Microsoft kicks off its 12 days of Christmas deals today

From PCs to peripherals, they have a little of everything.

microsoft 12 days of deals
Microsoft

Ho ho ho, Santa Nadella comes bearing gifts for nearly two weeks as Microsoft offers up "12 Days of Deals" on its online and retail stores. Some of these deals are pretty good, while others are a little ambiguous.

In a nod to retail traffic, Microsoft is also offering "In-Store Doorbuster Deals" that are only available at its 116 stores worldwide. And they have some of the best offerings. So without further ado, let's run down the list, along with my take on each deal:

Day 1 

December 5: Intel Day -- Save Up to $1,000 on select Intel PCs starting at $199.

In-Store Doorbuster Deal: Save $50 on a JBL Flip 2, now only $19.99.

The words "up to" allow for a lot of wiggle room, so check the before and after prices closely. The JBL Flip 2 price is a bargain, though.

Day 2 

December 6: Save $100 on Lenovo Ideapad 110, now only $199.

In-Store Doorbuster Deal: Biggest savings of the year on the FitBit Blaze.

A big "meh" on this day. The Lenovo is a low end device and Fitbit? Seriously, who cares, wearables are dead.

Day 3 

December 7: Save 50% on select Xbox One games for $19.99.

In-Store Doorbuster Deal: Get a $50 Microsoft Store gift card with purchase of a 12-month subscription with Groove Music

"Select" probably means poor sellers. I seriously doubt a game like "Gears of War 4" will be among them, but you may find a gem in the bunch. And the $50 gift card comes after a $100 subscription to Groove, although I've read Groove is actually pretty good. Better than Tidal, anyway.

Day 4 

December 8: Save $250 on Surface Core M Devices, now $649.

In-Store Doorbuster Deal: Get a $25 Microsoft Store gift card with the purchase of a 12-month subscription with Xbox Live Gold.

The Core M Surface computers are not that bad, and it's a significant discount. The in-store gift card isn't much of a deal.

Day 5 

December 9: Save up to 70% on select Windows tablets, starting at $49.

In-Store Doorbuster Deal: Save $120 on a Lumia 650, now only $79.

Only give these gifts to someone you don't like. Those select Windows tablets are going to be very low end, and a Lumia is the technical equivalent of a fruit cake.

Day 6

December 10: Save up to $250 on the Windows Premium Collection, starting at $499.

In-Store Doorbuster Deal: Biggest savings of the year on Office 365 Home.

This is too vague. The Premium Collection is sizable and they don't say which devices are a part of it. And why no specifics on the in-store deal?

Day 7

December 11: Get a $25 Microsoft Store gift card/code with purchase of select Xbox Wireless Controllers.

In-Store Doorbuster Deal: Save $120 on select Xbox One consoles (500 GB consoles), now $179.

Now this is good. The low-end Xbox One is quite a deal, and since it comes with one controller anyway, you will need to buy a second controller, so why not get a gift card out of it? A very good combination.

Day 8

December 12: Save $50 and get two free select games with select Xbox One consoles.

In-Store Doorbuster Deal: Be one of the first customers in line to get a $25 Microsoft Store gift card.

Again, the "select" games are likely second- and third-string titles, and another gift card?

Day 9

December 13: Get a $100 Microsoft Store gift card/code with purchase of HTC Vive or Oculus Rift.

In-Store Doorbuster Deal: Biggest savings of the year on FitBit Charge HR.

This is a bit surprising to see it selling HoloLens competitors but not too much, since HoloLens isn't out. Saving $100 is a good deal. And again, I'm not sold on wearables, most end up in a drawer after a month, and the price is not clear.

Day 10

December 14: Save up to $1,000 on select Intel powered gaming PCs, starting at $799.

In-Store Doorbuster Deal: Get Quantum Break, Halo 5 and Forza Motorsport 6 for $19.99.

Again, saying "up to" doesn't tell us how much we will save. The vagueness is annoying. That doesn't preclude a deal, though. The in-store deal is very good as all three titles are very popular. In fact, you or the ones you are shopping for might already own them.

Day 11

December 15: Save up to 40% on select Dell PCs, starting at $199.

In-Store Doorbuster Deal: Save $150 on an Acer Jade Primo, now $299.

Take a close look at the specs. I wouldn't expect much from a $199 laptop. And the Acer Jade Primo is a Windows Phone. Do you really want one at this point?

Day 12

December 16: Get a type cover with any Surface Pro 4 for up to $159.99 in savings.

In-Store Doorbuster Deal: Be one of the first customers in line to get a $50 Microsoft Store gift card.

The online deal basically means a free type cover for a Surface 4, a great value. The free $50 gift card is also nice, but you have to get there early to get it, and we don't know how many cards Microsoft is giving away.

All told there are some great deals, some not-so-great deals, and a few where Microsoft looks to be blowing out old inventory. Still, it's a lot more than Apple is offering.

Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

  
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