Microsoft Surface tablet to launch on October 26th, prices remain a mystery

When Microsoft introduced the Surface tablet in June, the company promised that the first models would be available around the same time that Windows 8 launches. Now the company has confirmed that you’ll be able to buy a Surface tablet the same day Windows 8 goes on sale.

Windows 8 goes on sale October 26th, and according to an SEC document obtained by CNET, the Surface tablets will launch at the same time.

Surface tablet

Eventually Microsoft plans to offer two different types of Surface tablets. The ones that will launch first will feature low power, ARM-based processors and a special version of Windows 8 called Windows RT.

Later they’ll be joined by Surface tablets with x86 processors and Windows 8 Pro. The x86 models will be able to run a wide range of apps including software designed for Windows 7 and earlier, while Windows RT tablets will only be able to run software designed for ARM processors.

There’s still no word on exactly how much either type of tablet will cost — although Microsoft says the Surface tablets will be competitive with similar devices from competitors.

Somehow I doubt that means we’ll see a Google Nexus 7-like $200 tablet from Microsoft, but we could see models in the $500 or lower range to compete with the Apple iPad.

  • 1stkorean

    I am getting more and more excited about the Surface all the time. When one takes a minute to consider the price perhaps approaching the $600.00 mark, one must pause a second and consider that is with a Keyboard which is optional on other tablets at extra $$$.00. Example Asus Transformer Infinity 700 32GB $499.99 optional docking station $149.99 totalling $649.98 plus your local sales tax. In my opinion that is not out of the question. I just hope the Surface will be a good as my Transformer Prime is.

    • CyberGusa

      In terms of build quality it looks top notch. They also have features like the 2×2 MIMO antennae that should give it better WiFi performance than any other tablet out there right now.

      The screen is high quality as well but only the Pro version is getting the 1080P resolution. So the Windows RT version should be getting something around 1366×768, which is about the minimum needed for the Metro Snap feature to work.

      The Full USB 2.0 port is a rarity among ARM devices, and we can be pretty sure anything we plug into it will just work.

      There are also other differences like the internal storage is likely to be SSD, most tablets don’t actually use SSDs but rather more basic Flash memory storage, and the 2GB of RAM is the most you can get on any ARM device.

      Though memory bandwidth of the Tegra 3 may not fully benefit from those differences, being still 32bit, but you can be sure the memory storage won’t be holding it back.

      Thing to keep in mind though is Windows RT is more like Apple’s iOS than traditional Windows.

      RT will only allow for 3rd party Metro apps, via the app store, the desktop apps will be limited to just the apps RT will come pre-installed with from MS. Namely, MS Office and Student 2013 RT and IE10.

      Though the EU Commission is going to have to decide whether RT falls under the same requirements they placed on traditional desktop Windows. Since MS is still under the last Anti-Trust settlement obligation to go out of its way to offer/show 3rd party options until sometime in 2014.

      For Windows 7, MS are already in trouble for the options menu not being shown by default to advertise people could use other browsers. While Windows 8 should be okay as long as they show that option to all new users but since RT is so limited they could be in additional trouble if they decide it falls under the same obligation.

      So things like RT only allowing the desktop version of IE on RT and RT requiring that Secure Boot can’t be disabled may get changed later but these things can take a lot of time to work out. So the Surface may get sold before anything is forced to change.

      Meaning some may want to wait before getting it or mainly consider the x86 versions coming out that’ll use full Windows 8.

      • 1stkorean

        CyberGusa…Thanks for the added info, it is greatly appreciated.

  • http://twitter.com/JORGEN668 ZHONG JORGEN

    i guess the price will be higher that 699 usa i would rather buy ipa3 instead of surface. 499 to 599 i thank that is reasonable prices for everyone. . will it be lower that 400 . i hope so haha