Microsoft also dropping the price of Surface RT bundles on August 30th

Last night, Windows Phone Central reported that Microsoft Stores were poised to reduce the cost of the Touch Cover from the current $119.99 to a more favorable $79.99. That reduction includes all five colors and is set to occur on August 30th online and in Microsoft Stores. The price drop is permanent and not a sale.

We can also now confirm that the Surface RT bundle, which includes both the Surface RT device and a black Touch Cover, will also reflect that price decrease. Currently, customers can buy the Surface RT with either 32GB or 64GB and a bundled black Touch Cover for $449 and $549, respectively.  

Starting on August 30th, those same packages will be $399 and $499 reflecting a permanent $50 price reduction. While customers don’t get a color choice with the Surface RT bundle, they do save $30 were they to buy the Surface RT and Touch Cover separately ($349.99 + $79.99).

Microsoft has recently caught some flak over the very concept of Windows RT, specifically the reported low-sales of the Surface RT and manufacturers abandoning the nascent platform. In response, Microsoft reduced the price of the Surface RT by $150 in an effort to help move inventory. 

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been here covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics and ran the projectors at movie theaters, which has done absolutely nothing for his career.

  • Hmmm. Starting to get tempting but I'll just wait for version 2.
  • But will version 2 come with office? That's the main question that's pushing me towards version 1
  • I don't see why it wouldn't.
  • RT shouldn't have ship with Office in the first place. One of two big mistakes IMO. The other was including the desktop. I hope version 2 loses both.
  • I don't. I use office and desktop all the time on my RT.
  • Wow, of all the complaints against RT, this is the first time I've seen someone complain that it included office.
  • Because according to what little info we have, the RT licence costs about $75, in part, thanks to Office. OEMs can not make competetive cheap devices with that. And the about $300 devices are the ones that bring marketshare (but is not low enough that the customers can not afford to pay for content, giving that kind of content a chance on the platform).
  • There is no way the RT license costs $75 when they sell a Windows 8 + Office license for $30 for tablets with screens 10" and less. 
  • The biggest mistake was the idiotic advertising campaign. Those dancing fool commercials made me cringe. Breakdancing? Breakdancing is from the 80s and they were using it to promote a device they wanted to be cool, sorry but breakdancing is not longer cool. The new commercials which showcase the device and it's advantages over the ipad are great and I wish that is what they had used from day 1.
  • If it hadn't come with Office I would have NEVER bought it. The advantage of the RT over an iPad is that it's a real tablet but comes with Office. Remove office and you have absolutely no reason whatsoever to get a Surface RT over an iPad. 'cause no one would pay over 100€ more just to get Office on the RT. And so there's really no reason to buy it. It would have flopped even harder. The RT problem was bad communication. Microsoft should have made it clear that Windows RT is a TABLET software that, just like Windows Phone, has Office which allows you to actually use it to work. They should have named the Surface Pro something else so they were not to be confused and they should have made the RT cheaper than they did.
  • Except the better UI and multitasking, and flash.
  • If you lose Office there is exactly 0 reasons to buy that thing over an iPad/Android tablet which have a more solid OS (for now) and tons of third party software.
    People won't buy an inferior product just because it says Microsoft in the back.
  • The free Office web that comes with Skydrive isn't good enough for you? sign in and you're good to go.
  • Seems how I'm not connected to the web 24/7 no its not good enough. The web version is good for a quick fix but in real world use the base client is more practical. Especially considering surface only has WiFi.
  • Likewise, it's very tempting now. But we're so close to version two, I'm just going to hold out. I've made it this long, I can go another month or two. Hopefully, the Surface 2 will be worth the wait, and if it's not as big of a revamp as expected, I can always get a discounted original. :)
  • Should have been the launch prices smh
  • That's not really a valid criticism. Saying that "that's what they should have done from the start" is basically saying, "this is what i wanted to happen, but im still going to complain"
  • Its still valid seems how one of the biggest complaints were the price.
  • That's why its not a valid critism now. "the price was top high". But its not now is it?
  • Of course its a valid criticism. Fixing a problem later doesn't erase the original blunder. Now they are playing catchup instead of leading. The time it took to price the unit at an appropriate level means that there is now a very very low adoption rate, which affects the current owners in obvious ways.
  • What the price is now is irrelevant to the validity of his statement. He is referring to the past and what the price should have launched at. He's not complaining about the present day price at all, just suggesting they finally got it right.
