Microsoft Surface TabletsIn news that should come as no surprise to anyone who reads tech news, the Microsoft Surface tablets aren’t selling well, and so Microsoft is dropping the price to clear out inventory. All Things D is reporting that the prices have been dropped by as much as 30 percent.

This means that the 16GB Surface RT has gone to $349 from $499. That’s a pretty big price change. What’s more interesting is that these are indefinite price drops, so you don’t have to be in a hurry to scoop one up.

Of course, that assumes you’re in the market for a Surface tablet, which would put you in a significant minority. According to Bloomberg in March, Microsoft had sold only about 1.5 million of them, and I’ve seen no news to make me think that number jumped significantly in the second quarter.

Of course, Microsoft has hinted at updated models coming out soon, so a price drop to clear out existing inventory does make a lot of sense.

It continues to look bleak for Microsoft’s tablet offerings. I’m curious: Any of you own one? What do you think? Do the new lower prices make them a decent buy?

This post originally appeared on GadgeTell.


  1. I have a 6 year old Dell laptop, so I’ve been anticipating picking up a Surface once the laptop dies. (For what it’s worth, we already have an iPad but I’d never want to try to do “work” on it like Excel or Word.) It’s a shame Surface hasn’t caught on better, but on the other hand when they first released it Microsoft said that the Surface owes its existence in part to their goal of demonstrating to consumers and manufacturers that Windows 8 makes a viable tablet OS. Other manufacturers are out there making tablets and touchscreen tablet/laptop hybrids with Windows 8, so I guess you could call that mission accomplished.

  2. In general, the best tablet to own is much like the best computer to own–one that runs all the apps you need and is likely to run any other apps you’ll need in the future. That’s the primary advantage iOS and Android devices have over any Windows 8 tablet and its unlikely to change in the future.

    In the case of Microsoft, it also makes sense to worry that the company might drop these Surface tablets like it did the ill-fated Zune.

  3. The really gratifying thing about having an Android tablet is that updates and cool new stuff just gets pushed out to you automatically, even for free apps; start off with a good set of apps to begin with and they will morph over time to get better and better. I don’t know if Microsoft plans to handle things this way, but if they don’t it will be an uphill battle for them.

    And the really nice thing about having lots of Android tablets (four, at the moment) is that you can purchase an app once and use it on any and all of your devices. I find it very hard to believe that Microsoft would allow that to happen; but if they do, good luck to them!

  4. I have been using my Surface RT for six months now and it’s a fine device. I use it daily for email, web surfing, entertainment, and most importantly MS Office. I love how easy it is to use and how well I can use MS Office on it. I tried using other office suites on my Android tablet and my wife’s iPad and there was just no comparison. MS Office can do everything that I have wanted to do in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Of course, other office software can do the simple stuff, but in a work environment where you need to share and edit files having MS
    Office with SkyDrive integration makes it easy.

    The Surface RTs full-featured web browser enables me to access most any web site I wish. I love how it fills the screen completely and allows me to swipe forward and back through web sites I have visited. I also like how I can create tiles on my start screen that link my favorite websites. This means I do not need a Facebook, Googledoc, Netflix, or Bank of America app, I can just tap a tile linked to these websites and go at it.

    There are currently about 100K apps for the Surface and that is only after 9 months. The list grows bigger every day and as far as I can tell all the big names are there. At present Microsoft allows you to use an app on 5 devices, whether that be phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop.

    No-hassle printing with the Surface RT is a blessing. There have been many times when I wanted to print something while out of the office and it was a godsend that the Surface could connect to the printer that was available either wirelessly or via USB. I did not even have to go find the appropriate printer driver. And speaking of USB, it’s nice to have the ability to move files on and off of USB drives easily and be able to swap out storage in MicroSD cards whenever needed.

    Of course, the kickstand and detachable keyboard make the Surface stand out. It is nice to be able to type anywhere I want, even on my lap and having the kickstand leaves my hands free to get to work. It’s also nice just to watch a movie – and the 16 by 9 aspect ratio makes the movie look much bigger than on an iPad.

    Surface RT is a high-quality, well thought-out device that was a good price at US$499, but is a steal at US$350. At this price I am thinking that the Surface RT is the perfect device for students in school. It really enables students to research topics and create knowledge products in ways that iPads and iPad-minis can not even come close to doing. Seriously, if you use one, you will know what I mean. People who have Surfaces love them, people who don’t have been taught by the status quo to dismiss them.

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