After what may be viewed as a successful $150 price cut off of the Surface RT tablet that is now helping to spur sales of the troubled freshman tablet hardware from Microsoft, the Redmond, Washington software giant is now turning its attention to the Surface Pro. The company is now offering a temporary price cut off of the Surface Pro tablet in a promotion that had begun on Sunday and will last through August 29.
With the new discount, the 64 GB Surface Pro tablet runs for $799 while the 128 GB model will retail for $899.
It’s unclear why Microsoft is extending the discount to the Pro model, which was largely seen as less troubled than its cheaper sibling based on the Windows RT operating system. Surface Pro runs the full version of Windows on the third generation Intel Core i5 processor and has access to legacy programs designed for Windows 7 or earlier, a privilege that wasn’t granted to the ARM-powered Windows RT slate limiting that device’s appeal.
The price cut may be Microsoft’s way to spur sales as students begin their back-to-school shopping. Rival Apple is offering students credit to buy software in the App Store along with the traditional student educational pricing on its lineup of computing products.
Still, another speculation is that Microsoft may be trying to move inventory ahead of a potential refresh of the Surface lineup. Even if no significant changes occur during a hardware refresh, Intel’s Haswell processor may be worth the upgrade for a mid-cycle refresh for Microsoft as that chipset could help to boost performance while at the same time extend the battery life. As the Surface Pro runs an Ultrbaook processor for performance, it has been criticized for anemic battery performance, and a Haswell refresh could hep fix that problem.
There had already been rumors of a Surface 2 in the past.
In the company’s most recent earnings call, Microsoft revealed that it had taken a $900 million hit on its Surface RT tablets. The tablet initially debuted at $500, but Microsoft took a $150 hit on each unit to bring the price down to $350. At its new price, it seems that Microsoft is having more success with the RT tablet as the company seems to be able to move more units at its retail stores in our inventory checks and retail partner Walmart had quickly sold out of its inventory online.