Microsoft Tips Surface Tablet Release Date
It’s not a surprise, but Microsoft Surface — the tablet being built by the software giant itself — will make its debut on the same day Windows 8 arrives: Oct. 26.
When Microsoft unveiled the Surface tablet in June, it was a bit vague about its release date, saying only that it would debut in the fall. Of course, that was before the company had locked in the date of its big Windows 8 launch party, which it finally revealed last week.
Now, in its annual report, Microsoft has said plainly the Surface will debut on the same day as Windows 8 — the Friday just before Halloween.
Still up in the air is what the price of the Surface tablet will be. A Swedish website last week put a rather exaggerated price tag on its listing for the Surface, but it quickly revealed those to be mere guesses, numbers plucked out of the air to give customers a way to pre-order the device. Microsoft has only said the price of Surface will be comparable to devices with similar specs.
Microsoft also addresses the issue of adopting the Apple-like approach of a “vertically integrated” model of building both the software and hardware for a device — something the company hasn’t traditionally done, but decided to do so with Surface. Under the section Risk Factors, the report reads:
A competing vertically integrated model, in which a single firm controls the software and hardware elements of a product and related services, has been successful with some consumer products such as personal computers, mobile phones, gaming consoles, and digital music players. These competitors also earn revenue from services that are integrated with the hardware and software platform. We also offer vertically integrated hardware and software products and services; however, our competitors have been in the market longer and in some cases have established significantly large user bases. Efforts to compete with the vertically integrated model will increase our cost of revenue and reduce our operating margins.
Clearly, Microsoft weighed those risks and chose to build the Surface tablet anyway. Some of Microsoft’s partners have already expressed annoyance that their onetime software partner is now competing with them.
What do you think of Surface? Will you be first in line to get one? Let us know in the comments.