Microsoft has cut the price of its Surface Pro tablets in the US and has hinted that the UK price will drop too.
At the weekend, Microsoft introduced a cash incentive when US buyers pick up a tablet direct from its website. The ‘Buy Now and Save $100’ scheme runs until the 29th August, but the discount is only available on the 64 GB and 128 GB versions of its Surface Pro tablet.
This new offer comes in about a month after the company dropped the price of its Surface RT tablets by about 30%. A spokesperson for Microsoft has suggested that the success of its previous discounts has led to the introduction of this new offer.
The Inquirer has reported that Microsoft may be about to introduce a similar offer in the UK.
Is Microsoft clearing the shelves of old stock? It seems likely. A new Microsoft Surface RT tablet is thought to be on the horizon, and this price cut could indicate that the Surface Pro tablets are about to undergo a refresh as well. Looking at it more pessimistically, we can’t help but wonder whether Windows is in trouble generally. Windows 8 has clear benefits in the workplace since it can be used with regular Windows applications, but RT is very limited and has niche appeal.
Reducing prices to undercut iOS and Android could help to revive Windows 8, even if it’s too late for RT. But Microsoft will have to move fast. Retailers appear to be dropping prices across the board in the UK already; Argos is selling an Asus Windows 8 tablet for less than £300.
The real question seems to be this: can three operating systems happily coexist? Nokia seems to think so: it’s got its entire future pinned on Windows, and could be on the verge of bringing out a new tablet itself. The real test is whether Windows RT and Windows 8 can break out of the boardroom and offer leisure users something really worthwhile. Otherwise, we’ll probably see more big price drops as Microsoft scrambles to get rid of its stockpiled Surfaces.