Microsoft slashes price of Surface RT tablets by up to 30 percent

surfacertMicrosoft has lopped 30 percent off the cost of its entry-level Surface RT tablet, taking the price from $499 to $349. The 64GB version, too, has been reduced, and now retails for $449, down from $599.

The price of the tablet-Touch-Cover combo has also been slashed, with the 32GB tablet now selling for $449 (down from $599), and the 64GB version going for $549 (down from $699).

The Redmond-based company has in recent months been tinkering about with various offers and schemes in an effort to bring more attention to its tablet, which launched to mixed reviews in October 2012.

In a limited-time promotion that kicked off at the end of May, consumers were offered a free Touch or Type Cover – worth upwards of $120 – with every Surface RT purchase.

Last month, the computer giant launched a promotion giving K-12 and higher education institutions the chance to snap up 32GB RT tablets for just $199. Throw in a $119 Touch Cover and the price rises to $249, while an included Type Cover, worth $129 on its own, results in a package costing $289. The offer lasts until the end of August.

Also last month, Microsoft went the whole hog by giving away thousands of RT tablets to the first 10,000 registrants for the International Society for Technology in Education conference in San Antonio, Texas.

While some may suggest these various discounts and promotions is the surest sign yet of the Surface RT’s failure to capture the imagination of consumers, it could also be that Microsoft is seeking to clear its stock in readiness for the launch of the next iteration of the device.

Though no official announcement has been made by the company about the possibility of a second-generation Surface RT, it hinted at its Worldwide Partner Conference last week that a new version was indeed in the works.

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