Microsoft is expected to build a little more than 3 million Surface tablets, market researcher IDC told CNET. An IDC analyst also offered his views on the likelihood of a $199 version of the tablet.
Production plans are for a few million units for calendar 2012, said IDC analyst Bob O'Donnell in a phone interview. "Probably a little over 3 million, both [Intel] x86 and ARM," he said. Surface RT is built around ARM processors and will not support older "legacy" software that runs on Windows 7. Intel-based Surface will run Windows 8 Pro that does run legacy software.
"If they build a few million units there's no way they can sell it through Microsoft store only," he said, referring to Microsoft's current plan. "So I think that they'll sell it through traditional retail also. You can't build that many products without having a much wider distribution strategy. They just haven't shared that [strategy] yet," he said.
O'Donnell also had a lot to say about the possibility of an inexpensive Surface RT device, which a report claims may debut at $199.
"There could be two ways to get Surface. Buy it outright for, let's say, $599. Or $199 for a two-year subscription and you can get X,Y, and Z -- which, oh, by... [Read more]