current resolution is too low for 2012 and those new procs are going to be 50% more powerful / efficient. Worth the wait.

wpuser320 says:

It's really sad how you read articles of people bashing the RT Tablet AND THEY NEVER EVEN USED IT!!! I even read an article on iZdnet, I mean Zdnet, this writer bashe the crap out of it and even stated that he never physically used it. I love the RT Tablet and Never had any problems with it. It's such a great device.

Whodaboss says:

Not a bad showing at all. And I'm going to add to that number next month. (Feb).

Dark_Halmut says:

It is a bad showing considering the amount of marketing put behind it. We're MS fans here at this site, but lets call the Surface RT sales as they are, lacking.

I did my part. I love this ridiculous thing.

Bushybro says:

I thought you were going to say crazy, lol

vlad0 says:

They got the pricing wrong.. they should have subsidiezed the price. $299/399 would have hit the sweetspot. They are trying to built an "eco" system here.. which will bring them profits by selling ad space BING to corporations, exactly what google is doing with android/chrome OS...
The more devices out there, the more clicks.. the more clicks... proftis.
The PRO version has the same problem... price dictates everyting, and its as if Microsoft doesn't realize that 90% of the users out there use their computer as a browser, and not much else.

lubbalots says:

They're trying to compete with Apple which is a wrong strategy.

Razdek says:

I agree, they're trying to be like Apple but they're not Apple. The Surface is a capable product that does more than an iPad but the price and poor app store really hurts it.

So the iPad sold 23x more? That seems logical enough.

SocalBrian says:

When you look at what actually got into customers hands it's more like 40X - apparently close to half of the Surfaces are sitting in wharehouses.

xmarklive says:

Microsoft should of released the surface tablet at a lower cost say $399 without keyboard, then nest year raise the price because an already installed base would be willing to pay more....... But now I think they have to do the opposite and lower the price with the surface 2.rt

ariez84 says:

I must be the only one to think 1m Surface RT sold is pretty amazing, especially for a version 1.0 of the product. I cant wait to see what MS has in store for future products.

no it's not amazing. there is no way in hell you can possibly put a positive spin on these sales figures no matter what angel you look at it from

lubbalots says:

The RT initial price point was a turndown. Unsure why MS chose to compete with Apple rather than the tablet market as a whole. MS were to del subscription stuff anyways. Why not compete with the likes of kindle. You know even pro version is hard to bare! I want a windows 8 and would love a pro but at those prices, I may have to settle for an RT, when the price is reduced.

daguila29 says:

Is that a backlit keyboard?

Joe920 says:

Speaking of which, the touch cover totally needs glow in the dark paint on the keys.

luv2skipow says:

I noticed that too....certainly not a color that is currently available

FunGuy13 says:

The RT is underrated. I love my Surface RT 64GB with all the bells and whistles because it has Office, real web browser and all the productivity and entertainment software I will ever need. Not interested in the Pro because I have a powerful desktop laptop to handle mega tasks. Also love my RT's 9+ hr battery life when doing work in Office and streaming my XBox music...

WilliamC1972 says:

You are definitely correct there!!!! Way underrated!!!!

WilliamC1972 says:

I love my Surface, but in my opinion it is over priced. $499 with the keyboard I believed would result in better sales.

DJCBS says:

I've said this before: at the prices Microsoft is selling the Surface tablets (both RT and the upcoming Pro) they don't stand a CHANCE against Apple. Heck, they don't stand a chance against their own W8 on other manufacturers tablets.
And the fact they have released the tablet in less than 10 countries, it doesn't help either.

Microsoft should remember they have to appeal to people who would normally buy an iPad. And colourful tiles alone doesn't cut it. If they want to increase sales they should LOWER the prices significantly. After they sell a bunch of tablets (1 million worldwide is a pathetic number) and with word of mouth going around they would then be able to increase their profit margins.

And if Nokia does go ahead with a W8 tablet...well that will make their lifes even harder, won't it?

ej1024 says:

Not too shabby $500 x 1,000,000=$500,000,000 all msft money.. And plus that doesn't include the upcoming sales thru 3rd party.. So kudos to MSFT

xma1e says:

Not surprised since Microsoft are crap at selling the surface. I,m in London and still not seen a surface in the shops. Everyone has seen the adverts on TVs but no one has actual seen one.

