A listing that appeared briefly on the online Microsoft Store this morning revealed the long-awaited prices for the first Surface tablets, but anyone hoping for something below $200, keyboard cover included, should prepare to have their dreams shattered.

A 32GB version of Surface with Windows RT will start at $499, according to the listing. That version will come without an included Touch Cover, the signature Surface keyboard accessory that clicks into the device.

The 32GB version with a Touch Cover included will sell for $599, and a 64GB version with a Touch Cover will sell for $699, the listing showed before it was pulled from the Microsoft Store site.

Separately, the company will be selling the Type Cover, the keyboard accessory with raised keys, for $129.99. The Touch Cover alone will go for $119.99.

Sites including The Verge and Slashgear spotted the listing earlier this morning.

The Surface marks Microsoft’s move into full-fledged computer hardware, expanding beyond its traditional focus on software. The pricing for the tablet is in line with what Apple charges for the iPad, which is what Microsoft signaled back when it originally announced the Surface, saying the prices would “be competitive with a comparable ARM tablet.”

These models of Surface run Windows RT, the version of Windows 8 for ARM processors, which doesn’t run traditional Windows applications. Surface for Windows 8 Pro, built on traditional x86 chips, is scheduled to be available next year. Microsoft has said the pricing for that version of the tablet will be comparable to an Ultrabook-class PC.

Surface for Windows RT is set to be released on Oct. 26, along with Windows 8, and the online listing indicates that the company will be taking preorders for delivery by the release date.

Update: The announcement is now official, with preordering live on the Microsoft Store.

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  • whatashock

    Once again Microsoft shows that it is a Zeplin. How do you come up with a price that is $100 higher than the competition? And on a base model?

    • http://www.windowsobserver.com/ Richard Hay

      The $499 is the price charged for the iPad3 and it only comes with 16GB of storage and a smaller screen. How is that $100 more? You may mean it is $100 more than the iPad2 which still only has 16GB of storage and is the previous generation of the iPad.

      • whatashock

        For a hard core techy the price is not an issue. But to an average Joe like myself, I look at the range of product. Most people are not going to compare storage since they will never use the whole memory; and if they can get a slightly older model of the IPad for less then they will. I get the comparison to new IPad products, but Apple is still producing older products that will hinder the sales.

        • http://twitter.com/DaQuantumFro DaMarico Fowler

          So the solution is price it below both the iPad and partner devices?

    • http://geekwire.com Todd Bishop

      Microsoft seems to be hoping people compare the $499 Surface 32GB without keyboard to the $499 16GB iPad; the $599 Surface 32GB with keyboard to the $599 32GB iPad; and the $699 Surface 64GB with keyboard to the $699 64GB iPad.

      • guest

        Too bad they’ll also compare it to the (as yet to be announced) iPad Mini at $249/$299. That’s just going to kill them.

      • Guest

        32GB iPad sells for $599, add in a $49 smart cover and a $69 keyboard and you’ve got over $200 in price difference before tax, and that’s even before MS Office 2013, which is included with Surface.

        • Guest

          Really? You think people are going to be writing lots of word documents and doing lots of Excel spreadsheets on tablets? Really? It is a consumer device… Quick access to email, browser and 5 essential apps for brain wasting fun…

          Missed the target audience again…. Sounds like ZUNE to me…

          • http://giftguy.co/ Stephen Medawar

            As my business expands and I consider equipping sales people with tablets, this seems like a great alternative (especially with Office preloaded). The differentiator for me will be weight. I have the iPad 2 and it’s feather-light compared to almost every other tablet.

          • TheOtherGuest

            Yes light it is and the the screen of the iPad 2 is great. Before you do a trial have you verified if there’s actually a use case that goes beyond looking up information requiring Office? If you do any modern web apps like Salesforce or SugarCRM then your sales people will have all the info they need and the ability to add & change info. Same goes for Oracle, IBM, SAP and the rest of the Enterprise software vendor pack. Do your sales people on the road have an actual need to *extensively edit* docs other than the occasional time? Isn’t there an iPad/Android app for that? Does it justify the cost of a Microsoft tablet that lacks in features compared to iPad and high-end Android tablets?

