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back to article Win8 tablets may cost MORE than iPads – AND LAPTOPS

Microsoft has predicted that Windows 8 and Windows RT will usher in a new era of touch-based computing, but if leaked pricing from Asus is anything to go by, customers will have to pay a pretty penny to share in Redmond's vision. Although PC makers have been busy readying a range of tablets and laptops with touchscreens in …

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Facepalm

Sigh

That is all.

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Meh

There

May be a business uptake, but it would have to be severely discounted for any IT dept to take on, but having to add all the extras to it so it becomes usable sort of defeats the object of a tablet.

Needs a pen, keyboard and touch screen?

Sounds like it has been made by a committee.

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Stop

Re: Sigh

Hobbit dollars. We have no idea what the actual price is yet.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sigh

May I add an "epic pricing fail" as well??

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kb
FAIL

Re: Sigh

Why Ballmer...you didn't have to get me anything for XMas!

For those of us that HATE the metrosexual UI abortion that is Win 8 this couldn't be better news, with prices THAT stupid these things will go over about as well as a chili fart in an elevator. As a plus in 6-8 months you'll see these things on Woot! for $99 each when the OEMs dump like HP did the touchpad and maybe...just maybe...the stockholders will realize what Forbes and many of us have been saying for awhile, Ballmer is a pathetic CEO and needs to go.

The hilarious part is MSFT is gonna be selling Win 8 pro downloads at just $40 USD so if one truly wanted metrosexual they could buy one of those nice AMD quad laptops and a copy of Win 8 and STILL end up more than $200 less than what these are going for! I'm gonna buy my $40 copy, it'll go next to Vista in the "wall of shame'

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Seriously?!

$600 for $300 specs?

Nobody's going to pay that kind of price for it!

The WinRT tabs are going to be competing with the iPad, and need to be about the same price as the iPad. The full Win8 tablets need to be in the "sweet spot", not above it, as well.

They're crazy if they think it'll sell at prices like that.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Seriously?!

Microsoft's obsessive imitation of Apple in everything (even Nokia ads) will be its own undoing.

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Re: Seriously?!

Absolutely! Can anybody explain to me why an $800 device (including keyboard) with Windows RT would be better than the latest incarnation of the Asus Transformer, with its much higher resolution (1920x1200) and roughly the same price point down here (just shy of 700 euro)?

OK it has a version of office. Big deal!

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Holmes

Re: Seriously?!

Could it be a PR puff... get the market screaming about "ridiculous" prices, then announce a lower real price; everybody jumping for joy...

That's the way that Steve Jobs would have done it.

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Windows

Re: Seriously?!

Repeat performance of the HP TouchPad?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Seriously?!

Steve Jobs - when did he EVER do that? Oh yeah it will be $999 - then oh look it's just $799 - never heard that...

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K
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Mushroom

Re: Seriously?!

Give it a few weeks, somebody over at XDA will hack RT to run on the Transformer hardware...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Seriously?!

And like other XDA ROMs camera support will be missing and it'll drain your battery inside an hour.

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Mushroom

Re: Seriously?!

Nokia ads would be from Nokia....And Apple copied the Tablet and Smartphone ideas from Microsoft - it didnt do them any harm!

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What is this ...

... "Metro UI" that is mentioned in the advertisement?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What is this ...

I'm offended. How dare you utter the M-word? You cannot say that!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: the "M-Word"

"Microsoft", y'mean?

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WTF?

What market does Microsoft hope to be addressing with this pathetically overpriced crap? Here's to hoping this is just a hoax, because otherwise Ballmer is smoking something much stronger than crack.

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Unhappy

In fairness

Microsoft isn't marketing this pathetically overpriced crap, Asus is. They're going to have to do significantly better with an iPad costing $400-$500 and a Kindle Fire costing $200.

Sadly, MS get tarred by association. Lets hope the Surface is (significantly) cheaper.

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JDX
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It's nothing to do with MS, that's Asus taking the piss. We've seen Android tabs from £100 to £700 so why would Windows be any different?

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Re: In fairness

If you look at Asus' own current line-up, a TF700 with the 1.6 GHz T3 and 32 GB storage lists for $499 with $150 for the dock. On Amazon or Newegg, they can be had for $488. The screen on the TF700 is a 1920x1200 Super IPS (increased brightness) which looks f-ing amazing.

Something is driving up the cost if Asus is selling lower spec for more money. Granted, the Tegra 3 could be a newer model (but the TF700 is using the current top of the line) and it will have more RAM. Storage appears to be the same as the current crop of Asus Android tablets starting at 32 GB.

