Microsoft slashes Surface RT prices by 60% for schools
Entry-level 32GB Surface RT costs $199, less than cost of goods
Computerworld - Microsoft today confirmed that it has heavily discounted the Surface RT tablet to universities and K-12 schools, cutting the price of the entry-level model by 60%.
It was the third time within a month that Microsoft has launched a Surface RT promotion, hinting at an impending refresh of the tablet.
On Monday, Ryan Lowdermilk, a Microsoft technical evangelist, published details of the deal. But later in the day, he pulled the information from his blog. According to Lowdermilk, the discounts were to kick off June 17 and run through Aug. 31.
The deal is still a go, Microsoft said today. "Yes, it's true. We will be discussing this more in greater detail on June 24, both from the ISTE showroom floor and on our Education Newsroom," a company spokeswoman said. While Microsoft's not yet publicly trumpeting the discounts, they have already gone into effect and will continue through Aug. 31, as Lowdermilk said yesterday.
The non-profit ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) will host a conference in San Antonio June 23-26.
Prices to schools and universities have been significantly slashed for the two-month promotion.
Under the deal, the 32GB Surface RT, normally $499, goes for $199, a 60% discount. The same tablet with a Touch Cover keyboard runs $249, also 60% off. Schools and universities pay $289 for a 32GB Surface RT with the more keyboard-like Type Cover, a 54% discount.
In an accompanying brochure, Microsoft touted the inclusion of Office Home and Student 2013 RT with each Surface RT. "Students can write reports, crunch numbers, take notes and present their findings with Surface RT -- without having to install additional software," the brochure said.
Microsoft also reminded potential customers that Outlook 2013 RT will beef up Office on Surface RT when the Windows 8.1 update ships this fall.
Microsoft's school special wasn't the first of the season. Three weeks ago, it kicked off a buy-a-Surface-RT-get-a-free-cover deal set to run until June 30. And at TechEd North America, a June 3-6 conference, Microsoft sold attendees a 64GB Surface RT for $99 and a 128GB Surface Pro for $399, 83% and 60% off list price, respectively.
The sale-to-schools prices were below Microsoft's cost, according to estimates of the tablet's component prices. Last year, Sameer Singh of Tech-Thoughts pegged the Surface RT's bill of materials at $309.
The multiple Surface RT offers have fueled speculation that Microsoft is drawing down existing inventory before it introduces new, smaller Surface tablets, perhaps as early as next week when its BUILD developers conference begins June 26.
The current Surface RT and Surface Pro -- the latter powered by Windows 8 rather than the less-functional, tablet-centric Windows RT -- were introduced a year ago today by Microsoft in an announcement that took virtually everyone by surprise, including its longtime OEM partners.
This article, Microsoft slashes Surface RT prices by 60% for schools, was originally published at Computerworld.com.
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Microsoft support tells Surface Pro 2 owners firmware fix will ship Jan. 14
- As customers fume, Microsoft promises Surface Pro 2 firmware fix ASAP
- Analyst credits Surface sell-out to Microsoft swinging conservative
- Best Buy does what Microsoft won't: Takes Surface tablets in trade
- Deja vu all over again: Microsoft warns of Surface 2 sell-out
- Microsoft steers same strategic course in Surface do-over
- Dumping a Surface? eBay averages double the return of a buyback vendor
- Microsoft's Surface to be under revenue microscope
- Microsoft's most loyal users ask for Surface trade-in program
- Microsoft takes second swing at tablets with new Surface 2 lineup
Read more about Tablets in Computerworld's Tablets Topic Center.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- HP HAVEn: See the big picture in Big Data HP HAVEn is the industry's first comprehensive, scalable, open, and secure platform for Big Data. Enterprises are drowning in a sea of data...
- What Datapipe customers need to know about the new PCI DSS 3.0 compliance standard This handy quick reference outlines what PCI DSS 3.0 is, who needs to be compliant and how Alert Logic solutions address the new...
- The 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements addressed by Peer 1 Hosting This handy quick reference outlines the 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements, who needs to be compliant and how Alert Logic solutions address the...
- Defense Throughout the Vulnerability Life Cycle This whitepaper provides insight into how to leverage threat and log management technologies to protect your IT assets throughout their vulnerability life cycle.
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well...
- The New Way to Work Knowledge Vault This Knowledge Vault focuses on how, in today's increasingly virtual world, it's more important than ever to engage deeply with employees, suppliers, partners,... All Tablets White Papers | Webcasts