          • Guest

            Is this a paid endorsement or are you shilling for MS’s competitors free of charge?

          • Pjotr

            Where is the endorsement in summing up 80% of the Enterprise software vendor market? Aren’t those valid questions any organization should ask when considering mobile solutions for the workforce? Questions focused on the use cases instead of focusing on the vendor of the hardware and the OS . In case you haven’t noticed a lot of Enterprises like the idea of not being locked-in to a single vendor. Mobile concepts thrive on a standards based web interface as a gateway to information. It creates a level playing field were on the desktop there never was one. Clearly this is a threat to Microsoft as it breaks their core money printing business. Microsoft is trying to take the fat client mobile so they can hang on a little longer and make a few more billions. Their solution may not be in the interest of the organization. The questions to be asked should therefore be the questions focused on what is good for the organization and not what is good for Microsoft’s revenues. And if the answers mean that organizations deploy iPad or Android based solutions then Microsoft should just do a better job.

          • guest

            Well, which is it? If we’re in the Post PC era, are you saying that people just won’t write documents or require spreadsheets anymore? Because if they will, then yeah, genius, they’ll be doing them on tablets.

          • Steve

            No one is going to be doing actual work on a tablet, not ever.

            You really think businesses are going to use something that makes them less productive.

            I dare you to write a simple memo in a tablet and tell me that tablets are the future.

            If you think people are going to be managing thousand line excel spreadsheets on a tablet I don’t know what to say so I will just laugh at you.

            Tablets are a solution in search of a problem.

    • http://www.christopherbudd.com Christopher Budd

      Setting aside other points, what has me confused is that the keyboard costs extra. I thought the big differentiating factor WAS that it had they keyboard.

      • Guest

        Should have been $299 and then $399 with the keyboard. BUT, using keyboards on such small devices doesn’t have a good experience. Already tried that on the iPad and failed.

    • Allen

      32GB iPad sells for $599, add in a $49 smart cover and a $69 keyboard and you’ve got over $200 in price difference before tax. Also, since Surface includes includes MS Office 2013, I’m not seeing how it’s priced higher than the iPad.

      • Pieter

        Given the features, especially it’s screen resolution, it’s hardly surprising that people feel it’s expensive. The hardware is comparable to a couple of years old run-of-the-mill Android tablet with a low-end screen fitted with Office and, compared to iPad or Android, a tiny amount of apps available. How is that not expensive?

        • Steve

          Microsoft learned nothing with the Zune debacle.

          The Zune shipped with features that would compete with a 3 year old iTunes not the current one. Because of this, and the turd color and “squirting” the Zune failed.

          MS still thinks they can compete by putting out a product that would barely pass muster 2 years ago?

  • Guest

    Too expensive. Another opportunity squandered.

  • Guest

    Although I was hoping for $199, this is still a good deal and I’d like for you to pick one up for me. $600 is a fair price for a lightweight device that includes Microsoft Office and a keyboard with which to use it.

    • TheOtherGuest

      So $199 is ok and $600 too and you would like *me* to pick up one for you? Nice try but no cigar :-) There is nothing “fair” about a $600 price given the insufficient features of Microsoft’s tablet when comparing it to the iPad3 or high-end Android tablets.

  • Guest

    TOO MUCH MONEY. 399 for 32GB and Keyboard I would buy. Not a fan of Apple and this device can do more of what I need but was hoping to be at a price point I could buy and replace every few years.

  • http://www.tonywright.com/ Tony Wright

    This is pretty horrible timing for Microsoft if Apple debuts a $199 iPad mini at the end of this month.

    • johnhcook

      Agreed Tony. My view is that Microsoft had to compete aggressively on price in order to get into the tablet game (which I understand is tough for them since they can’t alienate their hardware partners).

      • http://twitter.com/TweetingAC Andrew

        What if this was a planned leak to gauge reaction to these prices? Microsoft could still tweak the pricing after hearing the price points of the iPad mini on October 23rd, 3 days before the Surface event on the 26th. I think the pricing of this device is too important for Microsoft not to have at least thought of this scenario.

    • guest

      Why do you think Apple chose that particular timing?

      • Micheal

        Why do you think Apple cares about it?

