Micrsoft CEO Steve Ballmer recently in an iterview with The Seattle Times said that Windows 8 Surface tablet would probably cost some where between $300 to $700 or $800. But, certainly it isn't sounding to push a $199 Surface. He says when "people offer cheaper, they do less".
Ballmer, who recently has called this year "the most epic year in Microsoft history," when asked "Is there another year in Microsoft's history you could compare this to? Maybe the launch of Windows 95?," said,
"You know, Windows 95 was certainly the biggest thing in the last 20 years until now. I think Windows 8 certainly surpasses it. It's a little hard to compare things like the founding (of the company) and the introduction of the first popular PC and the system that popularized it, but it's at that scale."
Baller on Windows 8 success said, "Windows 8 is going to do great."
Q: What is Microsoft's plan if Windows 8 doesn't take off?
A: You know, Windows 8 is going to do great.
Q: No doubt at all?
A: I'm not paid to have doubts. (Laughs.) I don't have any. It's a fantastic product. ...
People talk about: "How healthy is the PC market?" There's going to be close to 400 million PCs sold in the next year, which makes it a big market. And whether it's 405 (million) or 395 (million), it's a big market, and Windows 8 will propel that volume.
It also brings us into this world of much more mobile computing and more mobile form factors. I think it's going to be hard to tell what's a tablet and what is a PC.
Here is what Ballmer in particular said about Surface:
Q: The iPad has the largest share of the tablet market, but its soft spot, it seems to me, is the price.With the Surface, are you planning to compete with the iPad on price or on features?
A: We haven't announced pricing. I think we have a very competitive product from the features perspective. ...
I think most people would tell you that the iPad is not a superexpensive device. ... (When) people offer cheaper, they do less. They look less good, they're chintzier, they're cheaper.
If you say to somebody, would you use one of the 7-inch tablets, would somebody ever use a Kindle (Kindle Fire, $199) to do their homework? The answer is no; you never would. It's just not a good enough product. It doesn't mean you might not read a book on it....
"If you look at the bulk of the PC market, it would run between, say, probably $300 to about $700 or $800. That's the sweet spot.
Ballmer also filded question about a number of topics, including Microsoft'future as a "devices and services" company, and the "big challenge" of ratcheting up Windows Phone sales."
On a question surrounding competition with Facebook and Google "that are perceived as fresher, more dynamic places to work. How does Microsoft compete with that?"
Ballmer said, "I'm not sure you're right about that. I think Google is just another big company at this stage. I'm not saying they're bad. They're a good competitor for talent but it's not like they're some small startup. We're a great company, good-sized, that's doing great work. Google's another big technology company. It's not like they have the charm of smallness or pre-IPO-ness with them."
About the future of the company, Ballmer stated:
"I think when you look forward, our core capability will be software, (but) you'll probably think of us more as a devices-and-services company. Which is a little different. Software powers devices and software powers these cloud services, but it's a different form of delivery….
Doesn't mean we have to make every device. I don't want you to leap to that conclusion. We'll have partners who make devices with our software in it and our services built in. … We're going to be a leader at that."
We've got great cloud integration with the rest of the Microsoft world, which a lot of people participate in.
So I think our point of view on user interface, the great work that our hardware vendors are doing and the integration with Windows should help ratchet us up, he said.
Also, in a surprise gift from Nokia's New York City announcement "Twitter and Facebook notifications on Windows Phone 8 Lock screen during the introduction of the wireless charging part of the presentation is discovered," wpcentral reports.