news surface rt cut is official microsoft store price drops to 349

Surface RT cut is official; Microsoft Store price drops to $349

Staples teased the price cut last week. Now, it’s official. Microsoft’s Surface with Windows RT tablet has fallen to $349—not just at Staples, but also on the official Microsoft Store.

That price applies to the base version of the device, which has 32GB of storage capacity (and about 15GB of free space out of the box, if one accounts for the operating system). You’re still asked to pony up another $100 for the 64GB version of the device, but now, that now means paying just $449.

The 64GB Surface RT previously sold for $599. The 32GB version was priced at $499.

As Geoff pointed out last week, the Surface RT was a tough sell at those prices. The tablet’s display resolution pales in comparison to the iPad’s, and the Windows RT operating system is hamstrung by its lack of support for x86 apps and its somewhat unimpressive app selection. Also, Windows 8 tablets with Intel Atom processors have become dirt-cheap. Asus’ 10.1" VivoTab Smart, for example, costs $399.99 at Amazon.

Now, at least, the Surface RT undercuts those Win8 offerings. It’s just too bad it took so long. I can’t help but think that, if the Surface RT had been priced more aggressively from the get go, Windows RT wouldn’t have encountered such indifference from users and developers.

0 responses to “Surface RT cut is official; Microsoft Store price drops to $349

  1. [quote<]"Metro/Modern"(identical **** interfaces with different name)[/quote<] Someone in Norway or China or somewhere apparently threatened to sue if MSFT stole the "metro" brand from them, so MSFT said F*** it, call it ModernUI instead, we don't f***ing care

  2. like apple maps? like a phone that doesn’t make phone calls?

    no, not apple. never./

  3. [quote<]gives you a backrub while stripping all your secrets and selling them[/quote<] There is a quote here involving James Bond and sex, but I can't seem to find it

  4. With Apple you’re paying more but you’re also getting the fastest tablet hardware by a wide margin, the best app selection, etc etc.

    Devices like the Kindle Fire HD and Nexus 7 may have slow hardware and anemic tablet app selection but at least they’re inexpensive. WinRT offers nothing except outdated hardware and a weak app market at a high price.

  5. WP8 only uses 1.6GB for the system. I am sure tablet OS provides more functionality than the phone, but dang, I wish RT is a bit (or a lot) slimmer.

  6. How about the give it away as the platform that helps develop their app store??? Then they can make money on royalties for software sold through their store!

  7. Na it hit me this morning .. “Only Apple can brainwash you fools” .. I think some less intelligent readers are thinking I am calling THEM fools and not the context in which it is penned.

    AKA “(Microsoft), only Apple can brainwash (their masses) you fools.”

    I suppose that could have been worded more clearly since this is the interwebz. 😛

  8. ^ +1000… a clean install from xda on my s3 with google apps (maps, market gmail essentials) is 900m..

  9. I thought it was Google Translate. You know, that program that picks the words out of a dictionnary and has you to make languague out of it?

  10. For some reason I couldn’t find Chrome on the Android market. I’ve also tried Dolphin, Opera and Firefox. Using the default browser now. I had to choose the lesser evil.

  11. IQ test question :

    The Microsoft Surface tablet 32GB variant has 15GB of useable storage for users while the 16GB* variant has ___GB left for the user.

    * May be a hypothetical product.

  12. The $1000 Surface Pro is a better seller on Amazon than this. Apparently more than twice the price difference isn’t enough for them to convince consumers to buy RT.

    It seems Microsoft with iron-fisted efforts to push “Metro/Modern”(identical **** interfaces with different name), while making Desktop even worse is their way of trying to kill both x86 ecosystem and non-MS Tablet market all at once. They seem to be hampering their bread-and-butter x86 ecosystem while being not very competitive on the Tablet market overall.

    Funny, maybe once shareholders realize this is a possibility and share prices drop like a rock management will start thinking with their brains, and if not, get replaced with one that has a useful one.

  13. FWIW, that must be the Touchwiz + random amount of preinstalled crap. A cyanogenmod install of JB is well under 500Mb on my SGS2.

  14. At the Mall of America where the stores are across the hall from each other, more people in the Apple store, but only slightly.

  15. Seriously, quit your pouting. I don’t and won’t own a Windows RT or Windows Phone device. I went with the smallest available.

  16. Either Samsung did something screwy to the browser or you just have an older Android version…Chrome mobile is the default browser on Android now.