  • So if i said " i wish it came in blue" and then it comes in blue and i say "well its too late now, they should have made it in blue from the start" that's a valid current cristism is it? Or is it as i state, complaining to complain.
  • Are you really comparing a color choice to a price point?
  • If your saying it should have launched in a certain color then that's past and present criticism yes, as long as it being blue somehow improves the product in your eyes. Unfortunately with you phrasing it as "well its too late now" your criticism has turned into complaining due to word choice. Word choice is really the main thing that determines the difference between criticism and complaining.
  • If not offering it in blue is plunging the sales figures, and later on they decided to offer it in blue to heal the wound then yes. It is valid to say they should have done it before...
  • I agree completely. They would've sold so many more.
  • Totally valid criticism. A brand new device being introduced to a market dominated by iPad can't compete at a price that's higher than the top iOS offering. Amazon broke in with their $200 tablet and set a price bar that others had to follow. Kindle Fire HD would not have succeeded if their initial price was $400.
    Anyway, the price drop on the RT is very tempting now!
  • The Surface RT started at about the same price as the iPad, which I still think was too high. If you refering to the Surface Pro being the device priced higher than the iPad, you have to think that the Surface Pro does not compete against the iPad. It competes against the Macbook Air, since it has a full OS not a tablet OS. Its CPU and RAM run circles around the iPad. And the Apps available to Surface Pro vs. iPad, why worry about the games apps when you can run Skyrim, WoW, Guildwars2 ext on your Surface Pro which you cannot on your iPad (but can on your Macbook Air but it does ship with a weaker CPU, i3 for the starter, and for $200 more).
    That being said I still think the Surface RT needs to be around $250ish (and in a perfect world come with the touch cover), $199 is too low for that Screen, having a full USB 2.0 port, and a dedicated HDMI port on one tablet. And you cannot forget about the full driver support (USB devices) on windows RT. I think the $800 is about right for the Surface Pro.
    I dont the the Surface RT or Pro really compete with the $200ish tablet market, being the Nook, KindleFire, and Nexus. The are just too cheap, and sans the nexus they are lacking a lot of features to make that price point. Still great hardware, at a really good price.
  • Is RT a full computer or a mobile like iPad and android tablets?
  • Not full Windows, can only run RT apps
  • Ok and do u think these RT and windows 8 tablets will be able to be updated to 8.1 and up
  • Yes, they certainly will be able to update to 8.1 for free.
  • Definitely. 
  • That's not accurate. It's almost a full Windows 8 but due to a different architecture it can't run x86 binaries.
  • Rt runs all windows 8 apps, but wont run windows 7 programs. That's the best way to think of it. Rt 8.1 is almost rtm. So will come soon.
  • Not a full PC, but more than an iPad/android considering it has Office and allows you to forum more than one app at a time side by side
  • Not a "full computer," no, but that doesn't mean it's like an iPad or Android tablet either. Mainly because there is a "Desktop" (with a copy of Office (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote), desktop version of IE, and almost all other built-in Microsoft desktop apps (e.g. Paint, Notepad, etc.)). While some claim the "Desktop" is useless because you can't install apps outside of the Windows Store, I find little things like being able to watch free Hulu on a tablet with IE10 quite a joy, or getting a tablet that now costs $350 and still includes a software suite worth around $140.
  • What you said! Not having to pay for MS Office makes all the difference.
  • Right RT is equivalent to iPad and android except the one thing that RT has going for it is it does have a full version of office. And I believe that comes with it.RT can not run old legacy windows programs.
  • It will run anything found in the Microsoft store. Leave your legacy XP and 7 apps behind or on your full desktop. Would you like a 10" version on your phone minus the phone part? That's RT.
  • A 10" version of any phone can't run a full desktop version of Office or IE, so I don't think we can leave that important detail out when defining RT.
  • WindowsRT doesn't run any desktop apps. But it does run a new full version of Office. That modern version of Office comes with surfaceRT. I'd like to see them add support for windows phone apps in windowsRT. Seems only natural. I'd like to see them pack Office with Surface Pro and Surface RT. most of my interest is in surface pro because I have tons of legacy software that I use everyday. I suppose its only a matter of time before we see things like PhotoShop come to windows store, even if it takes years to make that happen.
  • You missed my point
  • RT is more like a tablet, it runs on a ARM CPU just like android (im not sure about apple) you can only install programs "Apps" from the Windows App store. But it does have a desktop mode like a PC, but you can only run office IE and a few other utilities in desktop mode.
  • Good move, I hope the price sticks with the next gen devices.
