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Handhelds Software Windows Hardware

Leak Hints Windows 8 Tablets May Be Dearer Than Makes Sense 365

Posted by timothy
from the boutique-prices dept.
MrSeb writes "If, like me, you thought Microsoft would price Windows RT competitively, you were wrong: A leaked slide from Asus says that its Vivo Tab RT, due to be released alongside Windows RT at the end of October, will start at $600. Unbelievably, this is $100 more than the iPad 3, and a full $200 more than the iPad 2 or Galaxy Tab 2 10.1. For $600, you would expect some sensational hardware specs — but alas, that's sadly not the case. The Vivo Tab RT has a low-res 10.1-inch 1366×768 IPS display, quad-core Tegra 3 SoC, 2GB of RAM, NFC, 8-megapixel camera and that's about it. Like its Androidesque cousin, the Transformer, the Vivo Tab RT can be plugged into a keyboard/battery dock — but it'll cost you another $200 for the pleasure. (Curiously, the Transformer's docking station only costs $150 — go figure.)"
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Leak Hints Windows 8 Tablets May Be Dearer Than Makes Sense

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  • Re:Margins (Score:5, Insightful)

    by roc97007 (608802) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @01:13PM (#41376105) Journal

    Perhaps Microsoft has decided they need to make money instead of doing loss leaders.

    To make money, you have to sell product.

  • Re:Margins (Score:4, Insightful)

    by roc97007 (608802) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @01:24PM (#41376269) Journal

    Ok, I'll give you that. But now they're competing in a commodity market. Microsoft doesn't really understand competitive, commodity markets.

  • by EmperorOfCanada (1332175) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @01:25PM (#41376289)
    Some MBA did up a presentation where they could make an absurd profit on each unit and then success will happen at only 10% of iPad sales.

    In order to switch from an iPad to a Windows unit it would have to be so much better, so way much better, way way better. So unless it unfolds into a private jet that then flies me to my private island that comes with it I will predict that they will jig the stats on sales (force people to warehouse them and then prebook the sales) and in the end it will be Zune 2.

    Right now there are two ways to sell a tablet to consumers, sell them an iPad or sell them something that looks exactly like an iPad for way less. The only possible third way would be something way better; thus MS will have had to vastly improve upon technologies that are near the leading edge of what is possible. So better than retina? Better battery life without making it an inch thick? Thinner/lighter electronics? Vastly better GUI? Vastly better Processor? Better Apps?

    If MS were really lucky and had the best engineers on the planet and could get their first effort perfect I could see slight improvements on all of the above but not enough to touch Apple's marketing or enough to justify a monster price.

    My prediction is that MS is going to make this all enterprisey. It will tie into office and other MS crap in a horribly incestuous way. They will provide white papers to the CTO types saying how this can improve data security and fine grain control over the user experience. What they are forgetting here is that one of the reasons for Apple's ability to break into the Enterprise market is that they don't cater to the enterprise market's OCD about ruining the user experience. I am sure that this is what killed the BlackBerry; those phones are actually pretty good. But RIM gave the telcos and sys admins too much say over what could be turned off on the phones. Many a corporate user had a complete dud of a phone after all the good bits were turned off in the name of security and productivity. Apple looks at this and just asks "Why would we allow you to ruin our phones?" Over the last few years the better companies have had a policy of BYOD that is a real winner among the employees who are the reason the company exists and a real pain among old school admins.

    So basically crappy companies are going to buy a handful of these new tablets and their employees are going to put them into the microwave hoping that if they ruin enough of them they will get an iPad; or at least not have to suffer the Metro UI.
  • by Joce640k (829181) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @01:26PM (#41376299) Homepage

    "Dearer"? You mean more expensive?

  • Re:Margins (Score:2, Insightful)

    by morcego (260031) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @01:30PM (#41376379)

    They will be pushing Microsoft Office and other "solutions" as a reason to buy their more expensive tablets, as well as integration with Exchange and whatever other crappy product they can think of.

    We all seen it before. How many people continue using IIS ?

  • by kelemvor4 (1980226) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @01:30PM (#41376383)

    So you get software no one likes in hardware no one would pay for. That sounds like a recipe for success.

    The hardware isn't THAT bad. It's just not particularly great. People would probably pay for the hardware if it had a more reasonable price point.. I'm thinking around $300. You can't fix windows RT without replacing it, though.

    I'm not sure how MS expects to compete here. Every competitor in this field charges $0 for the OS. MS is selling ONLY an OS. I guess they expect hardware manufacturers to eat the cost? It would be a little intriguing if RT and Windows 8 were binary level compatible, but they're not - they just look similar.

  • Re:Margins (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Captain Hook (923766) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @01:34PM (#41376451)

    Microsoft have been selling expensive products for years now. They were never a price oriented company.

    MS never had to be price oriented, they held a monopoly on consumer and enterprise desktops, and had a pretty good market share of servers. To the point where competitors effectively had to be free to compete, not because of technical superiority but because of how the market was stacked against them.