  17. Could be. But that alone is a pretty terrible reason. I actually think I ticked off the 2-3 apple users on the site and 1 die hard linux fan who still believes in his heart of hearts that we will all fall to the alter of Linus and his heralds of distros with wings… 😛

  18. Linus would disagree… but then be drowned out by 100,000,000 discordant voices all doing the same $%^&ing thing 10,000 different ways scaring off anyone who might actually use it.

  19. WebOs … It’s to bad it came so late. It *could* have had reasonable success but they waited until they saw Google succeeding and then they were to far behind the curve.

  20. I have an idea on why the thumbs down, and it can be explained in two characters:


    The dollar sign, really? It’s 2013, that joke is way stale by normal standards, let alone internet standards.

  21. And as if I need more reasons to want hordes of manager monkeys fired and more poor sales, it looks like win9 (phone) will not be compatible with current win8 phone software, or the previously hyped-then-abandoned-win7 phone code.

    That’s it.. M$ hates .. customers…

    Google *IS* evil… but even they can upgrade a phone to a new base OS.

  22. But depending upon the font, I can [i<]look like[/i<] l. DID I JUST BLOW YOUR MIND>!>

  23. Aaaand there is this : [url<],news-44835.html[/url<] So as it stands right now: MS hates the start menu, and despite most everyone wanting it back.. they won't MS *tried* to shove the DRM xboned on you (I don't use consoles) MS now looks to yet again plan on obsoleting the win8 and all its current apps ... Hate your customers much ? Pattern ? /sheesh/ ...

  24. Being an ex-RT owner (traded for a Samsung Note 10.1 after two weeks of solid use) I think they even need to go lower than this. Not because the hardware is not worth the asking price, but everything about the OS and included apps are so damned clunky, the experience seemed like it was rushed to market. Every time I turned it on, more and more updates were being funneled through Windows Update. I spent half of my time trying to update it, and half the time loosing features for doing it! (Google Mail in the included mail app for one!)

    Even the Kindle app stunk, page turning would go backwards or not even respond. Hamstrung in many other ways.

    Otherwise they got the hardware almost right. Memory expandability plus USB host for memory sticks (stop whining about the OS taking up half the memory, stick in a USB stick for cripes sake), very long battery life, awesome keyboard for the size, and great magnetic connectors for power and keyboard which will never fail the way those sucky slotted and USB connectors do. The case was painful to hold as a reader in bed though, angular shapes were hard on the hands.

    The processor, while quick, was not exposed to its fullest for gaming considering other platforms with the same processor outperformed the RT in most cases.

    This was a hunk of hardware that needed some dedicated individuals to make a Android port onto it for dual-boot or only boot. Then the Hardware AND software would be worth it.

  25. Microsoft doesn’t understand its own brand. Every company that’s failed to grasp that has had a perilous go of things. Instead of looking hard at Apple – MS should be looking hard at Kodak.

    Trying to become Apple as a pre-established company is even harder than doing it as a start-up. Not impossible if your CEO isn’t Steve Ballmer. A brilliant CEO would try to figure out how to get everything from the Xbox to tablets to phones to be feeders into Windows instead of cannibalizing its sales and smearing a poorly designed touch screen interface across everything.

  26. i’m not sure why all the thumbs down on maxxxcool. most of use ms and ms can make some colossal stupid mistakes. their windows 8 strategy seems to be one of them. as much as i hate apple, they never would have released something quite so anti-customer needs.

  27. But in the Fanboi Wars, you [i<]have[/i<] to pick sides, or you don't get to play. There's no 'I' in Cult

  28. Well, as you see from the Samsung ultrathin article, even AMD netbooks are now priced at $800.

    I guess that QE was bound to catch up to us eventually

  29. I’m not convinced it would have been that easy to get full fledged desktop applications to run on WinRT, but even if they had, I just don’t think the market wants what MS is selling.

    If anything, i would have ejected WinTab Pro and kept WinRT for tablets. I am not convinced people have a desire to use a tablet in the same manner as they would a desktop or laptop. Right now, the iPad and Android markets are for the tablet as adjunct to, not a replacement for a desktop or laptop. For those who’s only need is for a tablet, they aren’t getting them to do production work, they’re using them for games, email, and surfing, things a tablet does very well. MS is trying to merge these environments. Both Apple and Google have figured out that there is something fundamentally different between the expectations for a tablet/phone OS versus a desktop/laptop OS.

