While Apple announces availability and pricing information on the same day that it unveils a new product, not every other company is as forthcoming with those details.
Take Microsoft for example.
This past June, it unveiled its line of Microsoft Surface tablets. The selling point, or perhaps differentiating point, is that the tablets come equipped with a cover - similar to Apple's smart cover - that doubles as a keyboard. Admittedly, it all seems rather cool, but in typical Microsoft fashion, they remained curiously quiet as to what the price points would be and when the product would even be available for purchase. Talk about building up a lot of hype and just letting it whittle away unnoticed.
Exacerbating the skepticism surrounding Microsoft's tablet initiative is that no one outside of Microsoft has even been able to spend time alone with one to date.
But a short four months later and that may be bound to change.
The Verge is reporting that Microsoft has already started sending out invitations to a special Windows 8 event set for October 25th.
Alongside a Windows 8 introduction, the software giant will launch its highly anticipated tablet at midnight on October 26th — according to a company spokesperson. Some of Microsoft's holiday pop-up stores will open for the Surface launch at midnight, with other Microsoft Stores selling the tablet on October 26th.
Pricing, however, remains a mystery. You can bet, though, that Microsoft will be watching rather closely what Apple does with pricing, with its rumored iPad Mini set to release soon. And with the Google Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle Fire both available at very attractive buy-in points, Microsoft would be well-advised to keep its pricing as competitive as possible to avoid being squeezed out of the market entirely.
That said, Ballmer said in a recent interview with the Seattle Times that the sweet spot for Microsoft Surface pricing would fall in the "$300 to about $700 or $800" range.
With amazing tablets available for $199, and a full-fledged iPad 2 available for $399, the user experience for the Microsoft Surface would have to be out of this world to command such high prices.
Color me skeptical, but I'd love to be proven wrong.