That said, the Surface Mini can't be priced above the iPad mini if Microsoft wants it to be even a modest success with every day users. (The original iPad mini costs $300; the Retina version starts at $500.) Witness how disastrous the Surface RT's run was when it matched the full-sized iPad's $500 price point: The company wrote off nearly a billion bucks and still loses money for every Surface sold to this day. The further the Surface Mini stays away from the $500 price point, the better.
Yes, Microsoft's mini-tablet has room to rise to the surface in a sea of tablets, as Windows Phone's Cortana says. But to be truly successful, the Surface Mini needs to bring a thoughtful, differentiated approach to the table while still making sure the 8-inch slate doesn't completely obliterate the bank. We'll know May 20!
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