Microsoft launches iPad trade-in promotion

Microsoft launches iPad trade-in promotion

Summary: Microsoft is launching a limited-time iPad trade-in offer in its brick-and-mortar Microsoft Stores.


Microsoft is kicking up a notch its competition with Apple's iPad with a new, limited time trade-in offer.


"Trade in your iPad, Get a min. $200 gift card," according to the deal, outlined on the Microsoft Online store site. The gift card may be used towards the purchase of a Microsoft Surface or other products available through the Microsoft Store.

The deal actually kicked off September 5 and runs until October 27, 2013. According to the fine print, the deal is available in "select Microsoft retail stores in US (including Puerto Rico) and Canada" but isn't available online.

The qualifying trade-in devices are "gently used" iPad 2,3 or 4s.

Microsoft has been stepping up its focus on Apple as the main target for Windows 8-based devices, including its own Surfaces, as well as select OEM devices. Microsoft has been emphasizing the business-readiness of Windows 8 devices, as well as their lower prices vis-a-vis iPads with a series of recent ads. Microsoft launched a back-to-school-focused anti-iPad ad earlier this summer.

Best Buy ran its own $200-off iPad trade-in promotion earlier this summer.

(Thanks to Johan van Mierlo for the tip on the trade-in program.)

Topics: Microsoft Surface, iPad, Microsoft, Windows 8


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Sassy

    That is all.
    • Win - Win

      MS lost so much money with the surface that this is a way of getting a highly-valued product that can be e-bayed for twice the price of the gift card, and re-gain some of that "inventory write-down" from the surface failure in the market!

      Good for Apple too as the new surface owners dump those for newer iPads, again.

      • The reason why it is a voucher

        If it was a straight trade in for Surface it would have to be added to the Surface writedown and we would all have a good laugh at the next quarterly report. Making it a voucher lets them spread it across all Microsoft's vast marketing programs where it disappears in the margins. Obviously they imply it is for Surface, but you can use it for any product.

        In their marketing they will next claim huge uptake without giving specific numbers, and imply there are hordes of people ditching iPad for Surface at first opportunity. It will not be true, but they will weasel word it so the lie is not actionable. These guys have only one marketing strategy: "declare victory early and often".
        • Microsoft is desperate

          this crazy idea was ballmer
          who will trade a ipad for a trash Surface ?

          Henrique Dourado
          • All have their place...

            I have a Nexus 4 as my phone, a iPad Mini as my 8" tab, and a Surface RT as my 10" tab. I use Windows on my work computer and OSX on my home. I like them all.

            Point is that Surface is no more "trash" than the iPad is a "toy" (a comment freq. made by iPad bashers).
            Rann Xeroxx
          • Errr.....

            Take an iPad 2 with a dead battery and trade it in - I would. Better than having a useless brick that the iPad is [aside from the dead battery].
      • Recycle Grinder Plant

        They won't be put back on the market to cut into their market share.
        They will be sent to a grinder recycling plant in some 3rd world country and the valuable metals extracted and the plastic recycled.
  • Not a chance

    This isn't just stupid because you're trading to an inferior platform, you're also forced into inferior replacements (or no replacement at all!) for your favorite apps and games.
    • I'd say it really depends on what you bought the iPad for.

      For some people a surface or surface pro may be a better fit that an iPad. Either way it certainly can't hurt surface sales by doing this.
      Sam Wagner
    • Ha ha...

      Inferior platform, that is more productive than iPad, is multi-user, provides both touch and keyboard/mouse desktop experience, supports 450 million devices, full USB, microSD, etc. etc.

      And inferior applications like the Microsoft Office that no one is using in the world

      yes that doesn't seem right .... but then kids only like toys
      • And...No Apps

        Last time I looked at the MS store in Valley Fair Mall, SJ, California, it's like a ghost town next to Apple store. Absolutely, I want to trade in my iPad 3/4, retina display for an unusable piece of misery Surface RT with 148 dpi than a non-retina display on iPad Mini.
        Sorry, but no. RT = MS junk.
        Cun Con
        • Only a true fanboy...

          ...would judge the success of a technology product by how many teenagers are talking with a competitor's geeks in blue shirts at a shopping mall.
          • Only a true dunce...

            ...would think that MS Surface is a good replacement for a desktop or laptop computer, or at the other end of the scale, an iPad.

            Surface is stranded somewhere in the middle, not one or the other, and excelling at nothing.
          • Then I'm a dunce.

            I unplugged the old desktop I was using and now use a Surface Pro fulltime. The experience so far is much better than the old XP desktop. I'm going to get the dock when it comes out and add a second monitor, keyboard, mouse, and probably an external harddrive to backup my Lightroom library.

            So far the Surface Pro is a very good desktop replacement.
          • Yep.

            If you really replaced your desktop with a Surface Pro then you are a dunce. It's a non-upgradable ultrabook with a dubiously useful touchscreen. The 64GB version only has 28GB of free space, and if you plan on installing anything besides Office, you need the 128GB version (with 85GB of free space). Good luck trying to install applications on an SD card . Once you add the bundle with the keyboard cover, office license, and case, dock and external accessories you are spending upwards of $1,200+

            You could easily purchase an iPad and a more capable desktop for the same price. I just hope Microsoft isn't pushing people into Windows RT as an acceptable replacement for an iPad. The only reason to switch is if you needed a laptop instead of a tablet in the first place, in which case the Surface Pro could be considered but doesn't offer much over any other Win 8 ultrabook.
            Dr. Q
          • ipad is toy for kids

            let face it iPad is for playing not for working, I know a handy numbers of people that got surface because they want a tablet that could be use as working device.

            its a great toy, but that just it.

            can you install XCode on ipad?

            well at least you could install Visual Studio on Surface
          • Really?

            You're going to use Visual Studio or XCode on an 10" screen and no keyboard? Oh, wait.... you're going to get an external keyboard and a bigger monitor! Then it becomes nothing more than a MUCH less expensive laptop.
          • Coding on an iPad

            Using an iPad does require a workflow adjustment but there are good alternatives for just about anything:

            You are correct, you can't compile an app with a native SDK. You can however push code to a significantly more powerful machine and remotely compile/view it. For those mobile users without the luxury of a fast wireless connection, you must choose a more expensive and less upgradable option every 3-4 years. Whereas you can resell your iPad at any time at a $150 per year depreciation cost, purchase the newest model and not feel like you had to make a significant investment. There is a reason Microsoft is accepting an iPad as currency and not the previous models of Surface tablets, it's lifecycle is significantly longer with a more mature app ecosystem. The Surface Pro tries to negate the weight and battery life disadvantages of laptops but you are probably better off with a full Haswell based laptop if your primary work is with SDKs. If you truly use an iPad as intended, it's a very decent remote terminal device with some of the most polished web service integrations in the market. No, it's not a laptop but it's still a very impressive streamlined device that isn't limited to media consumption.
            Dr. Q
          • Let's really face it... you're not the target use case

            Actually the iPad is phenomenal for work. I use mine every day. I see a significantly large number of people using them for work every day. If it wasn't for SlideShark, QuickOffice, email, etc. then I'd just be happy that it supports Evernote. I don't know what myopic universe you're in but clearly you're just not the target customer...
          • On launch day for the iPad v1 I showed it to one of our engineers

            He immediately whipped out his and started schooling me on priority apps, how to use it with Citrix. Toy? OK, whatever. They sure sell a lot of them though, eh?