  • Rt in general is probably another one of those things that I like from Ms, that they kill just as it gains momentum. I plan on getting 2 more for my kids. Great for homework, great for gaming.
  • The notification made it seem like it said Microsoft Drops Surface RT
  • I almost lost it... O_O
  • Hah, fair enough..I reworded to get pricing up front ;)
  • Right, there was really not that much wrong with the surface to elicit such rabid just was a lot of money, but what isn't these days? Hell, I have problems letting go of just $40.00 these days but the dollar is just a coin... =[
  • Its an awesome machine. The hate it seems stems from its inability to run "normal" windows programs. Which is surprising, as neither the iPad nor android tablets do that. Tech bloggers love to call rt "confusing" but im not sure why. I can understand it. Rt just does windows 8 apps. Windows 8 does apps and not sure what's hard about that.
  • Your logic is undeniable. I've been trying to convey the same and people just can't register it.
  • All I want is a 7"-8" rt tablet!!
  • Check out the Acer w3-810. Its a solid choice for an 8 in.
  • I looked at it in person at the Microsoft Store but the screen really is as bad as they say it is. I'm gonna hold off until more launch.
  • Wow.
  • When I saw the review of that tablet I thought oh the screen should be fine who cares if not super good screen but i saw it in rl and the screen was awful i just saw lines all over the screen in desktop :-/ really bad coz I really wanted it full w8 for under £300 and 8inch :(
  • Talking out your ass dude. 2 friends have the Surface and I have played with them. The screen is only 720p but it's still very good.
  • He's talking about the Acer. It's not the resolution that's an issue. The screen quality just just piss poor.
  • Surface RT is just like Zune. Misunderstood even though its an excellent product. Hope its fate is not similar to what Zune faced.
  • I disagree. Zune was utter crap. Surface RT is decent though misunderstood. Microsoft is not helping much though. There're only a couple of advantages that set it apart from the iPad:
    - Comes with almost full Office
    - Plays Flash
    - Has a good concept for hardware keyboards
    - Is cheaper
    - Much better compatibility with standard external hardware
    - Flash memory extensible using SD cards On the other side there're so many downsides that for many people the ups simply won't cut it. For me Flash and a configurable HDMI output are the only deal makers, since Boxee dropped the ball on a current flash version and every freaking shop needs to play back their crap using flash 10+ ... Basically for me its a cheaper alternative to wasting a somewhat current Mac as expensive Flash Player...
  • I thought Zune was better than iPod. It was ahead of the game as a PMP device with Zune pass as one of the first decent music subscription service. Zunes metro design resonates in each of the Microsoft offering now. The music management through Zune software was better than iTunes. Might I add it had good hardware too. I still use my Zune from time to time. Maybe its just me but Zune was misunderstood.
  • I still don't like how Microsoft rebranded Zune as Xbox Music. Xbox will always be associated with video games, so it seems as though the platform caters primarily to the gamer audience.
  • Agreed. The Zune was a phenomenal PMP but the iPod came first so people didn't really look twice at it.
  • I may buy for my techs to replace laptops. They only use CRM and email so this will be perfect
  • I sold my iPad recently and bought the surface RT. This didn't come to long after I sold my iPhone and switched to the Lumia 920. I am extremely happy with both! I've been an apple sheep for years. Thankfully I woke up! Even windows RT blows IOS out of the water. I'm convinced if more people would just try it . They would switch too!
  • If you're into gaming or specialized apps RT simply won't cut it as the shop still sucks and Microsoft discourages free software developers from porting their software even more than Apple does.
    I happen to have far more even iPad-only apps (without even having an iPad) than I have RT apps and even the latter completely suck until they come from Microsoft themselves. I haven't found a usable application for VoIP, data collection, media player, web radio (where I can feed in remote playlists of my favourite radio stations) as well as a halfway decent game (even as simple as Tiny Thief or Tiny wings or Nimble Quest, World of Goo, Zen Bound, Bumpy Road ... or even high end as Dungeon Hunter, Dungeon Defender, Real Racing 3, Infinity Blade...) yet. Also please someone explain to me why I need to log in with a Microsoft account for every crap; I can't even use my own email server without first associating a Microsoft account with the mail app. Also Nokia Music sucks rocks with the Mix limitation compared to even WP7 Lumias.
    It's a nice machine for webbrowsing, news consumption, email reading and Office document work but the fun stop very abruptly shortly after that...
  • So its basically good for work and school...that's all I was looking at getting it for, so I guess I won't be that disappointed.
