Microsoft launches Surface RT discount for schools

Microsoft launches Surface RT discount for schools

Summary: Microsoft is targeting schools and universities directly with a Surface RT discount offer during the summer back-to-school buying season.


Microsoft is making a reduced-price version of its ARM-based Surface RT tablet/PC available directly to schools and universities for two months this summer.


The "Microsoft Surface for education limited-time offer" will be available between June 17 and August 31, 2013, according to a brochure detailing the program. Under the program, Surface RTs without keyboards will go for $199 (normal estimated retail price is $499). With a touch keyboard, the discounted price is $249 (estimated retail price is $599), and with a type keyboard the discounted price is $289 (estimated retail price is $629).

The offer is available direct from Microsoft to K12 and higher education institutions. It is available to schools in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China (via Digital China), Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States.

There is no minimum order requirement. Microsoft is recommending that schools get their orders in early as it is a "while supplies last" kind of deal.

There's a brochure which includes an order form, which interested schools are instructed to send to "You will get an email back confirming the order and details on fulfillment," explained Microsoft's Ryan Lowdermilk, co-host of the "Windows Developer Show," in a blog post about the new program.

I've asked Microsoft officials if the deal will be extended to cover Surface Pros, as well. No word back so far.

Microsoft has been making its Surface RT and Surface Pro devices available for substantial discounts to attendees of some of its recent conferences. Microsoft also announced a Surface RT give-away at a major educational conference for 10,000 teachers, as GeekWire reported recently.

Microsoft company officials have not said how many Surfaces they made or how many they've sold to date, but a number of company watchers believe Microsoft ordered too many Surface RTs, based on the demand level for the ARM-based versions of its devices.

Update: It looks like Microsoft has pulled the information on the Surface RT discount program. I am betting it went out just a bit early. Here's what I captured before the details were erased:




Update No. 2: It turns out the information is, indeed, valid. But the deal won't be live until June 24, a spokesperson said. (Note: update on the start date added below.)

The official statement: "Yes, it’s true. It’s important Microsoft does its part to help get devices into the hands of educators that help prepare today’s students with skills modern businesses demand. We will be discussing this more in greater detail on June 24, both from the ISTE showroom floor and on our Education Newsroom. Please join us then!"

Update No. 3 (June 18): In spite of the June 24 date in the spokesperson's statement, the deal actually did go live on June 17, the same spokesperson told me on June 18.  It's not clear why the original post and brochure for ordering by schools was removed. But one of my readers did save the order form (which he said he was sent by Microsoft recently). Here it is

Topics: Mobility, Microsoft, Tablets, PCs, Education, Microsoft Surface


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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  • Excellent

    Anything to help people learn is a good thing.
    Michael Alan Goff
    • Michael Alan Goff..l.we don't need our schools poluted with Surface RT

      at any price.....another form of a attemped mind lock in by Microsoft. Better we have a Apple lock in than a Metro (kiddie) flashing tile UI to corrup our kids minds.

      Anything related to Surface RT is Cr** and should be avoided at all cost in order to save our kids from a mindless future.

      End Of Story......Period
      Over and Out
      • some linux fanatics really makes them

        All look bad.
        Emmanuel Fransson
      • With Office

        they can use the spell checker in Word to discover that the correct spelling is "pollute". Can't use Office on an iPad can you?
        If you're so gung-ho Apple, why do use the sobriquet "Linux_Forever?"

        I notice you're still having your period(s). Don't they ever stop?
        • Watkins12: LOL

          That's was priceless..."Don't they ever stop?"...ROFL
      • Huh?

        Why does the company matter more than if it helps them learn?
        Michael Alan Goff
        • In this case, it won't "help them learn".

          Windows is deliberately designed to prevent that.

          You can only learn what MS want you to learn - which is to buy MS products, no matter how crappy.
          • Interesting

            So that's why a majority of people haven't learned anything in school... because, ya know, Windows is used in most schools. They must be doing crappy brainwashing since Mac sales are still happening and WP isn't really taking off.
            Michael Alan Goff
          • Well they turn out like you

            Both clueless and contrarian.
          • It' good to know I have a fan

            since you seem to have nothing better to do than post where I do (under one name or another)
            Michael Alan Goff
          • I doubt it, Goff

            You aren't THAT important, but you are amusing when I do see you.

          • because no other

            Company out there trying to get you to buy their product. The alternatives to surface rt are far from perfect. This deal is a steal for students and schools!
      • The customer rules ...

