Microsoft Surface RT tablet to sell for 199

first_imgCould Microsoft really be planning to sell the Surface RT tablet for just $199? It’s a possibility, if there’s substance to the information Engadget has received from a Techready15 attendee.Techready is a twice-yearly event exclusively for Microsoft employees, and it’s certainly not a surprise that two of the key talking points would be Windows RT and the Surface tablets. Microsoft still hasn’t announced any official pricing for its first tablets, rather the company has only gone as far to say that it will be priced to compete with other comparable tablets on the market. Most in the industry expect that to mean the MSRP will fall somewhere around Apple’s prices for the iPad.But other extremely popular tablets sell for a lot less — the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire, for example. Is it possible that Microsoft would try to put the Surface RT on retail shelves at a rock-bottom price like $199?The three aren’t exactly comparable, of course. The Kindle Fire certainly isn’t, with just 8GB of internal storage and a dual-core 1GHz processor. The Nexus 7 might be a closer match with its quad-core Tegra 3 processor. With the Nexus 7’s BOM pegged at around $150, it doesn’t seem farfetched that Microsoft could sell the Surface for less than $200. There’s not a big difference in terms of cost for the extra 24GB of NAND, after all, and in mass quantities 10-inch panels wouldn’t be much more than 7-inch.Microsoft also knows that a great deal of the money made from the Surface tablets will come from the Windows Store. The company will be taking a 20-30% commission from everything sold, so it might be willing to sell the hardware at (or very, very near) cost. Will other manufacturers be upset? Maybe, but if Microsoft is giving them a cut of Store sales made on the tablets those companies produce, it’ll soften the blow.So while we might have been expecting the Surface RT to arrive at $400 or $500, it’s always just been a guessing game. It still is, but it’s a lot more interesting if $199 is a possibility, too.More at Engadgetlast_img