Microsoft wants you to buy a Windows tablet. Microsoft really wants you to buy a Windows tablet. The company is so gung-ho about the whole thing that, as Neowin reports, it's going to sell Dell's Venue 8 Pro tablet for only $99 at some of its retail stores on Monday, December 9.
The Venue 8 Pro, as you can imagine, doesn't normally sell for anywhere near $99. The base 32GB model will set you back $299.99 at Newegg right now, and the 64GB version is priced at $399.99. Both variants of the device have the same 8" 1280x800 IPS display, quad-core Atom Z3740D processor, 2GB of RAM, and eight-hour rated battery life. They weigh around 14 oz, are 0.4" thick, and ship with Windows 8.1 x86.
Now, getting one of these babies for $99 may be tricky. First, you'll have to find one of the "select" brick-and-mortar Microsoft Stores participating in the promotion. Then, according to the fine print on the promo e-mail, you'll have to get there early: each store will only carry 20 units at the $99 sale price, and Microsoft says it can only guarantee availability for one hour. If you miss that sale, participating Microsoft Stores will also have 10 units priced at $199, which is still a decent $100 savings over the full price.
Sadly, all of this just makes me wish there was a Bay Trail-powered, Windows 8.1-based competitor to Google's Nexus 7 available for the same $229 asking price—and with the same 1920x1200 display resolution. I suppose this isn't a bad start, though.