updated 12:00 pm EDT, Fri October 24, 2008
Microsoft prices Surface
At next week's Professional Developer Conference, Microsoft will offer a developer version of its Surface computer to developers for $13,500, including a 10 percent discount, according to a Friday report. Interested developers are paying more for the Surface than commercial customers, whose version costs $12,500, because it includes the Software Development Kit (SDK) promised earlier this month. Either price is significantly higher than the $5,000 to $10,000 range Microsoft said the Surfaces would cost back in May of 2007.
According to Microsoft staff, however, the company hopes to decrease the costs over time, as economies of scale and the higher sales volumes should drive them down. The high price was the chief reason Microsoft's entertainment division president, Robbie Bach, wanted to axe the Surface for commercial applications, despite Bill Gates' backing.
Microsoft will offer a session on developing software for the Surface at the conference, along with three hands-on labs for the 6,000 or so developers expected to be in attendance. Microsoft is limiting the developer versions at its event to just 1,200, however, which amounts to enough to cover all attendees at a single session.
At the conference, Microsoft will also point out the overlap and differences between developing for Surface and the multi-touch applications for Windows 7.