        Over 1 billion Windows desktops in service right now! Of course, customers sometimes pick price over (Apple) design. Or RAW (Linux) performance over ease of use but in the long run, the customer is ALWAYS right!

        If the Surface RT (or its Windows RT underpinnings) fail, so be it. Potential does not always win the day.
        M Wagner
        • The billion PCs install base reflect manufacturers, not customers...

          I reached the conclusion long ago that Apple haters hate Apple because they have never figured out that Apple was, is and will remain a CONSUMER product company, while they keep attacking it for being a lousy ENTERPRISE supplier.

          Apple makes a lousy ENTERPRISE suppler because Apple is a sole source supplier.

          Its not because their product aren't top notch, its because their products are not COMMODITIZABLE.

          Enterprise is run by accountants who INSIST on competitive bidding. They have to. Its their fiduciary responsibility. If they dont, they're being BAD at their jobs.

          You CAN'T take part in competitive bidding if you're a sole source. So Apple never sold any computers to the enterprise while Microsoft was a supplier to lots of hardware manufacturers who in turn could supply the ENTERPRISE market.

          The accountants WHO CUT THE CHEQUES rely on competitive bids to get the lowest price. They don't care wether the product that they pay for works or not. They figure that that's the sys admin's job.

          The box will be obsolete or broken in a couple of years and will have to be replaced anyway. (Computers and not objects of affection to ENTERPRISE accountants. They are just boxes with amortization/depreciation schedules.)

          They just want the products to be presented to them in a nice easy to compare list.

          At first, Apple used Motorola chipsets and Apple DOS through Mac OS 1 through 5, the other bidders all used intel or Zylog and IBM DOS, Microsoft DOS and later Windows. (Though, to be honest, the OS was the concern of the supplier, not the ENTERPRISE. I won't go into how relieved he suppliers were when Microsoft strong-armed them into imposing the infamous and onerous Microsoft TAX. It meant that they could be competitive.)

          Then Apple used IBM Power series chipsets and Apple OS 6 through 10, the other bidders all used intel and Windows.

          Even when Apple started to use intel, they used OS X, not Windows.

          What are poor, simple ENTERPRISE accountants to do?

          Simple... Toss the outlier from the list. Then they go through the list and pick the lowest price one.

          That went on for decades and is still going on now.

          The iPad tablets were sole source using Apple's own A4, A5 and A6 proprietary chips and iOS. That brought back the competitive bidding block on Apple and ENTERPRISE was not buying any tablets (despite what the department heads might want,) until the accountants' competitive bidding process could be re-established.

          Microsoft had tablets, but they were, uh, less than optimal. (Okay they were useless cross breeds between ugly, memory impaired chihuahuas and sloths.)

          Did Apple complain? No. They made out like bandits and just POWNED the space because the ENTERPRISE hardware suppliers had no innovative designers left from decades of cost-cutting to meet the margins demanded by the ENTERPRISE accountants.

          But neither Apple haters nor the ENTERPRISE accountants ever figured out that Apple never catered to them because it didn't have to nor did it want to.

          Apple is a CONSUMER PRODUCTS company, not an ENTERPRISE supplier.

          CONSUMERS on the other hand don't give a crap about competitive bids.

          They don't care about chip sets, OSs or much of anything else, including price. (Apple is SO GLAD of that last tid-bit.)

          They just want stuff that look cool and does the job well enough.

          And then they BUY IT.

          No invoices. No haggling over price. No special deals (also known as bribes, uh, incentives,) No waiting for cheques to get cut and then to clear.

          CONSUMERS just fork over the dough-ré-mi. (It makes it worth having Apple stores.)
      • oh

        You're back..
      • Do you measure your existence as so worthless

        that trolling is somehow even remotely entertaining to you?

        What an interesting study subject you make -I'm wondering if all those years in your mommy and daddy's basement has the same effect on you as a prision cell has on the incarcerated?

        You share many of the same traits.
        William Farrel
        • I'm having a blast, wilie

          While you continue to be the pwned idiot that you are.
          • Terms of Use Violation

            Attacking, name calling and stalking are direct violations of the posted Terms Of Use.
          • No point in complaining

            Even if he does get banned, we'll soon see CaviarOrange or Violet or whatever color he hasn't used yet.
            Michael Alan Goff
    • they should just go for the $99 fire sale

      and be done with it. there is no hope for RT. why keep flogging the dead horse.