Microsoft has cut the prices of its Surface RT tablets in an effort to boost sales.
The Surface RT 32 GB has had its price slashed to £279, and the 64 GB now costs just £359. That’s a cut of almost one-third on the old price.
The Windows based tablets have not yet been as successful as Microsoft would have liked. Reports from Bloomberg earlier this year suggested that Microsoft has only sold half of what it had expected. Microsoft has already offered a number of incentives, including a free Touch or Type cover, and it also reduced the price of its tablet for schools and universities.
Naturally Microsoft is playing down RT’s failings, but many buyers simply see it as the inferior version of Windows, and that’s not helping its prospects. In business, large organisations are often slow to adopt new technology, and this is also a sticking point for the company. It’s thought that tablet sales in business could amount to a 30% share of the tablet market. Until Microsoft convinces corporate users to invest, it’s losing ground.
The company is thought to be preparing new Surface RT and Surface Pro tablets for release later this year. It looks like Windows 8.1 will support 7 and 8 inch screen sizes, so we will almost certainly see smaller devices at a cheaper price point. There is also thought to be an Xbox Surface tablet in the pipeline for gamers. Apparently the new devices include Snapdragon 800 processors in the Windows RT tablets and Intel Haswell chips in the Windows 8.1 tablets. Windows Phone and Windows 8.1 Skype apps are expected to be updated, along with improvements to the Xbox Music service.
It looks very much like Microsoft is listening to its critics and bringing Surface RT prices down to a more realistic level. In time, lower costs may encourage more people to try a Windows tablet, but Surface still has some way to go.