When Microsoft announced its Surface tablets, it was pretty clear on the general price ranges its models would fall into, even without revealing any numbers itself: the Windows RT Surface would cost around what we’re used to for ARM-based tablets, while the Windows 8 Pro version would be priced more in line with ultrabook laptops. That’s why we were so surprised to learn about a Swedish retailer yesterday, which had started taking pre-orders for Surface devices at prices quite a bit in excess of what we were expecting. That raised all sorts of questions, from why a non-Microsoft retailer was even expecting to get Surface models to sell, to just where these prices were coming from. As it turns out, there’s quite a simple explanation, but unfortunately one that doesn’t tell us anything new about what to actually expect from Microsoft.
The retailer has since responded to news of this pre-order pricing by explaining that it made those figures up. It doesn’t have any pricing information from Microsoft at all. It’s still not clear how it expects to get its hand on Surface models, as Microsoft will supposedly be running sales itself, but it wanted to give its customers the ability to get pre-orders in now. Without any actual knowledge of Surface pricing, it decided to just set things higher than it assumed Surface would actually cost, and plans to refund customers the difference once the actual price tag is known.