  • Exactly. It all depends what your looking for. I wasn't trying to get a full system. I have a desktop for that. Its ultra portable and does far more than my iPad did. It all falls on consumer preference. I've been using mine for 4 days now and enjoy it.
  • Um, halo?
  • Nice but my kind of game... but if you want to count that in there's about a 20:1 ratio of games of similar quality in the App Store...
  • Your argument was that there are no games of quality on the RT, that argument is wrong. You not liking a game doesn't stop it existing, or being of high quality. But yes, ios has more games, being about 7 years older than RT, that's to be expected. When the xbox one and ps4 launch, there will be more games of quality on the xbox 360 and ps3.
  • Decent price
  • That should've been the in price in the first place, compete with your enemy with a lower price, not head to head.
  • Just don't understand why, Microsoft didn't simply sell the 64GB RT with touch cover for $349.00 from the beginning. Things would probably be totally different as far as sales goes.
  • Its called Profit...Im sure you want everything for a quarter of the price? lol
  • Your right! However, I'm pretty sure they would still made a profit on it if they would have sold if for $349.00.
  • Probably not no, this thing was crazy expensive to develop.
  • Or it's called a loss leader and recognizing that you are behind in that market segment and taking a loss initially to build market share leads to greater profit and success down the line.
  • It launched cheaper and better than the new iPad. And was deemed to expensive by a crowd only willing to pay lots of money if its apple. It wasn't too expensive, it was too expensive for a non-apple product.
  • True. The launch price of the original iPad was $600 or $700 and people still went out in droves to buy it.
  • Launch price of the cheapest iPad was $500 and when you are first to market with a new product, you can charge a premium for it because you have no competition (and because it was Apple some people were going to buy it regardless, but Microsoft has their fans too, such as most of us on this site)
  • Easy, all the OEMs, especially Acer, were complaining about MS making their own device so in order to not compete directly they had to price it higher. Had they known that the OEMs would pull out they could have priced it lower out of the gate. That's exactly what they did with the original Xbox and lost billions in the process to gain market share against Sony.
  • I've grown to prefer RT, feels simpler and leaner.
  • I hope this price reduction comes to Europe also like the €150 drop recently. I bought one and they are excellent but misunderstood. It can do much more than an iPad but gets berated for it. Yes it should have a faster processor but the device itself as it stands is perfect for many peoples requirements. We have to remember that even though it has its shortcomings as all tech do, most of the reviews online are completed by tech guys who would not have such a high requirement for speed etc.
  • In Germany some shops are selling them without touch cover for around 200€ already while the official MS price is still 349€. So I guess there is a big chance for another price drop.
  • zacman, where do you find the Surface for that price? Could you send me a link please? I'd buy one straight away for that price.
  • I got my Surface RT Touch cover bundle for £251 from John Lewis in Peterborough. It was a customer return, but still has a 2 year warranty:)
  • I wouldn't be buying an RT device at this point with no OEM support and a distinct lack of consumer interest gives it a shaky future. In about 2 weeks IFA takes place in Germany and that will give an indication if this OS has any life left in it.
  • Doesn't need OEM support; what a stupid thing to say! Is iOS dead because it doesn't have OEM support??? Think before you speak.
  • Well seeing that one very successful company is the only OEM for iOS I think strong OEM support is important
  • So OEM Microsoft isn't supporting their own Surface RT, you say?
  • My crystal ball says that MS will release surface pro 2 in october with battery life comparable to RT. At the same time they will anounce EOL for RT with minor system updates till 2015 or so.
    I am waiting for my haswell win8 tablet.
  • Nope. The master stroke of RT was making it run windows 8 apps. It wont ever become obsolete. Win8 store grows, so too does the RT store. RT might mot shift many units for a while, but it doesn't actually need too. People will come around to windows 8. And when they do, RT will become a popular cheap option.
  • Master stroke would be selling all RT tablets before the end of october. People want pro. I want pro. If RT store grows I am fine with pro. If RT store dies I am still fine with pro. At this point win8 pro tablet would be the best bet. Better even than ipad.
  • Right, because running legacy apps on an 8" screen is going to be so great. My guess is that RT will be taking over the small tablet form factor for Windows hardware.
  • I love my Surface, but was it worth what I paid for it ? Eh is it worth what they are selling for now? Yes
  • So a price drop. It was not because it was not worth it... It was because it is recouping a loss and or filling in the spaces are OEMs dropped... I am happy with my surface rt purchases, both of them. They were worth more than my ipad purchases... Purchasing the ipads left feelings of bro g ripped off more than most other purchases... That is to me. It does not mean I enjoyed my ipads any less... But I do out a higher value on mt surface than I ever did on the iPad. I can just do more if what I want and need. It is the perfect device for my ecosystem.
