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Microsoft Surface tablet to start around $300

Microsoft (MSFT) hasn’t been very forthcoming about what it plans to charge customers for its soon-to-be-released Surface tablet, but CEO Steve Ballmer told the Seattle Times that the device will be priced more to compete with Apple’s (AAPL) iPad than with low-cost tablets such as the Kindle Fire HD or the Google (GOOG) Nexus 7. Specifically, Ballmer said he expected various Surface models to sell from “probably $300 to about $700 or $800” depending on whether they’re equipped with Windows RT or Windows 8 Pro.

Ballmer also made clear that Microsoft has no interest in getting into a price war with Amazon or Google by offering low-cost 7-inch Surface tablets because he wants people to see the Surface as a professional device that can be used for work as well as media consumption.

“If you say to somebody, would you use one of the 7-inch tablets, would somebody ever use a Kindle to do their homework?” he asked rhetorically. “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.”

Microsoft’s Surface tablets will launch later this month alongside Windows 8.


Prior to joining BGR as News Editor, Brad Reed spent five years covering the wireless industry for Network World. His first smartphone was a BlackBerry but he has since become a loyal Android user.