Headline: $99 Dell Venue 8 Pro. Truth: more like $199.

The great thing about Internet content is that it is superficial and if you dig deeper you’ll find that it ain’t what you think it is. Unless it is pictures of cute cats. No one gets that wrong. So, beware all those headlines about bargain Windows tablets.So, the story goes like this, viral marketing blah blah, Black Friday and Cyber Monday extension yadda, yadda, yadda, Microsoft is going to sell Dell’s Venue 8 Pro Windows tablets for $99. Great headlines. Wonderful SEO. Happy PR people.

The truth is that this bargain is actually an example of why Microsoft is going to continue to fail at this tablet and phone thing. First of all, yes, you can get the Venue 8 Pro at $99 as long as you are among the first in line, up to 10 am tomorrow.

Great table: 8-inch, 1,280-by-800 resolution display; 2 GB RAM; 32GB SSD drive; 1.8 GHz Atom Z3740D quad-core processor; Windows 8.1, the full version and a pre-loaded version of Microsoft Office Home & Student 2013. 

What ticks  me off is that it is going to be really tough for most people to get a hold of the Venue on sale, and pretty much impossible for everyone else. That’s because your $99 Venue 8 Pro from Microsoft is discounted online for first 100 customers. After that the price goes up to $199. Yeah, could be a great deal, but ultimately, tablet pricing is not the big issue in adoption, witness the sales of the over-priced iPad, people.

It’s just lazy marketing. Kind of a slap in the face because it doesn’t really make you feel like Microsoft has any ambition to gain market share, which it should want to do at any cost because, they will more than make up for it in software sales.

Because, Microsoft is a software company.

Nope. This is the Microsoft that is going to just muddle along for a while, play it safe, and hope for…. damned if I know.

I really want to see Microsoft succeed but this kind of press is just pathetic. Unless it is just Microsoft’s way of giving Michael Dell a Christmas gift by buying out his excess inventory. There’s probably plenty there.