  • Just got a 64 GB RT with black touch cover for $399. To be honest it should have started around this price and maybe Microsoft would have hit the jackpot in tablet sales. I enjoy using it in grad school for notes, PowerPoints, and multitasking. A lot of my classmates using iPads wish they had a tablet that does what the Surface does.
  • Temptiiiiiiiiing! I want to wait for "surface 2", what about if next surface is more powerful and better in-all specs but at the same time is a huge deal specially with all the games that are coming from gameloft. Imaging playing all your WP8 games with Surface With update 8.1 next spring!! Dude that's my dream
  • I love my surface rt. I use it daily.
  • I still love my 128 pro. I don't regret paying what I did. (1400 all said and done) well worth it. Should pick up now if you're on the fence.
  • Oh Gawd WHY?!?    If I'd only known, I could have held off of my latitude 10 tablet purchase a couple of days ago, but the Dell deal seemed so good at the time.  Oh well, let's see the price for the surface.  I have an acer w510 and now a latitude 10, I was planning to maybe ... just maybe... get a nokia tablet but if the surface price peaks my interest I might go for that instead. Srry Nokia.
  • If they can keep these prices for Surface RT 2, they'll have a winner on their hands.
  • Got 2 RT's at EDU pricing, install 8.1 and that is some shit right there. Awesome deal!
  • I bought it when it first came out....of course it was all device its comes down fast....but I must say this is happening fast with holds better value all the time..... I think ms should go really low until they have at least 25% market share maybe even 35%...
  • I got the 925 today and that is also going down in price
  • Very attractive prices. However, this late in the game I'll wait on the 4G LTE version similar to my Kindle Fire HD 4G LTE tablet.
  • That might be the Nokia tab specs
  • Aw man, I thought it said "MS dropping surface RT" and i was like 'yes! Finally!'
  • I don't understand the hate either. Every single tablet before the Surface was a media consumption device. The surface does media consumption as well as and in some cases better (flash) than other tablets. In addition, it offers Office suite, supports memory cards and USB devices. Not to mention the design and make are incredible. Seems like it offers more than any other tablet out there. The price, commercials and message at launch really killed them. Oh and the press and retailers trashing it hasn't helped either.
  • Flash is also available on the HP Touchpad with webOS (which I have) and you can easily install it from the Play Store on Android. So no advantage in that category.
    (I'm going to do this until they sell it locally)
  • Drop the price of surface pro....
  • For the earlier comments...people are going to complain to complain. If they know how to make and sell these then maybe they should get a job at MS. Also did anyone get the email for students to get 10% off RT, accessories and software or was it just me?
  • They probably sent those e-mails around only in the USA.
  • If Microsoft would release a way to develop apps, ie. a visual studio for RT, I'd be all in
  • This tablet is about to get better around 8.1 update.  Not just that but it comes with Office, so it pays half the price already. 
  • Hmmmm.
    This is actually the same price I paid at the MS opening store in St. Louis.
    I was wondering if it'd eventually becoem the real price.
    I got an email saying students, faculty, etc. with a valid .edu email address can also take an additional 10% off.
    At this price point it was a good deal for the wife and I to pull the trigger, with an additional 10% for students I wonder if we'll start seeing these crop up on campus.
  • I hope the Surface RT 2 running Win RT 8.1 will also support Miracast so that I can wirelessly mirror the screen to HDTV. I believe Win 8.1 has built-in support for Miracast.
  • Can't wait for the 2nd generation.
  • Actually, ms should not set the price that high for a new product, especially the ecosystem has to be built from ground zero
  • Again, what makes you people think that the next genof Surface is anywhere near? As far as I know  the only "official" news we have always had is the fact that some Nvidia executive said like a month ago that they were working in the Surface 2, besides that, I haven't heard/read nothing official or actually anything at all (new features, dates, etc) I think I might actually going to get it, this time really looks like a reasonable price to take the risk (you know, 'cause of the fact that 70% of people keeps on complaining about Surface RT [most of those people doesn't actually own one hahaha], who knows, maybe that thing turns out to be great )
  • Surface RT needs better marketing and MS should rebrand Win RT as "Windows on ARM". Win RT is not a consumer friendly name. Windows on ARM is both a technically correct description and also a catchy name. Surface RT should be called Surface on ARM.