Vendors have indicated that MS is charging about $85 for a Windows RT license, which would account for the higher price. except you are still giving up the excellent screen on the TF700. So it is not unreasonable to at least let them share the blame.

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Re: In fairness

And to be fair, Asus is still managing to make the Google Nexus 7 for the same price as a Kindle Fire HD.

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WTF?

"Sadly, MS get tarred by association", "It's nothing to do with MS, that's Asus taking the piss. "

Do you think that maybe the minimum hardware requirements for Win8 vs Android/iOS might have something to do with it? Just possibly?

If Asus could make and sell them cheaper then surely they would, no?

No, I'm sure you are right, Asus is just "taking the piss" because that's what multinational CE manufacturers do for shits and giggles, innit?

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Headmaster

@Ye Gads Re: "In fairness" I agree. I think that I would also add something that some.........

............people are ignoring in their eagerness to lay all the blame (if these leaks are connected to reality) on Redmond and their license fee. In their desire to howl that it is all MS' fault and (apparently) excuse the OEMs for refusing to wake up and smell the coffee as far as pricing is concerned they are conveniently "forgetting" what the OEMs did when the first Android tablets were launched. There is of course no license fee attached to Google's offering - that did not stop the OEMs charging the most horrendous prices for those tablets. Just to give two examples: Have we forgotten what HTC tried to charge for the "Flyer" or what Samsung wanted for its first 7 incher? They wanted way more than Apple were charging then for the iPad FFS! The fact of the matter is when it comes to totally unrealistic pricing the OEMs need no help from Redmond, they have a form-sheet a mile long. The Window's license is not any explanation or excuse for their behaviour - they are perfectly capable of grotesquely overcharging whether they are paying for a license or not. The very slow start that the Android tablets had the first year or so after launch was directly due IMHO to the braindead refusal of the OEMs to recognise that they simply cannot get away with these kinds of prices. One can certainly argue that MS should reduce its license fee (and I would not disagree with that for one moment) however, even if they did I fear that based on past form the OEMs would at the outset simply pocket the difference themselves.

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Re: @Ye Gads "In fairness" I agree. I think that I would also add something that some.........

> grotesquely overcharging whether they are paying for a license or not

You seem to have a disjoint from reality. OEMs are not there to promote one OS or another, they exist to make a _profit_.

Pricing is primarily based on cost, there are fixed costs (factory, staff, etc) and variable costs (components, outwork), development costs and setup costs. A new product has a cost to develop it to the point where it may become manufactured, this has to be recovered over some number of manufactured units.

Because the whole 'Windows tablets' market will be split over several OEMs (including Microsoft), and over several models the initial manufacturing runs of each model will be relatively small (also to reduce failure risk). Development and setup costs will be spread over few units, component and outwork costs will be high because of small batches being purchased. High costs -> high price.

Also they _do_ have to factor in $75-100 for licence. They also have to buy these in bulk and are unlikely to get a refund if they don't use them up. There is also marketing costs, retail margins, and a factor to cover returns and warranty costs.

What do you want? companies to sell stuff at a loss so that they go broke?

This also happened in the early days of Android: high development cost, small production runs, high component costs, high costs -> high prices. Now these costs have reduced, so have prices.

Apple, on the other hand, has high market share, small numbers of models, large production runs, reduced component costs (due to large batch orders) and lower risk because they can more accurately predict demand.

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Re: "Also they _do_ have to factor in $75-100 for licence." If you read my post again you will......

......see that I did not say that they didn't have to factor in such issues. I simply pointed out that even when they don't (and their commercial challenges otherwise are pretty much identical whether they are producing Android tablets or Windows tablets) have to pay a license fee they still overcharge at the outset. The practical reality is that they are fully capable of mispricing with or without Redmond's help. Furthermore, they as producers do have (one would have thought) an objective interest in contributing to growing a market if they wish to sell devices. That applies whether we are talking Android or Windows. They utterly refused to accept lower margins or even a certain degree of "loss leader" pricing when Android* for tablets first came out with the result that the Android os was to all practical intents and purposes crippled commercially for the first year or so after launch. If they want to produce and sell kit, yes they do have to make a contribution themselves - either that or they should get out of the game.

*Google after all had borne all the costs of developing the os and thereby made their contribution, the OEMs, to all practical intents and purposes, simply said "thank you very much" and then refused to make any contribution themselves in terms of the prices they introduced the Android tablets to the market at.

