You have to applaud Microsoft for daring to be different with its upcoming Windows 8-powered Surface tablet. A fresh rumor suggests the Surface could gain Microsoft a foothold in a decidedly tough market dominated by the iPad.
"According to an inside source, a session was held at Microsoft's recent TechReady15 conference in which all the launch details were laid out. If things go according to the plan detailed then, the Surface for Windows RT tablet will be launching October 26th — no surprise there — at a compelling price of $199."
While that's the Windows RT version without all of the bells and whistles of Windows 8 Pro, at that price, it'd be a steal and an instant-buy for many. We're talking about a 10.6-inch tablet with a full array of ports, including a full-size USB 3.0 port, microSD slot, kickstand and front-facing webcam.
At $200, the Surface tablet would instantly kill the 7-inch Android tablet market that includes popular devices such as the new Nexus 7, Nook Tablet and Kindle Fire.
At Microsoft's Surface announcement, the company didn't share any definitive prices — only that it would be "competitive" to what's already on the market.
As always, take the news with a huge grain of salt. At this point, it sounds a little too good to be true. We'll have to wait and see.
On another interesting note, AllThingsD's Ina Fried reported yesterday that Microsoft is licensing what basically amounts to the square shape of a modern tablet from Apple for an unnamed sum. That alone could drive up the end-cost of the Surface when it hits retail.
But all this chatter does bring up a good point for discussion: how much are you willing to pay for a Surface tablet running Windows RT, assuming the hardware is rock solid? At $200, would you even have to think twice?