When the Microsoft Surface tablet launched late last year, there was a lot of fanfare and hype around Microsoft’s first stab at the tablet market. Though the device itself won rave reviews (especially from the business crowd), the Windows 8-powered tablet didn’t exactly resonate with customers, selling just over one million units (of a reported three million units ordered) in the ten months since it was released.
Though analysts have cited several reasons for the slow start for the Microsoft Surface tablet, one of the biggest contributing factors is price. Even though the surface aims to provide a PC-like experience on a tablet, consumers haven’t responded well to a price point that puts it above stalwarts like the Samsung Galaxy Tab and Apple iPad.
However, in an effort to get the Surface into more consumer’s hands (and potentially sell off remaining stock before the launch of the rumored Surface 2), Microsoft has announced an aggressive price cut on its full line up of Surface tablets.
According to CVG, Microsoft is cutting all RT models of the Surface tablet by $150, effective this week, and cites a Staples circular as proof. This price cut makes the Microsoft Surface tablet $349 for the 32GB model, and $449 for the 64GB model. Those who want to bundle their tablet with Microsoft’s touch cover will still need to add $100 to the base price point.
These price cuts are fairly substantial and put the Microsoft Surface tablet in a better position to compete with the iPad and other more wallet-friendly tablets. However, is this enough to really get consumers interested in purchasing a Microsoft Surface? In addition to its steep price point, users have bemoaned a lack of apps and spotty compatibility with Microsoft’s own suite of products, including Microsoft Office. The tablet has also taken some heat for the watered-down version of Windows 8 that it runs, which many have found difficult to navigate.
Microsoft has not yet made an official announcement regarding the future of the first-generation Surface, but these recent price drops seem to indicate that it is trying to sell off as much remaining stock as possible, which certainly adds fuel to the rumor that a Surface 2 announcement could come as soon as late summer, with a shipment predicted for early fall. Whether this new tablet will aim to venture further into budget territory with a smaller model (as Apple and Samsung have done recently) or continue to target the high-end business consumer remains to be seen.
Image courtesy of Flickr