Microsoft’s Windows Boss Blasts ‘Recreational’ iPad Mini’s $329 Price Tag

Microsoft’s Windows Boss Blasts ‘Recreational’ iPad Mini’s $329 Price Tag

Sinofsky with Microsoft’s new Surface tablet.

While the iPad mini looks like a terrific little tablet, that’s sure to make millions for Apple, we’ve learned over the past few days that some people are unhappy with its price tag. Thanks to the rumors, the majority of us expected the device to be priced around $249. But as it turns out, it’s $80 more than that.

According to Microsoft’s Windows boss, Steven Sinofsky, that’s a lot to pay for a “recreational tablet” when you can get a new Windows 8 laptop for $279.Thanks to Windows 8, Microsoft believes it’s found a way to deliver full-featured computing at a significantly lower price. It’s not talking netbooks or bargain-basement machines, but computers that are good enough to last a student through college.

“These are fantastic machines,” Sinofsky told AllThingsD on Thursday, before he took a swipe at the new iPad mini.

“It’s $279. Here we are, talking about seven-inch recreational tablets for $329.”

Then Sinofsky took aim at the MacBook Air, noting that there are plenty of thin and light Windows-powered Ultrabooks on sale for hundreds of dollars less than Apple’s ultraportable.

“It’s not just discounting,” Sinofsky said. “It’s engineering work that drives the cost down.”

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never seen a decent Windows laptop on sale for $279. Sure, you can buy PCs at that price — my parents buy one every few years and then moan about how slow it is — but I wouldn’t describe them as “fantastic.” Would you?

  • eeh73

    Sinofsky needs to just work on making great products. If he can do that, the rest will take care of itself.

    What he clearly misunderstands is – people do not buy apple products due to price. Apple has never been about being cheaper than the others, and until these other companies realize that, they will keep running in circles.

    Apple makes great products that excite a lot of people, and they work really well. Sure, there are some features Apple products may not have that others do, but it’s a non-issue.

    Never argue your price or your features. Focus on the whole solution and greater benefits. Apple probably does it better than anyone else at this time.

  • Garion

    So, Mr. Sinofski, which product do you think will sell the best: Your brand new Microsoft Surface, or the “recreational tablet” iPad Mini? Come on, take a wild guess? :-)

  • gnomehole

    hahah.. Microsoft claiming to understand the consumer market suddenly? Thats rich.

  • PGEddington

    I cast my vote at 3:14am this morning when I pre-ordered a 16GB WiFi + LTE Mini. I used my previous “recreational” full-sized iPad to write TPs, memos, backgrounders…and to start my next book. Looking forward to doing even more on my new “recreational” tablet–who’s quality of build, reliability and app selection totally nuke your company’s “offering”.

  • riktweed

    If you can’t tell the Chevy from The BMW, buy the Chevy.

  • sosickitzill

    A new windows 8 laptop for $279? Problem is even if people are on a severe budget and struggling. They do not want to buy a $279 laptop BRO!

  • thegraphicmac

    These idiots are so clueless that comments such as the ones they made are just not even worth discussing. They just don’t get it.

  • Jdsonice

    What else can he say.

    Windows 8 is already being blasted as a poor product. The overall outlook for MS is poor and it is becoming more irrelevant as a tech company, specially in the home entertainment business.

    My PC died six months ago and I have not replaced it – instead I use my iPad a lot more.

    I think it is curtains for MS and it is time to start shorting the stock.

  • Jdsonice

    A new windows 8 laptop for $279? Problem is even if people are on a severe budget and struggling. They do not want to buy a $279 laptop BRO!

    Really? They are expecting to sell this crap for $279? Are they nuts?

  • morgan3nelson

    The reason that you can get Windows 8 Laptops for $279 is because NO ONE wants a Windows 8 Laptop.

  • Steven King

    LMAO

    As if ANY $280.00 Windows machine compares with any iPad.

    I`ve never seen a Windows machine under $300.00 that didn`t look as if it were a reject from Mattel.

  • markrlangston

    Sinofsky needs to just work on making great products. If he can do that, the rest will take care of itself.

    What he clearly misunderstands is – people do not buy apple products due to price. Apple has never been about being cheaper than the others, and until these other companies realize that, they will keep running in circles.

    Apple makes great products that excite a lot of people, and they work really well. Sure, there are some features Apple products may not have that others do, but it’s a non-issue.

    Never argue your price or your features. Focus on the whole solution and greater benefits. Apple probably does it better than anyone else at this time.

    This is the argument I continue to use but Apple haters judge Windows products based on price as though nothing else matters except who’s closest to zero. Build quality, performance, experience, value; these are all things that get in the way of the lowest price and many consider Apple to be overcharging for what they consider is the exact same experience as any off-the-shelf PC.

    In their minds the computing industry is a commodity like a toothpick or #2 pencil and yet there’s even parity and preference in toilet paper and ketchup. And of course, like anything else, just because it’s cheaper doesn’t mean it’s better.

    In other words, you get what you pay for.

  • Cortney Sauk

    I think they do get it and I think they fully understand where they are in terms of competing with Apple. However, it’s not like they are going to stand up and say: ‘This is what we got, it’s not that good. But it’s our best attempt. We know you all like Apple better, but please buy MS and try it out. We’ll give you a cookie and be your friend…’

    Of course I’d love to hear that, but MS, Samsung and Google (every company pretty much) still has to get up every morning and say how bad the competition is and how good they are. Even if they know it’s a lie…

  • Robert X

    I have not seen this $279 Windows 8 laptop. Where can I get it? This must also be an indicator that Windows 8 phones are going to be CHEAP! Or not…

  • NickRonin

    I remember about 12 years ago a friend commented about how hard it was to type on an Apple keyboard, as if you had to learn a whole new language or alpha layout. Or how there wasn’t as many apps for Apple as there was for Windows. Recently overheard a Barnes and Noble sales rep give two reasons for buying a Nook over an iPad – Nook screen comes laminated, and the batteries are user replaceable. And they were supposed to be the strong selling points. The fearful will always look for crappy reasons to tout their product over one that is leading the market share. Sinofsky isn’t any different, already showing fear in the face of the enemy.

  • patstar5

    There is a touchscreen laptop for $550 with 11.6 inch touchscreen as 500gb HDD. Looks thin too.

  • dcj001

    iPad Mini – It just works.

    Surface – It just stops working.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-pMZd1fupw

  • iSteve

    Apple is the new world order. So microsoft pay respect.

  • sault

    “Fantastic” shit….

  • technochick

    Someone sounds jealous

  • Anup Kumar

    Win laptop quality… We all know how good it is event at 500 bucks. !

  • lukchat67

    first tablet that will go into blue screen is coming soon…

  • Canonshooter

    Ha ha ha… It may be only $249, but it still runs Windows! No thanks!

About the author

Killian BellKillian Bell is a staff writer based in the U.K. He has an interest in all things tech and also covers Android over at CultofAndroid.com. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell.

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