Microsoft Surface RT Price Cut By A Third To £279

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Microsoft Surface RT receives price cut ahead of possible seven-inch tablet launch

Microsoft has slashed the price of the 32GB Microsoft Surface RT from £400 to £279 as it seeks to expand its tablet market share ahead of the rumoured launch of seven-inch Surface devices later this year.

The 64GB Surface RT has also received a price cut to £359, but prospective owners will have to shell out extra for a typepad or keyboard.

Both versions run Windows RT, a version of Windows 8 designed to run on ARM-based architecture but can only run applications purchased from the Windows Store. In contrast, the more expensive Surface Pro uses a full version of Windows 8 and performs most desktop PC functions.

Microsoft Surface RT price

microsoftsurface3“We’ve been seeing great success with pricing and cover promotions over the past several months on Surface RT in the US and other markets,” the company told TechWeekEurope, in a statement.

“People who buy Surface love Surface, and we’re excited about all those additional people out sharing their excitement for Surface with other people.”

Microsoft has reportedly shipped 900,000 Microsoft Surface Pro and Surface RT tablets since the latter launched in October last year, but Windows RT accounts for just 0.4 percent of the tablet market and Windows 8 Pro 3.3 percent, according to IDC.

The company has confirmed there are plans for seven-inch Windows-based tablets and there is speculation Microsoft itself is working on its own smaller tablet.

This could further alienate hardware manufacturers who changed or abandoned plans to release Windows RT devices once the Surface was announced. However, Microsoft recently told TechWeekEurope it has no regrets about the decision.

A refreshed line-up of tablets could take on increasing importance given the ongoing decline in PC sales, which have slumped 10.9 percent year-on-year. Analysts said tablets were replacing many low-end machines in developed markets and were becoming many people’s first PCs in emerging markets, who were at the very least deferring the purchase of a laptop or desktop computer.

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