Microsoft Happy To Push Partners Out Of Market With $199 Surface Tablet

Acer, Asus, HP, and various other long-time Microsoft partners have publicly asked Microsoft to step away from OEM tablet manufacturing, something the company is not prepared to do.

Yesterday I reported that the Windows RT based Surface tablet would sell for the ultra-low price of just $199, a price almost guaranteed to leave Microsoft’s vendor partners without a share of the Windows tablet market. It’s still not clear if that pricing is a loss leader. Microsoft much like Amazon and the Kindle Fire could be selling the tablets below cost while at the same time hoping to earn revenue from the sale of Windows based tablet apps.

On Tuesday, Digitimes cited various sources who claimed that Microsoft partners are worried that the company’s low $199 asking from for the Surface Tablet could be an attempt to take over the production of its own devices.

That same report found that Microsoft is well aware of the far reaching effects its shift towards being an OEM will have on partners but simply doesn’t care. The report notes:

“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.” The report continued, “A price of US$199 is expected to allow the company to achieve its needed goal.”

The Microsoft Windows RT and Windows 8 Surface tablets will be released on October 26, the same day in which Windows 8 desktops will receive Microsoft’s newest OS upgrade offering.