Microsoft may consider maintaining a price gap for its Surface products to give hardware partners some competitive breathing room, according to an Asia-based report.
Acer's chairman doesn't want Microsoft to price the Surface at US$199, claiming that it will cause significant harm to PC makers.
Acer chairman JT Wang commented publicly on Thursday that Microsoft is seeking ways to create a price chasm between its Surface tablet and competing products from PC makers, according to a report from Friday in Taipei-based publication DigiTimes.
"Microsoft is currently looking for solutions such as creating a price gap to minimise the negative impact on other vendors' product line-ups," according to the report.
Wang said that a Surface tablet priced at US$199 would have a big impact (presumably negative). But one priced at US$499 to US$599 would have "a lot smaller" impact, the report said.
Indeed, the Surface's pricing is a mystery. "Suggested retail pricing will be announced closer to availability, and is expected to be competitive with a comparable ARM tablet or Intel ultrabook-class PC," Microsoft stated publicly. But at the low end, the question becomes: what is a "comparable ARM tablet" these days?
PC makers like Acer may have abandoned hope to get Microsoft to drop the Surface, and are therefore resorting to alternative ways to pressure Microsoft.
In his comments, Wang noted that Microsoft has no intention of dropping its plans to launch Surface products.
Microsoft did not respond to a request for comment.