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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