Amid rumors of poor sales, Microsoft is dramatically reducing the prices for its Surface RT tablets. The devices, which feature a slimmed-down version of Windows 8, now cost between $349 and $549.
Bloomberg's Lisa Rapaport reported, "Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) is cutting the price of its Surface RT tablet by as much as 30 percent as the device struggles to lure customers amid competition from machines such as Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s iPad. The least-expensive Surface RT model costs $349 without a cover that doubles as a keyboard, according to Microsoft’s website, down from $499. The same machine with a keyboard included is being reduced to $449 from $599. Microsoft is discounting a version with double the memory to $449 without a keyboard cover, or $549 with the attachment."
The Associated Press noted, "According to market research firm IDC, Microsoft shipped about 900,000 tablets in the first quarter of 2013. That includes both the slimmed-down RT version and the Pro version of Surface, which is compatible with regular Windows programs. That gives Microsoft a slim 1.8 percent share of the global tablet market. Apple is the leader with 39.6 percent."
According to Tom's Hardware's Kevin Parrish, "It looks as if the price could be a permanent thing to flush out the remaining stock and make room for the second generation unit slated to arrive in fiscal 2014."
The Wall Street Journal quoted a Microsoft spokesman, who said, "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."