Windows Surface Tablet May Debut at $199 on October 26th

Talk about a game changer. There's a rumor running rampant that Microsoft's upcoming Surface tablet will carry a consumer friendly price tag of just $199, at least for the Windows RT version. Quick, someone ready the electric shock paddles for Acer, which is sure to go into cardiac arrest if Microsoft forges ahead with its aggressive pricing strategy.

A supposed "inside source" tipped the fact that Microsoft held a strategic session at the company's recent TechReady 15 conference to hammer out details of the Surface tablet's launch. It was there that Microsoft finalized plans to launch Surface at the $199 price point, at which point the company would probably be taking a loss on each tablet sold.

Microsoft Surface

It's an intriguing proposition, even if ultimately unlikely. Some analysts believe Microsoft is much more likely to launch Surface starting at around $599, but if the company can somehow lower the price to $199, it would put the Surface in direct competition with 7-inch devices from Google (Nexus 7) and Amazon (Kindle Fire), not to mention severely undercutting Apple's iPad tablet. By that same token, it would give Windows 8/RT a serious shot in the arm right from the get-go.

Of course, such a move would likely spark outrage among Microsoft's hardware partners, who aren't real keen on the idea of competing directly with Microsoft in the first place.