This could be really interesting if true. According to a trusted source at Engadget, Microsoft’s first piece of consumer hardware, the Surface RT tablet, could debut on October 26th for the low-low price of $199.
When the tablet debuted earlier this summer, people were blown away by the sleek form factor, intriguing accessories and huge potential market disruption. If Microsoft manages to price the Surface RT — the ARM-based version which will compete with the Nexus 7 and new iPad — at $199, it could be another notch not only in Redmond’s belt, but in Nvidia’s. It’s long been rumoured that the Surface RT will be powered by Nvidia’s Tegra 3 silicone, which sits comfortably inside the Nexus 7 at the same price. The Intel-based Surface, which will be thicker, heavier and much more powerful, with support for existing Windows apps, is expected in Q1 2013 at a much higher price point.
A $199 price point would certainly put Microsoft at a loss for each tablet sold, but would drive sales and therefore apps, legitimizing an as-yet-unproven ecosystem. The Windows Store, which will be separate from the Windows Phone Marketplace, must compete with Apple and Google for virtual shelf space, and developers may take slowly to “yet another” platform.