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Yesterday, office supply retailer Staples launched a promotional sale for the tablet hybrid, listing the 32GB version for $349 and the 64GB version for $499, a significant reduction of 25% and 30% respectively. Understandably, consumers and tech press alike assumed it foreshadowed a wider price drop.
A Microsoft spokesperson, confirmed that: ”We’ve been seeing great success with pricing and cover promotions over the past several months on Surface RT in the U.S. and other markets. People who buy Surface love Surface, and we’re excited about all those additional people out sharing their excitement for Surface with other people.”
Prior to this official cut, a promotion from Microsoft entitled Surface RT buyers to a free Touch or Type cover, which the company says propelled sales. Unfortunately, the new price point doesn’t include the rather essential Touch or Type covers, accessories which help fight off the impression of it being an “iPad competitor.”
Microsoft must play the long game with their flagship Windows 8 hardware. With this new $349 price tag (which I’m told extends well the US), Microsoft is positioning the Surface RT to compete with mid-to-high end Android tablets. Don’t forget that while Surface RT contains the “Metro-only” interface of Windows 8, it does include a free copy of Office 2013, giving the product some true value. The official rollout of Windows 8.1 should also boost exposure for and usability of the tablet.
Does $349 make Surface RT a more tempting purchase for you? Share your thoughts in the comments below and don’t forget to like this post.
Source: Associated Press