IDC says Microsoft to make millions of Surface tablets; maybe at $199

Credit: flickr/PinkMoose

Guesstimates of 3 million units produced by Microsoft. Low price, with mandatory monthly subscription service, is possible.

IDC analyst Bob O'Donnell spoke to CNET about Microsoft's Surface tablet, estimating they will produce “Probably a little over 3 million, both [Intel] x86 and ARM,” in 2012. Since the units aren't expected to ship until late October, that means 1.5 million per month during the holidays. And the recent $99 Xbox release, with monthly subscriptions, could be the model for Surface.

If Microsoft does release Surface at $199, as reported by Engadget last week, that would likely be less than their cost of production. But such aggressive pricing, comparable to the Kindle Fire (just reduced to $179), could enhance Windows 8 as a viable operating system. The real question: how will Microsoft's hardware partners regard such pricing?


The surface will never be $199 without some sort of gimmick. With no gimmick it could very well be $399 but never less than $299.

trentondavis on

If any company that can sell at a lost it is Microsoft, it is highly possible to sell a 9 inch tablet for 200 dollars in this competitive market .

n n on

MS has to step lightly when it comes to competition. Any move (like dumping tablets below cost) could be seen as anti-competitive by the EU and maybe even the DOJ.

Bruce Curtis on


I think MS should do what ever it takes. The so called H/w partners like HP are busy trying to put the PC division on a firesale and get out.

avj246 on

I'll get one regardless, just to make apple people look bad. Duh!

Michael Tang on

OEM's should be happy that Microsoft is willing take the hit on price to establish a market for them compete where none currently exists

j1jay on

Even with a Zune/Xbox Music subscription, count me in.

Invadr Phlegm on

I think this "leak" is only meant to freeze buyers, get them to hold off on that nice Nexus7 until they can see the Windows tablet at the same price.

Ridgeland on


3 million is an awful lot and a big risk. if i were microsoft i would only build a few thousand in case it fails to sell next the ipad or even if it gets sued by apple.

normalregulargirl on

Yes, 3 million is way too many. I keep remembering there was something call Microsoft CE? Seems it fell on it's face.

LinkNeb on

1. who cares about the other oem's 2. they took a loss on the xbox for years and now look where there at ;) 3. 'nuff said.

Josh Jacob on

At $199, will you buy a Surface tablet? How about at $599?

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