    The trouble for MS is it doesn't have that lead in the mobile space. Its now forced, whether it acknowledges it or not to compete on:

    • Cost
    • UI
    • Technical Merit

    Cost and UI matter to regular consumers, Cost and Technical Merit (maybe including a bit of UI as it relates to funcationality rather than prettiness/bragging rights) matter to techies.

    MS's problem is the first group aren't going to be impressed with Notro compared to Apple or Android, especially if the devices are going to cost significantly more. The second group remember enough about MS's business practices from the 90's and 00's as to be warey of accepting them.

    There is another possibility, maybe it's not the MS license knocking up the price, ASUS might not be expecting big sales from these devices and so are hoping to cover R&D costs with a smaller number of sales by bumping up the unit price?

  • Re:Margins (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Nethemas the Great (909900) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @01:39PM (#41376537)
    This may simply be evidence that the Win 8 tablet platform is intended for the business audience.
  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @01:41PM (#41376573) Journal

    Windows RT will come in Office 2013 Preview which would also be up-gradable to the final version when it launches.

    Inconveniently, though, Office 2013 matters somewhat less to home users and Windows RT(since it can't be bound to a domain or controlled by standard group policy for any price) is of somewhat less interest to business users...

    I'm not saying that they won't sell any; but by gimping AD in favor of some goofy 'Yeah, sure, go ahead and pretend its a smartphone or something, I hate you.' management 'app', they've substantially spoiled the appeal for the IT-heavy we-cannot-use-any-software-not-feature-identical-to-Office-and-ideally-compatible-with-IE6-so-we-can-still-get-to-our-cutting-edge-'intranet portal' segment, and at $600 for mediocre specs(2 GB of RAM is high by tablet standards; but cheap shit by Windows-machine standards) they'll need a pretty compelling argument that I need 100% Office, rather than the Office-compatibleish offerings on iDevices or Android things, since the same $600 will get me a shiny new 32GB iPad or a Transformer prime infinity from Asus' android side...

  • Re:Margins (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mcgrew (92797) * on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @01:57PM (#41376825) Homepage Journal

    I don't know, I paid $40 for DOS 6 when games were $50, I'd say that's cheap, especially since it came with DoubleSpace. Most people aren't Microsoft's customers, they're Asus and Dell and HP customers. I doubt that more than $10 went to MS when you bought a computer. Enterprise customers are their customers, not you. Now, Office seems expensive unless you put it next to Photoshop are worse, SAS.

    You're confusing them with Apple. Apple computers are way more expensive than Windows computers, but Apples are percieved to be higher quality. I just don't see how MS can sell a tablet at a higher price than an iPad and expect anyone to buy them. Folks buy Apple to be kewl and show off how much money they have, you can't say that about MS.

    Look how the Zune flopped, and it wasn't as expensive as an iPod. There's no way anyone is going to be willing to pay more for a Windows computer than an Apple computer.

    Meanwhile, when I get a tablet it will be a cheap Android. Apples cost too much and Windows has too few features compared to kubuntu.

  • Dear Microsoft. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by gestalt_n_pepper (991155) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @02:04PM (#41376935)

    I've used Windows 8. It's not that great. Nobody will pay extra for it despite what the consultants told you. Your "surface" will be a loss leader designed to gain market share or it will simply fail. Thank you for your attention.

    Cheers!
    Mr. ColdWaterOfRealityMan

  • by Belial6 (794905) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @02:26PM (#41377267)
    While I would define it more as 'valuable', or 'having a high value', it certainly means that in modern American English. It isn't that the word has changed meaning. It is that people mimic words that others have said without understanding the meaning. (Another good example is the word "Sorry".) When you start a letter "Dear Nancy", a wedding starts with "Dearly Beloved", or you just call your wife "Dear", the word means person "of great value".

    As soon as I saw the word Dear in the title, I knew that people would come out of the woodwork complaining about it because they didn't know the definition of a word they have used most of their lives. The real question is... What do THEY think the word "Dear" means?
  • Re:Margins (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gstoddart (321705) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @02:29PM (#41377315) Homepage

    They will be pushing Microsoft Office and other "solutions" as a reason to buy their more expensive tablets, as well as integration with Exchange and whatever other crappy product they can think of.

    I don't disagree as that seems to be how Microsoft has marketed their products over the last bunch of years ... I'm just not sure they fully get that people are looking for devices which do things other than Office documents and Exchange.

    I think RIM is demonstrating quite nicely that what consumers want is stuff that isn't what businesses want. And the consumer market is actually quite a bit bigger than the corporate one.

    Unfortunately, Microsoft often still sees the world as about being able to access Office and Exchange. And I'm betting far more people don't need that than do in this market -- for me personally, I have no use for that, but I've no doubt that for some people the ability to get their company email or access the TPS report from home is absolutely critical.

    I think when Microsoft comes to terms with the fact that a shocking amount of people don't need Office and Exchange, they might figure out what features they should be putting into tablets.