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Devil

Placeholder pricing perhaps? Perhaps Asus have no interest in MS locked-down devices being successful against their own android units.

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Re: "Also they _do_ have to factor in $75-100 for licence." If you read my post again you will......

> They utterly refused to accept lower margins or even a certain degree of "loss leader" pricing

If you think they are overpriced then don't buy them.

You just seem to want stuff to be given to you cheaply.

> (and their commercial challenges otherwise are pretty much identical whether they are producing Android tablets or Windows tablets)

Not true at all.

No one is dictating what components to use when they make Android tablets. Having to factor in $75-100 means that that can only make top of the market models.

> They utterly refused to accept lower margins or even a certain degree of "loss leader" pricing when Android* for tablets first came out with the result that the Android os was to all practical intents and purposes crippled commercially for the first year or so after launch.

You don't seem to understand what 'crippled commercially' means. It is when you _can't_ make a profit. And yet you complain that they should have run at a loss.

While Microsoft could sell XBox at a loss by subsidising it with Windows and Office sales, and hopefully making it up with games (though it is still billions in the red), what point does Dell or ASUS have to subsidise their products ? What services can they sell to make up ?

You are just whining because you can't afford shiny stuff.

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Re: "You are just whining because you can't afford shiny stuff"

A combination of bad manners and guesswork - you are a treat to debate with. Nothing about either of my posts involved that kind of tone. Moreover your attempt to use the kind of debating technique that goes down well in the saloon bar of some of our less salubrious watering holes utterly fails here. Yes, I can afford to drop a grand or so on a piece of kit if I really want it, so fucking what? What has that got to do with the issues here? We are not debating my personal buying capacity/decisions or yours - yet all the same you chose to personalise this exchange. I was discussing the behaviour of the OEMs in relation to the market they are in and the production and sale challenges they have to tackle in the mass market. That has bugger all to do with what I personally can afford or not.

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FAIL

Re: "You are just whining because you can't afford shiny stuff."

We're talking about Microsoft tablets here, not shiny stuff. Shiny stuff is cheaper.

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Headmaster

@David Cantrell Re:"Shiny stuff is cheaper." Well, actually that was pretty much what........

.......the "sweaty chair throwing maniac" was signalling in his recent interview when he talked about the range of the sweet spot in the modern market being $300 - $800 - he could scarcely have been more explicit. However, if the news in the article is true it would appear that some of the OEMs have not quite understood that, at least with Windows RT, we are indeed referring to what El Reg likes to call "fondle slabs" and "shinies" as far as the market is concerned. Unless they understand that a major part of the domestic retail market is indeed about "shiny stuff" and price accordingly they are going to do very poorly indeed. The x86 market which is much more heavily influenced by what enterprise may (or may not) be willing to pay may very well sustain kit at the upper end of that price range or even above if it is regard as of premier quality. However, any OEM who thinks that they can get away with entry prices of the kind signalled in this article is in orbit around a very different planet from the rest of us.

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Re: We're talking about Microsoft tablets here, not shiny stuff

You can polish a Microsoft tablet, but it's still a Microsoft tablet.

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The market that isn't currently serviced by Android and iOS.

We've been looking for Windows or Linux based tablets for a while now. The big sticking points on iOS and Android, for us, is the lack of Java. iOS doesn't support it and Android has its own Dalvik, which is a subset and doesn't support the bits we need.

The prices don't seem too bad. The RT machine is priced to be the same as an "equivalent" iPad (without Dock). The current generation of Windows 7 tablets are either appauling Atom based devices for 700€ or Core i based devices for over 1200€.

We managed to get a deal on Samsung Series 7 slates (Core i5, 2GB RAM) for well under a grand.

That said, I'll be sticking with my desktop and dual monitors...

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Re: @David Cantrell Shiny stuff is cheaper." Well, actually that was pretty much what........

> the sweet spot in the modern market being $300 - $800

That is _not_ what he said:

"If you look at the bulk of the PC market," he said, "it would run between, say, probably $300 to about $700 or $800. That's the sweet spot."

The 'that' refers to "about $700 or $800" being the sweet spot. That is what buyers will pay while manufacturers and retailers can actually make a profit.

"$300 - $800" is not a 'spot', it is the complete range. $300 is nowhere near 'sweet' for Ballmer, the OEMs, or retailers.

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kb
Facepalm

Re: @David Cantrell Shiny stuff is cheaper." Well, actually that was pretty much what........

