Windows 8 tablets are “priced way too high”

With a handful of Surface machines and Windows 8 based tablets & hybrids being shown off before Windows 8’s launch on October 26th, pricing is the one detail that has never really been confirmed by Microsoft, at least for their own branded hardware.

Well an analyst for the IDC, Bob O’Donnell, has come out and publicly stated that he doesn’t like what he’s seeing, so far at least, from PC makers and their Windows 8 product pricings.

The problem is these things are priced way too high. Look at the history of tablet products priced above the iPad. Not pretty.

He does have a point. With two versions of Windows 8 for the tablet, hybrid or Surface products, there has already been a very distinct difference in costs between devices running Windows 8 Pro and Windows RT. Windows RT runs on ARM devices while Windows 8 Pro will run on Intel and AMD devices. Windows RT licensing for OEMs is going to be less than the full feature Pro version.

Lenovo have already revealed the hybrid IdeaPad Yoga 13, with a starting price of $1,099. Acer have the least expensive device, the Iconia W510, starting at $500. But the difference in hardware is there to see. The Yoga houses an Intel Core i CPU where the W510 houses the latest Intel Atom, Clover Trail, CPU. The performance gains between the Atom and the Core CPU’s are evident, but can average Joe user justify paying more than double for the extra performance that the Core will give? Both devices run Windows 8 Pro.

Considering that Windows RT won’t run older Windows applications, outside of Office 2013 and apps from the Marketplace, that has the potential to seriously restrict the sales of any Windows 8 touch device. CNET editor Rich Brown has given his opinion on the situation:

I can't say I'm excited about the Yoga 11. [An Nvidia] Tegra 3 tablet running Windows RT and priced at $799 definitely wouldn't be my first choice...The keyboard attachment is appreciated, but whether it justifies this tablet's very high price remains to be seen. Unfortunately, I think the Lenovo pricing is indicative of where the other guys' pricing is going.

With other OEMs like Dell and HP announcing plans for Windows 8 tablets & hybrids, what of the Microsoft Surface? O’Donnell believes it won’t be priced below the iPad:

I think it's $599 for the RT version of Surface and $999 for the Intel version, when it comes out next year. That seems to be the general consensus in the supply chain. So, the big question is, will it be $599 with the keyboard or $599 without the keyboard?

So, with only a couple of weeks left until the official product launches of Windows 8 and the Microsoft Surface, we don’t have long to wait before the pricing for the Windows 8 hardware and software family become clear.

Source: CNET | Images courtesy of Lenovo and Engadget

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