updated 12:30 am EDT, Tue October 16, 2012
Commercial devoid of technical, pricing information
A new ad for Microsoft's Surface tablet premiered during Monday Night Football. The commercial features Microsoft's tablet with magnetic covers in assorted colors, generally airborne amidst a bevy of synchronized dancing youths. As with the rest of the pre-release materials for the tablet, the commercial was bereft of technical information, and a price still has yet to be announced for the pair of devices. The commercial was shown across networks, making an appearance not only on Monday Night Football on ESPN, but also on shows such as post-apocalyptic drama Revolution on NBC.
The commercial was directed by Jon M. Chu, director of G.I. Joe: Retaliation and the Justin Bieber documentary Never Say Never. Other production credits include television series The LXD: Legion of Extraordinary Dancers, and TV Series Masterclass, both clearly inspirations for the well-choreographed commercial. Several dancers featured in the video have been in other productions involving Chu.
Speaking with The Seattle Times, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer pegged the Surface's starting price "probably $300 to about $700 or $800" but nothing firm has been confirmed by Microsoft. Estimates of construction cost vary between $180 and $300, depending on source for the Windows RT tablet.
Microsoft may build around three million units of its Surface tablets for this calendar year according to an estimate from market research company IDC. The research firm spoke with CNet about Microsoft's forthcoming tablet, explaining that that total includes both the Intel and ARM versions of the device.
Windows hardware partners are already expressing concern about Microsoft's entry into the tablet market, with Acer CEO J.T. Wang asking Microsoft to "think twice" about entering the market. Wang calls the Surface "negative for the worldwide ecosystem" and wonders what other alternatives there may be to future operating systems on non-Microsoft devices if it can't compete. Microsoft is reportedly working on the next generation of the Surface tablet line, even though it had previously told partners that the Surface was a one-off product intended to showcase Windows 8.