Microsoft (MSFT) is reportedly well aware that pricing its entry-level Windows RT tablet at $199 will push its vendor partners out of the market, but it might launch the device at that remarkably low price point anyway. Citing multiple unnamed sources from notebook vendors, Digitimes on Thursday reported that Microsoft’s hardware partners are very worried about the possibility of a $199 Surface tablet. Unless Microsoft only sells the device in the United States, partners including ASUS (2357), Lenovo (0992), Samsung (005930) and Dell (DELL) may stop developing Windows RT tablets since they will not be able to compete at that price.
According to the report, Microsoft knows very well that it is angering its partners but it doesn’t seem to care. “The sources pointed out that Microsoft is fully aware that its actions have greatly offended its notebook clients, and therefore is trying to achieve success and acquire at least 30% share in the tablet PC market,” Digitimes’s Monica Chen wrote. ”A price of US$199 is expected to allow the company to achieve its needed goal.”
Microsoft will release its Windows RT and Windows 8 Surface tablets on October 26th, the same day Windows 8 desktops, laptops and tablets from Microsoft’s vendor partners are expected to begin rolling out next-generation devices.