    By bifurcating the tablet into those that will run full desktop apps and those that will run only tablet style apps, they confuse the buyer. Consumers will naturally assume they want the higher end product, which is much more expensive that what they presume is the competition. So RT products sit, even though they may offer a very similar experience to other tablets on the market. The Surface Pro sits because people think it’s too much for a tablet.

    It’s a shame, because the Surface RT is a pretty nice looking piece of hardware, but MS has totally butchered it by faulty analysis of the environment and poor marketing decisions.

  30. I was in Chicago a couple of weeks ago, staying in a hotel on Michigan Ave. I went down to one of the malls and they had a very nice little Microsoft store thing going on. The street was busy, the mall was crowded, and there was no one but salespeople in the store. Not a single customer.

    The problem is that no one really thinks about Microsoft. It’s not that people necessarily like or dislike the company, although there are plenty of people with very fixed opinions, it’s just that the general consumer just sees MS as something akin to a power company. It’s not something you use because you have special feelings for it, it’s something you use because your computer won’t run without it.

    Apple has a very specific mindshare that MS just doesn’t have. Apple, love them or hate them, is known for making desireable products. MS is known, to most consumers, as the people that make the system that they use to access their browser or their email client (which for many people is the same thing).

    When MS finally does try something out of the box, people don’t know what to do with it. OS 8 is just too weird for a lot of people on the desktop. On a tablet, it seems to make more sense, but then they run into the problem that there are much more desireable products already out there with huge ecosystems coupled with the idea I mentioned above, no one thinks of MS as a maker of desireable hardware.

    I like seeing innovation and competition, but I think MS just went a bit too far and don’t have the cachet to attract users to their vision. The Surface is a very nice piece of hardware, but MS shot themselves in the foot by making an RT and Pro version. Had they stuck to RT for tablets and came in at a lower price, they may have had a chance.

  31. Acer make decent netbooks. Not exactly your spec, but close

    [url<][/url<] (64bit windows7, 4GB ram, 500GB, 1366x768 11" screen, 2.6lbs, edge to edge keyboard.) You can find that exact spec online often for <$300, paid $280 for a C60 model with 6GB, and with 1 screw pop it open and placed a 128GB SSD and use the HDD as external storage. Amazing little system, run circles around an ipad4. (Even under load that thing is silent, and they usually undervolt easy.) Temash model are usually $40 more if you want the latest and greatest. But if money was no object, the macbook air 11" is the ultimate netbook.

  32. If you don’t like the stock Android browser, then get a different one. I really like Firefox, you could also try Chrome, Opera, Dolphin, ect and so on. Android is designed to make it easy to change out the default apps.

  33. Doctor: There’s nothing to worry about, Jim. It’s only a surface cut.

  34. [quote<]Windows 8 tablets with Intel Atom processors have become dirt-cheap. Asus' 10.1" VivoTab Smart, for example, costs $399.99[/quote<] 400 bucks isn't dirt cheap.

  35. LOL.. google *IS* evil.. but it’s a nice kind of evil… gives you a backrub while stripping all your secrets and selling them ..

  36. As much as I think a full-fledged laptop is a more practical choice than a tablet, tablets do have their advantages. I have a 7″ Samsung tablet and I resort to using it when I’m too lazy (which is like, 90% of the time.. LOL!) to sit up and use the desktop or laptop. I don’t like lying down with the laptop on my chest as well, so it’s either I use the tablet or I just go to sleep when I’m in bed.

    All that comfort in bed is offset by the stupid stock Android browser though. It’s crappier than my Recycle Bin!

  37. Woo hoo! WebOS!

    All the rest deserve to be bashed. iOS for hiding it’s multitasking/task switching abilities (double-click Home – it ought to be a gesture), MS for it’s RT self-limitations (and still price), and Android – because it’s Google (and Google is evil?).

  38. Seriously, there’s nothing I love doing on the go than repairing my tablet’s operating system.

  39. Apple is for Apple users .. and we can all agree they have a ‘special clientele’ / fanbase / loyalists..

    Linux while neat and vastly superior in versatility … is a complete #$%^ing mess and will never have more than 10% of the *desktop* *user* space.. note the *, I’m not talking big iron or droids …

    So I root for who deserves my money and time.. and right now that’s *none of the above* .. I would prefer M$, but they need to learn a VERY PAINFUL lesson 1st. And having to cut jobs, fire managers, loose money, loose rep and look like complete $%^&ing tools is the only way M$ learns anything. Christ even $intel learned and killed the Itantic ..

    also I *LIKE* chaos .. chaos weeds the weak. So let the phlebotomy begin ….