  • Re:Margins (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cayenne8 (626475) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @02:52PM (#41377617) Homepage Journal

    Folks buy Apple to be kewl and show off how much money they have, you can't say that about MS.

    Do you honestly believe that the majority of people that buy Apple products...do so as a status symbol?? I know that is the often quoted opinion on /. , but do people really believe that deep down?

    I mean, I own a few apple products. I have an old iphone 3gs, and am likely to going to get the new iPhone 5. but I dunno what a status symbol that is. I mean, it spends most of the time in my pocket, and honestly, when you whip one out...well, it is no big deal as that so many other people out there have them...it is kind of a commodity phone. I'd dare say any smart phone these days is pretty much a commodity object, and seems most people out there have one.

    As for a mac computer....well, I do have a macbook pro I bought myself last xmas...but that stays largely at home..I bought it for some stills and video production I wanted to do with my gift I gave myself this year...a Canon 5D3.

    Sure, these are both $$$ things...but, I got them because they were perceived to me as being the best I could get for my money I could afford...for some things I wanted to do. Best tool for the job and all.

    But really...I don't think that many people even notice if you pull out an Apple product....to most people I think...it is just another "phone", or "laptop" or "tablet".....I don't perceive any social stigma related to them by anyone that pulls them out these days. Does anyone else really see it that way?

    I mean, I don't give anyone a sideways glance really if they pull out a computer, smartphone or tablet....today those are all just commodity type gear IMHO....

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @03:05PM (#41377795)

    >>Not in the US, I've never heard it used to mean more expensive before...

    So what? I guess you presume to be an expert on American English?

    I have heard it in the US before to mean more expensive. It is a common secondary meaning, even if little used.

    I don't really understand your point. It appears you are only bragging about your ignorance and trying to claim it as true.

  • Re:Margins (Score:5, Insightful)

    by semi-extrinsic (1997002) <<asmunder> <at> <stud.ntnu.no>> on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @03:38PM (#41378205)

    (a good IPS panel with a capacitive sensor isn't cheap, not that 1366x768 is 'good')

    This is what pisses me off these days: on a 10" device made for looking at kittens on the internet, a 1366x768 IPS screen is considered "bad". But on my 12" notebook, where I actually need a good display for e.g. Photoshop or Lightroom while on the go, a 1366x768 IPS screen would be an *upgrade*. The display situation on laptops is seriously FUBAR...

  • Re:Winning (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Grayhand (2610049) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @04:02PM (#41378555)

    Bye Bye, Microsoft.

    Now there is a prediction never made on Slashdot before. Why don't you go all the way out on the limb and declare next year to be "The Year Of Linux on Desktops"?

    I wouldn't laugh too loud. In the last 12 years Microsoft's stock has fallen off a cliff and has been left in the dust by Apple. I'm not making a point about Apple I'm saying Microsoft is looking vulnerable. They suck at hardware rollouts and still largely cling to Office and the Windows OS as their cash cows. Economically they'd probably be better off to halt development to save money and cut their losses. The problem is they are really exposed with only two real cash cows to their name. There are more and more options to Office so it's more the fact it's too expensive for most to switch than love of product keeping Office alive and now that Linux is no longer looking like a threat to Windows. Apple is their main competition but Apple won't bottom feed so cheap computers are almost exclusively Windows. They have a nitche but it's under threat again. The death of desktops is greatly exaggerated but everyone in the family needing their own desktop is no longer the case. Most teens web surf and play media on their computers which tablets are perfectly suited for. Microsoft could see sales drop by 75% for Windows and new businesses would be a fool to not to consider options other than Office so it may fall into a "your parents application" territory. I'd say Microsoft's prospects are bleak at best. Android has already filled the market place that a portable windows OS would have and like I said Microsoft has a miserable hardware track record. Rolling out a tablet that is more expensive than a cheap laptop is a dangerous move. To use most windows applications productively you need a keyboard. Well then why am I paying a $100 more than a cheap laptop and I don't get a keyboard? Data entry sucks on a tablet as does typing. If you want a media player there's superior tablets for less money and do a fine job for web surfing. They would need to do a daring move to make it viable like bundling it with a portable version of Office so every tablet comes with Office preinstalled with free upgrades. Unfortunately that would be shooting themselves in the foot since they have no other revenue streams than the tablet itself and a handful of applications. Apple could sell iPads at cost and clean up through the content they sell. Microsoft can't do that so they are severely limited with the profits on a tablet. The math doesn't work and as I said Microsoft's future looks bleak. The sad joke is if it wasn't for the antitrust laws Apple could buy Microsoft. They nearly have enough cash in their loose change drawer and any bank on the planet would finance the buy. Now that's a dramatic reversal of fortune.

  • by jedidiah (1196) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @04:17PM (#41378771) Homepage

    People buy office because they think they have to. Little trolls like you feed the fear. People don't buy it because they actually like it.

    It's still "software no one likes".

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