Cheaper Surface appears on German Web site

Amazon in Germany is already advertising Microsoft Surface tablets, though they’re not yet available. Buyers are invited to sign up to be notified when they become available.

One surprise is a (presumably) lower-cost 32G version that wasn’t unveiled at the Surface launch last month. Is it enough to win customers over to a Windows 8-based tablet?

I doubt it. Metro-style Windows 8 will be a knockout on a tablet computer, but iPad loyalists won’t look and the uncommitted will probably go with a known quantity. Microsoft might get a portion of the undecided buying on price with the 32G model, but if that compromises performance, they won’t come back.

I think what could make inroads would be a 7-inch model, which Apple has thus far stoutly declined to offer. It’s my jacket pocket theory. About a dozen years ago, suit jackets started appearing with dedicated cell phone pockets as the mobile market began to really take off. If you have or have played with a RIM Playbook, you’ll have noticed it’s just a hair too big for most jaclet pockets. I believe menswear will evolve to accommodate seven-inch tablets, but not 10-inch.

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