Microsoft on Monday announced the second generation of its Surface tablets, but the tech company doesn’t seemed to have learned from the failures of the original Surface models.
The Redmond, Wash., company unveiled the Surface 2 and the Surface 2 Pro. The two devices are faster, have improved battery life, better cameras and higher display resolutions than their predecessors. Their kickstands can now also support two different viewing angles.
But the biggest problem with the Surface remains the same: its pricing.
Microsoft said the Surface 2 will start at $449 while the Surface 2 Pro’s base model will begin at $899.
That means the Surface 2 is $100 more than its predecessor Surface RT, which was launched at $499 last year but was reduced by $150 because of slow sales. Surface 2 Pro is the exact same price as its predecessor the Surface Pro.
The pricing is puzzling considering how poorly the Surface has sold throughout 2013.
The Surface did so bad, Microsoft had to take a $900 million charge at one point due to unsold inventory. And earlier this summer, Microsoft cut the cost of the Surface RT by $150 and the cost of the Surface Pro by $100 in order to get rid of inventory.
Microsoft’s weak sales are likely a result of the iPad, the direct competitor to the Surface.
The iPad starts at $499 and only one model, the 128 GB LTE version, costs more than Microsoft’s $899 Surface 2 Pro tablet.
Microsoft’s tablets include more goodies than the iPad -- such as 200 GB of cloud storage for two years -- and they have better specs -- like a larger screen and a built-in kickstand. But Microsoft fails to remember that Apple fans are very loyal.
If the Redmond, Wash., company truly wants to go up against Apple and compete in the large-size tablet market, it needs to bite the bullet and sell its devices cheaper than Apple. If not, it may end up having to take another multi-million dollar charge for unsold inventory.
The Surface 2 and Surface 2 Pro will go on sale Oct. 22. Pre-orders will kick off Tuesday online.