Microsoft Slashes Price of Surface RT Tablet

Dennis Faas's picture

First, Microsoft threw in a portable keyboard that previously cost over $100. Now, the firm is trying to persuade consumers to buy the Surface RT tablet computer by cutting the price by $150.

The Surface is Microsoft's first tablet computer based on the Windows 8 operating system (OS). There are two versions -- the Surface RT, which runs the slimmed-down Windows RT OS, and the Surface Pro, which runs a full-fledged version of Windows 8.

Surface RT's Limitations a Problem for Consumers

As you might expect, the Surface RT is much cheaper -- roughly $500 compared to the Surface Pro's $1,000 price tag. However, the limitations (Windows RT users can only access apps through the Windows Store, for example) have kept sales relatively low.

Last month Microsoft set out to change that by offering the device's special Type Cover and Touch Cover keyboards for free. Up until that point they had cost about $120.

Now Microsoft is simply cutting $150 from the original price of the Surface RT, bringing the cheapest model down to roughly $350. Many retailers, including Microsoft's online store and Staples, have the device on for the reduced price right now.

One drawback to note: those Touch and Type Cover keyboards are no longer free. (Source:

Microsoft Making Room for New Models

So, is Microsoft giving up on the Surface RT?

Probably not. At the recent Worldwide Partner Conference, Microsoft said it plans to unveil new versions of the Surface tablet sometime this year. (Source:

That suggests the Redmond, Washington-based firm is hoping to clear out the first generation of Surface RT tablet computers to make way for new devices that will become available later this summer or in the fall.

One thing's for certain: in order to sell either Surface -- the RT or the Pro -- Microsoft will have to push hard to increase the app count over at its Windows Store.

The firm's digital distribution center, which launched this fall, recently surpassed 100,000 apps -- not bad, but still far behind Apple's App Store and the Google Play store.

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