  40. I have a windows phone and I like the look of the tiles. I do not like the actual interaction. Since you basically get an All Programs list on one page and a favorites list on the other, you end up doing a lot of vertical scrolling. If this were at least scrolling pages rather than pixels, it would be ok. But since you scroll pixels, you can never really be sure where an app will be on the screen without looking for it (unless it is at the top of the list or the bottom). The result is the interface is much slower to use and allow for more misses since there are basically thousands of possible places an icon can be instead of just 16 or 20 or whatever your Android or iOS device has.

  41. Sorry, you’re bashing MS and Apple and Linux in the same post, so who exactly are you rooting for here ?

    Not sure if down vote or up vote on this one..


  42. Seriously. I recall the early to mid 90s. Apple was the laughing stock of the computer industry. I made fun of them on a daily basis. Flame wars were fun back then. I asked my parents to get me a PC, NOT a Mac even though Macs were all over the place in school and were pretty easy to use etc.


  43. The new Microsoft Store near my work in Portland is mostly empty now a few weeks after its open. The employees kinda look hopeful when you walk by.

    The Apple store (a few blocks away way in the depths of a mall) is ALWAYS packed. I mean I’ve never seen it without scores of people. They are moving the Apple store into this massive new space a few blocks from the Microsoft store and it will be very amusing. The Microsoft store is under a parking lot.

    Interesting times.

  44. This is only MS’s fault. Had they allowed legacy desktop apps to run on a ARM version of Win32 (hard to do, but not impossible at least with a small subset of Win32. .Net would have worked a ok.), Win RT would have been a real alternative to the x86 version of Windows.

    But we all know MS got lazy and abandoned that plan and we have the result today : WinRT is not selling and will most likely die soon enough.


  45. I want it to be a win for them. I really do.

    But I think their mobile OS needs a little growth. I think they need a wider base of users and developers. And I definitely think they are priced too high.

    I fear the only way to get strong user adoption for them is to sell at a dramatic loss just to get people in the door and increase their market share. Once they have momentum and positive brand recognition built up, then perhaps they can sell the hardware at a slight profit and make the real money in advertising or special features or some alternative revenue stream.

  46. For a brief moment whilst reading the headline “Surface RT cut” I was thinking Microsoft had stopped bothering with the Surface RT and were abandoning the platform.

    Then I realised it was just related to the rather pointless price cut I read about last week.

    Never mind, RT will die off soon enough; pretty much everyone hates it and it’s a total sales disaster.

  47. Rescue partitions are for restoring an OS. Cloud saves are for restoring user data. Neither have anything to do with one another.

    Of course, I’m sure Microsoft has found some way to screw that up, like tablets with rescue partitions and touch screen UIs on desktops.

  48. While I am not an Apple fan in the slightest, to be fair you can add the iPads to the list; iOS has a much more appealing set of apps in their wallet garden than WinRT; the iPad Mini is still cheaper than this tablet, and the full size iPads, while more expensive, have much nicer screen & run more smoothly.

    I will also add in the Nook HD+ (which I just got for Father’s day) to the list of better options – it has a really nice 1920×1280 screen, it seems to be at least as fast as the Tegra 3 tablets I have found benchmarks for, and is only $150 right now. Especially since they just added access to the Google Play store.

    And overall, I have found most people, especially non-technical users, prefer Apple’s icon and Androids icons + widgets interfaces to the tiles Microsoft is so fond of lately. They tend to find all the squares with minimalist pictures inside confusing compared to having more detailed icons in different shapes.

  49. Seriously! Offer me a truly thin-n-light $350 non-touch netbook running Windows 7 on one of the latest low-power AMD or Intel CPUs, in an 8 – 10″ screen size with ‘decent’ resolution and ‘decent’ battery life and a real keyboard, and I’d buy one. This crap? No way…

  50. They did more with W8 than just introducting touch. That’s one of the problems.
    Another element is that I’m afraid that sooner or later we’ll be obliged to use touch in some way when using desktop pc’s, which is uncomfortable.
    It brings back memories of the beginning of speech recognition. We all bought it, because – hey! the pc could put on screen what we were saying! But the quality was actually very bad and not worth to bother about speech recognition.
    Nowadays SR is better, but… Yes. better. That’s it.
    Touch for pc’s will go the same way, but the fear I have is that you won’t be able anymore to use your programs without any form of touch. Just like it has become impossible to use a pc without having a mouse. Try it. Verrrry difficult.