        They didn’t break a sweat over the Zune announcement.

        Apple knows Microsoft is incompetent.

  • Guest

    Disappointed. If you have used Windows 8 on machine that has SSD, it is very slow when starting apps. So, with the pricing announced do you really want to pay extra for a sub-par hardware device? With the poor performance, it should have been $299 at a minimum. They could subsidies like they did with xbox and make it up on the apps. :o)

    Office 2013 on a tablet is not a good experience either. Have you seen or tried the new office? Plain white app. You use design and colors to put people into work areas in an app. Poorly made.

    I’m disappointed, but have no choice but to purchase one since I sell MSFT solutions….

  • https://ibanniebtechsupport.wordpress.com/ Annie B.

    Microsoft is jumping into the tablet market in ten days and I just can’t help but think, “will it float to the surface?”

    • Guest

      Reminds me of when they launched ZUNE. Great device, but late to the market and wrong pricing.

      • https://ibanniebtechsupport.wordpress.com/ Annie B.

        Posted to my blog: Has Microsoft Floated to the Surface? http://bit.ly/RyCvrf

    • guest

      Ms has been in the tablet business for more than a decade. What you meant to say is they’re launching a new effort within that in an attempt to recover lost ground.

  • Apps?

    At this price point, I’m on the edge but leaning against until I see a robust app ecosystem. I like the idea of a usable keyboard and a hopefully decent implementation of Office. But I worry about other apps.

    I have almost a hundred apps on my iPad. I don’t use them all every day. I use some when I travel, others when I am in the kitchen at home, others when I have some work to do, and others when I want to be entertained.

    Is there a way to preview what is going to be in the app store at launch? No way I’m going to pre-order without getting some idea of what the app landscape is going to look like.

  • Matt Wass de Czege

    Who cares about the MS Office 2013 lisc when they should be pushing cloud service to a mobile user. I am shocked that they did not include a years subscription to Office 365, so you can work across platforms and leverage the cloud to become more mobile.

    • Ryan Parrish

      Skydrive is already free for consumers up to 7GB, so why would they need to include Office 365? Free email, document storage, and online access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote seems like a pretty good deal to me. You’ll need a Microsoft Account to use Win8RT or Pro, so you’ll get all of those things for free with it.

  • Guest

    Microsoft Surface RT 32GB has ~20 GB of free storage. So you cannot claim it is a 32GB of space when ~12GB of it is already used. Isn’t that lying about your specs?

    • Steve

      What is remarkable, and not in a good way is that Windows 8 and a few apps require 12 GB!

      I can install a very heavy Linux desktop with all the graphical bells and whistles and load it with open office, databases, heavy programming tools and use less than 4 GB of space.

      The incompetence of Microsoft is stunning.

  • http://twitter.com/kforeman1 Kevin Foreman

    Just ordered one…. Excited to feel/use the much touted keyboard.

    • Steve


      When you realize that you got swindled make sure not to complain as people who do business with MS get what they deserve.

  • TheOtherGuest

    Let’s face it, it has a really crappy screen at 1366 x 768. Anyone with less than 20/20 vision (generally 40 years and older) will vastly prefer the iPad3 or high-end Android super duper screens over Microsoft’s 4 year old insignificant screen. So does the price point matter? No, because it is too expensive for being a cheap alternative to the iPad and high-end Android tablets. And no, because it’s too cheap in lacking features that one expects from a product with this feature set that apparently justifies a $1.5 Billion ad campaign. It’s not even remotely near an iPad3, Asus Transformer TF700 or the upcoming high-end Google Nexus tablet. If you need Office I guess it could be on your short list but for the remaining use cases can you really do without an iPad or a high-end Android tablet?

  • Pjotr
    • guest

      You, “Pieter”, and “the other guest” should save time and just write one comment. Because you have the exact same talking points.

  • guest

    $200 was always a fantasy. But I would have liked $499 with the keyboard. It would have made Ballmers 5 or 6 million unit goal easier to achieve. Of course at that modest total, I’m still not sure why MS is doing Surface. By the time they pay all of the out of pockets expenses, even if they end up achieving the 6 million number they won’t make any profit doing so.

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