Of all the tablets that could be released before the end of 2012, none are talked about more than Surface. Microsofts showcase for Windows 8 and Windows RT was first announced two months ago but since then the company has been pretty quiet about their entry into the PC hardware space.
That silence isnt stopping analysts from speculating about the Surface. News.com reports that, according to a prediction from IDC analyst Bob ODonnell, Microsoft will make "probably a little over 3 million" of the tablets in the calendar year of 2012. That number is a combined figure for both the Windows RT and Windows 8 Pro versions.
Microsoft has already said the Windows RT Surface tablet will be released alongside the launch of Windows 8 on October 26th. Microsoft has also said the Windows 8 Pro Surface tablet will launch 90 days later, meaning it likely wont be available until sometime in late January 2013.
ODonnell also predicts that Microsoft will have to sell Surface units at third party retail store locations. So far, Microsoft has said that the Surface will be sold at its retail Microsoft Stores and online but has not revealed any further retail plans.
And what about those rumors that the Windows RT version could go on sale for just $199.99? ODonnell says that he has doubts about that price point. Even if Microsoft sells the Surface at that price with some kind of two year subscription plan, he doesnt believe it would work, saying, "MS Office subscription? Any Windows RT product comes with Office. So, that knocks out that theory."