Microsoft cuts Surface RT price by $170



blog File this in the category of predictable price cuts for poorly performing products. Microsoft, it was revealed overnight, has cut the price of its Surface RT tablet, which runs a cut-down version of Windows 8. The Surface RT used to sell in Australia starting at $559; it’s now been cut down to start from $389, according to Microsoft’s Australian website.

The key issue with the Surface RT has always been that it has felt like a half-in, half-out device in terms of the tablet market. Its Windows RT operating system looked and felt like Windows 8 and it delivered good battery life on the ARM processors which sat at the heart of the Surface RT. However, the combination of its inability to run traditional Windows 8 applications (unlike its big brother the Surface Pro), coupled with the lack of a substantial third-party app ecosystem for Windows RT, meant that the unit never really went anywhere, unfortunately. The Verge stated in its review of the device in October last year:

“The promise of the Surface was that it could deliver a best-in-class tablet experience, but then transform into the PC you needed when heavier lifting was required .. But that’s not what the Surface offers, at least not in my experience. It does the job of a tablet and the job of a laptop half as well as other devices on the market, and it often makes that job harder, not easier.”

We’ve been down this path before with Android tablets. After Apple launched the iPad in Australia in mid-2010, we saw a clutch of rival tablets from companies like Samsung, Acer, ASUS, Toshiba and so on enter the market. Unfortunately for their manufacturers, pretty much all of these tablets flopped, leaving Apple with the lion’s share of the tablet market. Subsequently, prices on the tablets were cut pretty drastically — for example, Samsung’s then-7″ Galaxy Tab came down from $999 to $299 in a matter of months. I don’t think we’ll see quite this level of discounting from Microsoft with the Surface RT — but I’m also surprised it has taken the company this long to cut its price at all.

Image credit: Microsoft


  1. I would get one but I don’t see where it fills a need outside my Desktop PC, my Laptops, my Nexus 7 and my Android phone. The Nexus sneaked in as a e-reader.

  2. Don’t forget their attempt to kick-start the Surface market by offering them to students and educational institutions at $219, maybe that didn’t work as planned?

  3. Personally I want a Haswell powered Surface Pro. I would buy a current gen Surface Pro as it fits the bill for me but we know the refresh is not far off and I could really use the extra battery life. Bring that out Microsoft and it will be a case of “Shut up and take my money!”

  4. Here’s my question, why would you buy a Surface RT 64GB,, even for the discounted price of $499, when for the same price, you can get a 64GB tablet from Asus with full Windows 8? Has anyone benchmarked the two platforms to compare them?

  5. It really annoys me to see local home grown products that are being cut so close to the bone on profit margins, That often the smallest of instabilities can often destroy them, When we have fully imported products especially in the pc and software sector, That can charge whatever they like.
    Often made in China and at a price of possibly less than $5 per unit I’m sure that $180 off is not going to hurt their profit margin by much.
    Apple would be the worst offender!

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