So there are rumors on what the Surface will be priced, most are saying the 32 GB RT will start at $599, comparable to the 32 GB iPad. However, if Microsoft is building it's own hardware, it won't have to pay Windows licensing fees, and that should allow Microsoft to undercut price, right? That's $85 that Microsoft won't need to pay. Besides storage, Microsoft has no reason to not price the Surface competitively. So, why not start the Surface storage model at 16 gigs?
Something tells me that Microsoft believes Windows RT is carrying a lot of legacy baggage that will make 16 gigs of storage an issue. The two reason that I can think of on why the Surface RT is 16 gigs.
- They know Windows RT storage will be limited at 16 gigs, so they want to make sure users don't run out of space for apps and Office files. I'd say Skydrive could help alleviate this, but the files still have to be kept on the device, so Skydrive wouldn't necessarily help.
- Microsoft wants to intentionally handicap themselves as to protect other manufacturers from being undercut on pricing. I'd assume people are less likely to buy a $600 Surface for an extra 16 gigs of storage.
The second conspiracy point is even more interesting. Acer CEO Stan Shih has said that Microsoft isn't in the hardware game for the long haul, and I have to agree. I believe Microsoft is creating the Surface not to beat the iPad, but to inspire hardware makers while keeping the pricing slightly out of reach for regular consumers. Of course, determined consumers could still buy the Surface, and Microsoft needs to make some money. But both of the points seem interesting, no? In the meticulously crafted words of Josh, maybe "I'm high and drunk." But there has to be a reason to start at 32 gigs.