Bekker's Blog

Blog archive

Microsoft Offering $100 Surface RTs, $400 Surface Pros at WPC (UPDATED)

Microsoft partners attending the Worldwide Partner Conference in Houston next month will have a crack at the same cut-rate deal on Microsoft Surface that TechEd attendees got a few weeks ago -- $100 for a Surface RT and $400 for a Surface Pro.

Jon Roskill, corporate vice president of the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Group, unveiled the offer Thursday on his Channel Chief blog.

"We want to make the Surface easily available to our WPC partners, who tend to be some of the most invested and innovative partners Microsoft has the pleasure of working with. In deep appreciation of our WPC partners and with much excitement for the opportunities we share in devices and services, we are excited to announce a special offer for WPC partner participants," Roskill wrote.

Roskill said that from July 7 through July 11, WPC attendees will be able to buy the Surface RT 64 GB with touch cover for $100 and the Surface Pro 128 GB standalone for $400. By comparison, the Surface RT 64 GB is currently listed in the online Microsoft Store for $500 with a free Touch Cover or Type Cover, while the Surface Pro 128 GB without a cover is currently going for $1,000.

In a nod to the OEM partners who have been unnerved by Microsoft's entry into PC hardware and who will be on hand at WPC, Roskill called their devices "incredible" and said, "In addition to this offer, attendees will be able to see and touch the latest Windows 8 devices and software at our expansive device showcase, customer immersion experience area and device sessions throughout the week."

The similar deals at TechEd in early June led to lines of up to three hours as attendees waited to buy Surfaces.

Aside from the reasons Roskill stated for offering deals on the Surfaces, including getting the devices into the hands of market influencers, Microsoft also reportedly has a new generation of Surfaces nearing launch.

UPDATE (6/24/13): In response to some questions from RCP, Microsoft provided a few additional details about the Surface offer at WPC. For one thing, we confirmed that partners who buy Surfaces at WPC won't be pre-ordering -- they'll be taking possession of them right then and there. Asked about keeping enough Surfaces in stock for a show that drew 16,000 attendees last year, a Microsoft spokesperson said, "We have enough inventory to cover all attendees at the show. Point of sales details will be available close to the conference." TechEd attendees we've talked to said that despite the three-hour lines early on, inventory for both the Pro and RT models stayed strong even as the show wound down.

Posted by Scott Bekker on June 20, 2013