Developers keen on coding for Microsoft's Surface multitouch table will have an opportunity to buy their own version of the machine at the upcoming Professional Developer Conference (PDC). They'll need deep pockets to do so, however; even with a 10-percent discount at the event, the Developer Surface will cost $13,500. For that, you get five SDK licences; Microsoft is expecting demand for the software kit alone to be high, and is capping availability to just 1,200 of the 6,000 developers attending.
The $13,500 price tag is higher than the roughly $12,500 Microsoft are charging commercial customers such as AT&T for the Surface. Even that is more than the company initially expected; Microsoft's preliminary estimated price range was $5,000 to $10,000, though they're hoping that the gradual move from niche to more mainstream availability will bring it closer to those figures.
"We're not far off from our initial target, but we would like to get the price down. Over time, with economies of scale and [higher sales volume], the prices will go down" Brad Carpenter, general manager, Surface computing unit, Microsoft
Microsoft recently quizzed the public about possible interest in a table-top version of Surface called Oahu, with a suggested retail price of just $1,499. Windows 7, the replacement OS to Windows Vista, will also include multitouch functionality.