Microsoft CEO hints at upcoming Windows Surface pricing

Microsoft SurfaceMicrosoft will launch its Surface tablet along with Windows 8 on October 26th. Rumours that it could sell for as low as US$199 have been dashed by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. Without providing specific pricing details, he told The Seattle Times: “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 added that lower priced devices simply don’t offer the quality or features that customers need. Taking aim at 7-inch tablet such as the Kindle Fire, he said, “(When) people offer cheaper, they do less. They look less good, they’re chintzier, they’re cheaper.”

It appears that pricing will fall in line with an earlier report that suggested that the Windows RT version of the Surface tablet could start around the US$599 mark and the the Windows 8 version above US$799.

It remains to be seen if the higher prices will be enough to calm some of Microsoft’s partners’ fears over their entry into the Windows 8 hardware business. Acer Chairman and Chief Executive J.T. Wang last month warned Microsoft to “think twice” about its decision.

Read more: The Seattle Times