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Microsoft Drops Surface RT Prices

A week after almost giving away Microsoft Surface RTs to partners at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC), Microsoft has formally dropped the price for all of its consumer-oriented productivity tablets running Windows RT by $150.

A price cut appeared for all four Surface RT models on Sunday:

  • The 32GB model is now $349, down from $499 (a 30 percent cut).
  • The 64GB model is now $449, down from $699 (a 21 percent cut).
  • The 32GB model with the black Touch Cover is now $449, down from $599 (a 25 percent cut).
  • The 64GB model with the black Touch Cover is now $549, down from $699 (a 21 percent cut).

The Microsoft Surface Pro, which runs a full version of Windows 8 Pro rather than the limited-functionality Windows RT OS, is not marked down for now. Prices for that tablet remain $899 for the 64GB model and $999 for the 128GB model.

At WPC, Microsoft offered partner attendees the chance to buy the 64GB Surface RT with the black Touch Cover for $100, the 128GB Surface Pro for $400 or both for $500. Microsoft offered a similar deal to attendees of its TechEd conference, and gave Surfaces away to developer attendees of Build.

During the WPC, Microsoft officials said more than 16,000 Surfaces had sold by Wednesday morning with two full days of the conference to go.

Analysts at IDC have said Surface has sold about 900,000 units in each of the last two quarters, which are relatively weak figures in the hyper-growth tablet market. The price cuts come just as Microsoft is releasing an aggressive series of commercials comparing Windows 8-based tablets and iPad.

The new Surface RT prices give Microsoft a much stronger story against the full-sized Apple iPad on price. The 16GB iPad starts at $499, which is the same price as Surface with a keyboard and double the storage, although Windows RT gobbles up much more of the internal storage than iOS.

Game on or just clearing inventory ahead of Surface 2/Surface Plus? Leave your thoughts below or drop me a line at [email protected].

Posted by Scott Bekker on July 15, 2013


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