  51. I cannot help but laugh, and hate M$ even more. I am no linux fan (wapita to use) … but this is so ignorant of them it’s pathetic. Only Apple can brainwash you fools.

    Come’on market failure keep on rollin’ … i would like to me more M$ heads and managers loose their jobs over win8, surface and office 365…

    FU ms… F…U…

  52. Surface RT : $349, low res, Tegra 3

    Nexus 10: $399, 1600p, Exynos A15

    Future Kindle Fire HD: ~$300, 1600p

    Asus Vivotab: $399, x86

    Asus 11+ x202e : $400, Ivy Bridge i3

    Unless I gain an extreme fetish for MS office while splashtop goes bankrupt, there’s NO reason to get a surface RT.

    I can see why they aren’t selling well. Tech enthusiasts won’t touch them with a 10 foot stick, and from the few first/2nd time computer buyers I’ve helped, they don’t see a point either. Even the tech illiterate get it… why buy a neutered Windows tablet for $350-$400 when that same money will get you a full blown touchsceen laptop or a nicer Android tablet.

  53. Not that it’s a huge amount of that storage, but Office is ~1GB if it’s anything like the Desktop Version.

    Too bad there’s no one we can ask…lol.

    I have to say, however, I’m getting more and more upset at the build quality of my Nexus 7 as the screen continues to separate… Figures that I find an Android device with acceptable OS-screw-ups and it just falls apart.

  54. RT as a software platform has been majorly goofed by MS. Them even trying to sell it is actually insulting to the consumer and the hardware venders.

  55. Remember when a federal law got passed in the mid ’90s that CRT monitors had to be advertised with their actual diagonal measurement? Prior to that you’d have them advertising a 17″ monitor that might have only 15.9″ diagonal or whatever and someone else’s might be 16.1″, so there was no good way to compare.

    Good luck getting anything like that out of Congress these days.

  56. Doesn’t RT have a good-sized rescue partition too? It’s part of the OS install, but arguably more convenient than ‘cloud saves’.

  57. Premature +1 🙁 … drop RT for x86, yes, but qq’ing about Win8 interface on a touch device, no.

  58. I love how you mixed and matched to make the Surface look better. I assume you mean a 32GB Surface would yield 15 GB and a 16 GB iPad would yield 12GB.

    Edit: Just so everyone knows, a 32GB iPad has 28 GB of free space out of the box.

  59. MS should stick to bullying not making gadgets that’s hard to compete in the industry by dropping money. They make pretty good mouse and keyboard a good console. Besides that Windows operating system bullying.

  60. Don’t forget the GiB vs GB correlation as well (which makes it 14.9GB and 29.9 GB roughly). Also depending on the tablet it might have Android customizations. A real stock Gingerbread install was about 200MB and a stock Jelly Bean install is only a bit more than twice that. HTC and Samsung really love to drive up the bloat. There’s almost as much available storage on an 8GB Nexus 4 as there is on a 16GB Galaxy S4.

    I’d love to see companies advertise their stuff with how much usable space there is. Then we’d have a 6GB Nexus 4, an 8GB SGS4, a 15GB Surface, and a 12GB iPad.

  61. JB/Touchwiz on the SGS4 eats 8GB of the 16GB built-in storage. Half the total capacity out of box as well.

  62. They’ld better concentrate on x86 tablets instead of that on that RT crap.
    I’m convinced that over time x86 µp’s will be small and energy efficient enough to beat current ARM tablets. So why fiddling with that unpopular Win8 UI?
    But what can one do against MS’s paranoia?

  63. Tech does get cheaper over time. Saw a commercial last night for a Samsung RT tablet (the one with Siri’s voice saying “ouch” when they pinched) and it’s now down to $299. Anything mor ethan $350 for the same hardware is too much.

  64. [quote<]That price applies to the base version of the device, which has 32GB of storage capacity (and about 15GB of free space out of the box, if one accounts for the operating system).[/quote<] Wow. Windows RT eats up half of the built-in storage? The tablet I'm using now runs Android 2.3. Although that is admittedly an aging Android version it eats up only around 4GB (16GB total, ~12GB available). They should seriously consider labeling this SKU a '16GB' unit, since classifying it as a '32GB' model only makes the user groan when he realizes how he's really getting only half of the total capacity [b<]out of the box[/b<].