Microsoft slashes price of Surface tablet RT in Australia

Microsoft slashes price of Surface tablet RT in Australia

Summary: The move by Microsoft follows the tablet's price cut in the US.

TOPICS: Mobility

Following Microsoft's decision to lower the price of its Surface RT tablet in the US, the company has discounted the tablet in Australia.

Microsoft's Surface RT, which uses an ARM chip, launched last October with a price tag of AU$559 for the 32GB version. It is now down to AU$389. The 64GB version with a keyboard originally cost AU$789, but that price has been chopped to AU$699.

This isn't the first time the vendor has heavily discounted its Surface range. Last month, Microsoft offered its New Orleans TechEd conference attendees a Surface RT and a Surface Pro for US$100 and US$399, respectively.

Microsoft has also been handing out big discounts to educational institutes that buy Surface tablets in bulk.

The vendor has been experiencing slow sales with the both the Surface RT and Surface Pro, which may be one of the reasons for the price drop.

Topic: Mobility

Spandas Lui

About Spandas Lui

Spandas forayed into tech journalism in 2009 as a fresh university graduate spurring her passion for all things tech. Based in Australia, Spandas covers enterprise and business IT.

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  • Still Waiting For A Price Cut In Novaya Zemlya

    There's a polar bear here that might be interested in buying one.
  • Tech ed

    I got my hands on a $99.00 Surface thanks to a hookup who attended Tech Ed. Though I'm heavily invested in the Android ecosystem, I thought to myself "what the heck, it's $99. Microsoft is practically paying me to try out a Surface." Truth is, I'd spend $99 on anything with an "on" button and flashing lights.

    Once I got the device home, it didn't take me 15 minutes before I was in love. I adore this device. The OS is marvelously polished, and performance has been great. I'd read complaints about lag and slowness in the ARM version of Surface, but in practice I have seen none of it. I love having an OS that is a desktop when you want that, and a tablet OS optimized for touch input when you want that. The Surface is basically my ASUS Transformer on steroids.

    But Surface has two significant failings, one of which is a self-inflicted wound. First, there's a lack op application choices in the Windows store. Forget everything you hear from Microsoft fanboys, the Windows store is simply not yet competitive with the iOS App store or the Google Play store. Maybe if Surface RT catches on things will change, but right now its simply a pretty bare place. And you can't really blame developers. They pursue the market. They don't have the resources to create it. The second major failing is entirely 100% self inflicted. For some dumb reason Microsoft has decided to lock down the Surface RT desktop to prevent installation of third party apps. There's a burgeoning community of modders who've leveraged known security certificates to bypass this restriction and have recompiled a long list of apps for ARM. But word in the forums is that Windows 8.1, far from embracing that enthusiasm, tightens down the hatches, revoking the aforementioned installation certs and killing the modding scene. Indeed, from what I've read, 8.1. requires a new download of Office RT so that it can be re-installed using new certs.

    I'm still hoping that Microsoft will surprise us all and announce, simultaneously with the release of 8.1 that they are going to allow the installation of third party desktop apps on Surface, making the necessary certs available to developers. Were Microsoft to do this, I can assure you that there's be a bunch of Sourceforge projects ported almost immediately, filling in many niches that Surface RT users would like to see filled. Imagine a Gimp image editor for RT... Adobe will not release Photoshop Touch for windows until there is a sizable market for it, but the Gimp could be ported quickly by re-compiling and optimizing for ARM. And there are tons of other fun, open-source projects that could grace the Surface RT desktop if only Microsoft would wake up to Surface's potential. And it would cost Microsoft nothing. An army of enthusiast volunteer developers would lead the way. And since these are free, open source projects, it wouldn't hurt Windows' image if some were ported poorly. No one really gets that upset if they have to uninstall a piece of software that didn't perform as hoped if that software didn't cost them anything to begin with.

    Sadly, I don't see any indication that Microsoft is planning to do any of this. And I suspect that, because of this, Windows on ARM really is fated to become an orphaned product. This is sad, because I promise you, the Tegra 3 or even the Tegra 4 is not the end of the line for ARM based processors. And as much as Intel boosters like to tout the benefits of Haswell and claim that Intel is poised to kill ARM, I'm not as clairvoyant as they claim to be. I'm not sure Microsoft can really afford to write off ARM based computing. For all we know, soon ARM may be offering processors that allow for week long computing when Haswell based systems are just getting used to all day computing. Who knows. But can Microsoft afford to take that chance?
  • Re: claim that Intel is poised to kill ARM

    Which is a load of nonsense, as anybody with a basic grasp of economics can see.

    For some reason that doesn't include Intel's top management...
    • for phones and cheap media tablets

      ARM will continue to reign, but for high end hybrid laptop replacements, intel is poised to take over. haswell and baytrail go a long way for power savings, and let you still use legacy windows software to boot.
      • High end

        I'm not sure that ARM has any designs on high-end hybrid laptop replacements. That's not their target market.
      • Re: but for high end hybrid laptop replacements

        You mean the ones that aren't selling?