The Surface "clamshell" Laptop has a starting price of US$999. The average Chromebook costs something in the region of US$300. Guess which one parents or home users will buy? And remember that there are Chromebooks made by OEMs which cost even less.
Microsoft makes excellent hardware, some of it very cheap and durable. This writer has used a Microsoft PS/2 mouse for as long as 12 years, and always buys the company's LifeChat headphones as they are both affordable and durable. And the XBox is a superb piece of hardware which shows both class and quality.
Thus, there is no reason to doubt that the Surface Laptop will be well designed and manufactured.
Kids and home users simply want a computer. Period. One that will let them do all the usual things – writing stuff, browsing the Web, sending emails, watching videos. And above all, not being bothered by all the nasties for which Windows has become famous.
Now, if the new Surface Laptop cost the same as a Chromebook or an OEM clone, then there is a chance that people would look at it. But given the price differential, it is only the most optimistic person who would think that the Surface stands a chance.
There was an indication of how the Surface brand is doing last month when third quarter results for the current financial year showed a drop of 26% in sales for both Surface tablets and laptops. Microsoft put this down to competition from OEMs in this niche.
The new Surface "clamshell" Laptop is going up against the leader in a niche and trying to compete at nearly four times the price. So where is the reason for hope?
What is the logic behind this pricing? Indeed, is there any logic at all?