Microsoft is addressing concerns that its Surface RT tablet has sold poorly by dropping its price by 30%.
The entry-level 32GB model will drop from $499 to $349 CDN and the 64GB model will lower from $599 to $449. Buyers can purchase a Touch Cover, the ingeniously-designed 3mm thick keyboard cover, for $100 extra when purchasing the tablet itself. Prices of the Touch and Type covers on their own, $120 and $130 respectively, remain unchanged.
The Surface RT has turned into Microsoft’s runt of the litter: underpowered and underdeveloped from an ecosystem perspective, the ARM-based device continues to be a tough sell in the age of cheap Android tablets and powerful iPads. Though it runs Windows 8, and soon the vastly-improved 8.1, it lacks compatibility with legacy Windows apps, forced to spar with the App Store and Google Play for developer attention. In other words, the Surface RT, at least from an ecosystem perspective, is woefully disadvantaged.
That being said, the RT is a beautifully-made and well-designed piece of hardware, doubling as both a consummate tablet and in-a-pinch laptop when coupled with a Touch or Type Cover.
Microsoft recently underwent a huge management and policy shift, and will renew its focus on devices in the coming year. A follow-up to both the Surface RT and Surface Pro are inevitable, so this may not be due so much to underperformance as emptying shelves in lieu of a product launch.
If interested, head to Microsoft’s online store or, if in Toronto, its retail store and check it out. No word on a Surface Pro price drop.