Microsoft Should Discount Surface RT to $199

Microsoft needs to seed the market with the dead-in-the-water Surface RT before it’s too late

Surface RT still dead-in-the-water reduced to $349 and $449 without the keyboard

Microsoft should to drop the price of the Surface RT to $199 with a keyboard.

$199 is the price Microsoft is pushing at the school level for the RT ($249 with keyboard) and it’s not worth one cent more in retail which is all impulse buying.

$199 pricing will move product, seed the market and clear the decks for the new Surface RT which will arrive in the Fall of 2013.

trans Microsoft Should Discount Surface RT to $199 photoMicrosoft recently reduced the price of the Windows 8 Surface RT tablet to $349 for the 32 GB model and $549 for the 64 GB version but no one is going to buy them.

Yesterday, Microsoft announced a $1 billion write down of their Surface RT inventory. Expect more write downs to come as the Surface RT is going to die in the retail channel at those prices.

I bought a Nexus 7 last year on impulse because it cost less than $250. Despite being a Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 user, why buy a Windows RT tablet for $449 which is the price including a cover keyboard? It’s more than the cost of an iPad mini, which is selling well. The iPad is easy to use, has hundreds of thousands of popular apps and is a recognized brand leader.

Few people are convinced to by the RT by ads like this.

Microsoft’s marketing gurus should face it. Microsoft tried to introduce a new product – Surface RT- with a new operating system at top dollar and failed. People are buying iPad’s in droves and avoiding the Surface RT like The Plague.

It’s not a bad tablet especially for the 100 million Windows 8 users but that’s not enough to command premium pricing. After 8 months Microsoft needs a “Hail Mary pass” pricing strategy, like the one Blackberry used to move out their failed Playbook tablet ($99 or $149).

That worked for Blackberry. Blackberry users shared the price discount with their friends and the price drop went viral. Some owners went back and bought a second and third Playbook as gifts. My cousin told me he sold 26 Playbooks by spreading the word around. 

RIM sold out the inventory and kept their loyal Blackberry users happy until the Q10 and Z10 shipped this spring. Despite the Playbook’s limitations, Blackberry fans love it.

That’s the buzz Microsoft needs on the Surface RT. They need millions of users to snap up the remaining inventory and get the glow on.

Microsoft should beg Amazon.com, the world’ most successful on-line reseller to carry the Surface RT. It shows how disconnected the Microsoft marketing team is from reality. They only sell the Surface RT at box stores like Staples and Best Buy, who are on the brink of extinction from the on-line competition.

Everyone knows the new Surface RT in the fall will be better, faster and fix any issues with the current one, including the upgrade to Windows 8.1. Why pay too much for one this summer?

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