Dell’s Venue 8 Pro Windows 8 tablet occupies an enviable competitive position for the 2013 Holiday season. The Venue 8 is the only Windows 8 tablet with a retail price under $300.00. A check of Dell’s website on December 8, 2013 showed a likely delivery date of December 27, 2013. The Venue 8 Pro is in stock.
The availability of this device, in my opinion, is very important to the long term success of Microsoft’s effort to promote the Windows 8 Operating System as a credible option for consumer-grade table computer buyers. Sure the Surface 2 RT will also be available for purchase, once again, on December 14, 2013, but the Surface 2 RT has a price nearly 50% higher than the Venue 8 Pro, which is likely to be a big deal for consumers.
So where has Dell cut production costs on this product? Here are some possibilities:
- The display is approximately 2 inches smaller than the Surface 2 RT display
- Dell claims the screen resolution on the display is HD, but it won’t resolve 1080px (WXGA 12800 x 800)
- The Venue 8 Pro lacks an HDMI port
I think product managers at Microsoft® are likely to agree on the topic of the importance of a device like the Venue 8 Pro from Dell for this holiday season. As Michael Endler wrote on the InformationWeek website on Saturday, December 7, 2013, in an article titled Microsoft Sells Dell’s Venue 8 Pro Tablet for $99, “[o]n Monday, for one day only, Microsoft’s online store and retail locations will sell Dell’s Venue 8 Pro Windows 8.1 tablet for $99.00, an eye-opening $200 off the new device’s regular price.”
Someone’s paying some portion of the “eye-opening” price break, and my bet it’s Microsoft. In my opinion an important driver for Microsoft’s position backing Dell’s device is the simple fact there’s inventory ready to ship on the product. The Surface 2 RT, in contrast, is completely out of stock EVERYWHERE, with the earliest availability scheduled for December 14, 2013, merely 11 days from Christmas.
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