I purchased my Surface in mid-January along with a type cover. There were only a couple available in stock and I purchased the only remaining type cover. The salespeople were especially unhelpful at Best Buy and even questioned my decision to get one. The couple of people I delt with didn't understand the difference between a vivotab rt and vivotab W8. Microsoft needs to buy some space at retail and keep advertising. Love my Surface!

prlundberg says:

Depends on the store I suppose.  My Best Buy was full of helpful people.  The one I talked to was an admitted Apple fanboy but he still did a good job of pointing out the advantages and didn't try steering me towards anything else.  Well, except maybe the Pro.  Another employee was helping a couple through some sort of "tablet checklist" and they were pointed to the Surface for their needs. 
I was interested in the VivoTab as well.  But both models they had at Best Buy were not functioning, and it was in the same way.  Couldn't get past the lock screen.  Screen would jitter around a bit then not respond.  Could restart then it would come up to the start screen then it would not respond again.  Like the touch screen was broken.  Combined with some reviews I've read about other ASUS products and spotty quality, I just didn't have any confidence in it.  The diplayed RT with the type keyboard worked perfectly.  Although they didn't have the type keyboard in stock which annoyed me, and probably surprised a few people who bought the package expecting the same keyboard as the display model. 

SwiftMelon says:

Not bad for the selection of stores it's sold in.

Dark_Halmut says:

"Shipping just under 900,000 units" is not just shy of 1 million. Its > 10% off.

The whole idea of RT makes little sense. Why should I pay premium for a low end ARM tablet? MS has a high end tablet, the Surface Pro. Price is not an issue for the Pro. Corporations and top earners will buy them, because they are real work machines. MS must also make 256 and 512Gb versions. Once MS sells them, Samsung, Asus etc. will also ship more Windows 8 Pro devices. Component demand goes up and consumer prices come down. MS should maybe clean out some of the dummies in its marketing department who wish to first serve the Proletariat, which is a segment which will remain firmly in the hands of Android devices. The money is always in high end devices. Also, you don't make prisoners in Business. The objective is to degrade non intel tablets to toyware... iPad included.

Razdek says:

No kidding, basically this first iteration of Surface is a beta device using an old ARM Tegra 3 processor and to demand this pricing for it is crazy. They really need to bring the price down on their products if they expect to gain any traction in the table space.

Why do people pay premium to own the iPad?
It's not RT that doesn't make sense. If you want to question anything you should be questioning ARM tablets in general. And that question got a really easy answer.

Razdek says:

People own the iPAD because it has the best ecosystem out there and there a tons of apps. It also has a better ARM chipset than what's in RT and a better screen resolution. They're the leader in the tablet space and if Microsoft wants to compete then they have to come up with something better and sadly RT is not it.

T Moore says:

In August engadget started the price rumor of $199. That was what a lot of people expected.
When it came in at $499 it was downhill from there.

$350 would have been perfect.

Byrese says:

So I'm new to WP8 since the fall and love it. Inlive the interface so much that I just put my iPad 2 for sale online to get the Surface hopefully next week. Very excited!

lubbalots says:

Welcome. WP is awesome! It may not yet have all the bells and whistles but supposedly MS is listening to our needs and that we are to get yearly major updates. Frankly, updates are fun!

iDonev says:

The thing that troubles me is the word "shipped". It ought to be "sold". If it's shipped, there's no guarantee that 3/4 of those 900,000 RTs aren't gathering dust in a warehouse or on shelves...

lubbalots says:

Hopefully they'll sell at discount soon. I'll take 2.

Harry H says:

 
For a large ammount of people, is working between the lines Microsoft tells you to a good idea.
Ipad has the same thing for years,so people can not destroy anything.
But i'd ratter wok outside the lines with a x86 type,the whole world has much more programms than any appstore/playstore can handle.
But if you just surf,type e-mail,read,play a game, RT IS THE WAY TO GO.

Razdek says:

How is RT the way to go for surfing, email, read and play a game when there are cheaper and better alternatives out there that do the same thing? What makes RT stand out from them except for Office which is used for productivity if that's all they want to do? They needed to hit a cheaper price because they were late and the app store is abysmal.

Bushybro says:

Everytime I see an episode of Arrow, I smile. Surfaces everywhere!!!