The problem is, if the numbers are to be believed, MSFT is charging $75 a copy for an OS that needs the tablets to be NO MORE than $200-$350 to compete with the Kindle and iShiny. when you figure in cost of manufacture and comopnents and shipping, not to mention a few bucks for the OEMs to make it worth doing? Its priced right out of the ballpark.

This is gonna be the Touchpad all over again, priced too high for the market. I can only hope Asus is smart enough to only make a few of these so they don't take a bath on them as HP did on the touchpad because at these prices they are DOA.

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kb
FAIL

Re: @David Cantrell Shiny stuff is cheaper." Well, actually that was pretty much what........

Then they are dead in the water because as a retailer in a little PC shop in a college town i can tell you, from both my own exp as well as talking to fellow retailers in the state capital that $800 is NOT the "sweet spot" its between $450-$550 with of course lower priced units selling more.

$800 USD may have been the sweet spot before the housing market bubble burst but in case Ballmer didn't get the memo the economy is lousy and people by and large aren't gonna pay that high a price, not when they can get a transformer that doubles as a laptop for less than $530 and I can sell them quad laptops for $500 and still make a profit.

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Anonymous Coward

who cares?

they never learn, never. They still haven't grokked what cult is about, and how to, pardon me, cultivate it (thanks God they haven't) and still haven't figured out what it takes to get a bestseller for the rest of us, who don't give a flying monkey about "cool".

And it appears MS still want to believe folks can't wait to splash 1,000 usd to get their dirty fingers on MS Office via a 10.1 inch screen, rotfl.

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JDX
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Re: who cares?

>>still haven't figured out what it takes to get a bestseller

You apart from Windows, Office and XBox? And Visual Studio. And Visio. And Powerpoint. And Kinect.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: who cares?

You were doing so well, until you blew it with Xbox and Visio.

Also PowerPoint is part of Office, so why mention that twice?

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Trollface

Re: who cares?

apart from Windows, Office and XBox? And Visual Studio. And Visio. And Powerpoint. And Kinect.

The xbox must be a big hit because everyone I know who bought a xbox ended up getting another one 9 months later....

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Mushroom

Re: who cares?

And Sharepoint, Exchange, Lync, Windows Mobile (had over 50% market share at one point)....

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Mushroom

Re: who cares?

Well it still worked - Xbox now outsells both the PS3 and the Wii every month....

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kb
Unhappy

Re: who cares?

But have they made a cent? We honestly don't know because we can't see the books to see whether their "profits" account for the over 2 billion they spent on RRoD warranty, nor do we know if the billion plus spent on R&D for the XBox 1 or the billion plus in R&D for X360 is included.

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Paris Hilton

Sad thing is, I wouldn't bet on it

Fanboy-wise, I can not take any bets. There are plenty of serious MS-Fanboys; if only potential ones. Alas, there wasn't much yet to vouch for and pull out a hefty cheque. Though , noticing what rather crappy stuff we've seen over the years (with some intermezzi of useful things), and still seeing everyone chasing any new vista of the company, I can see a different scenario, once they come up with 'cool' stuff. Don't forget the enterprise customers: reluctant to finance iPads for lack of compatibility, I would not exclude the enterprise of tomorrow being prepared to pay serious money to "finally have Excel" on a tablet. The real Excel, I mean, and the real PowerPoint, and the real Word. Nevermind the costs.

Why should the same people who gladly pay for a feature-rich Exchange (and mostly the upkeep of this dog to maintain), not be willing to fork out equally serious money for a "standard" tablet?

Paris, because she can afford one, too.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sad thing is, I wouldn't bet on it

Nobody in their right mind wants Excel on a tablet.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sad thing is, I wouldn't bet on it

depends what you use Excel for. Some people use it for stock taking, where being to hold the device in one hand would be handy. I even know one bloke who uses it to control a robot spray arm through VB. It can be quite versatile software, so I imagine that people will use it in varied ways.

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Re: Sad thing is, I wouldn't bet on it

It also depends on the tablet. If you take the top of the line model that was in the article then it has a full HD screen. Assuming that the screen is pin sharp you should be able use excel with no probolem.

When RDP'ing to my desktop using my infinity O can use Excel just fine.

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Re: Sad thing is, I wouldn't bet on it

A bloke who does WHAT!!?

Now that is truly the definition of insane, almost anything else would have been better and safer.

I'm really hoping that was a slight exaggeration and he's actually merely using Excel to auto-generate the g-code (or whatever program the robot runs on), but even so...

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