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back to article Microsoft cuts Surface Pro price by $100

Hot on the heels of last week's revelation that Surface sales are utterly terrible, Microsoft has again cut the price of its Surface tablets. This time it's the Pro version that gets the discount, with $100 (US) removed from its price as of 4 August. One small ray of sunshine is that the price cut may not be permanent. The page …

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The next one will be good

We promise(*)

* - Some conditions apply.

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Meh

Discounts

Discounts don't necessarily mean that you are getting a good deal.

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N2
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Re: Discounts

Agreed,

They're only worth something if you were considering buying it in the first place.

MS should have got the price right from the start.

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Let me know

When it is cut TO $100 and the bootloader key is published.

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Re: Let me know

" When it is cut TO $100 and the bootloader key is published. "

" The page bearing the new offer says it expires on August 29th."

So... Dumped to to the bargain centers in September... should have the bootloader hacked before Christmas!

(I know, I know, I'm just cynical that way.)

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offer says it expires on August 29th

After which is will be $200 off in September

$300 off is October

Like the RT, this is the start of a fire sale.

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Re: offer says it expires on August 29th

That'd be a nice pattern for them to follow. I'd be ready to buy around January. I figure it's worth the cost of an iPad mini as a layabout the house toy if it can run some older Windows games.

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Re: offer says it expires on August 29th

I doubt the discount will be as steep, but if they get near the levels of the Great HP Touchpad FireSale, I would be interested in upgrading from my TP. Until then, I'll just keep poking around the newer Android upgrade for it.

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DJV
FAIL

Re: offer says it expires on August 29th

I'm not wholly unexpecting for one to fall out of my Cornflakes packet one morning...

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JDX
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Re: Let me know

I can't believe such a stupid comment gets so many upvotes.

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JDX
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Re: offer says it expires on August 29th

Given the Pro is a fully featured x86 PC in a tablet form, it's not ever going to be sold that cheaply unless a newer version replaces it.

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"fully featured x86 PC in a tablet form"

Yes, the fully featured x86 PC in a tablet form. Something that 13 years have taught us repeatedly demand exists for only in a tiny niche, especially if you overprice the widget in question.

You're correct that it will never be "sold that cheaply", however, that isn't due to some innate value or demand for the device. It's simply because Microsoft herp derp market comprehension.

"It's Lamborghini, pay Lambo prices, bitch" works somewhat less well when you're fielding a 20-year-old rebuilt Lada powertrain crammed imperfectly into a Pontiac Firefly's body that happens to peel and crack when exposed to, well, air. It's doubly amusing when you realize the competition is selling a fuel-efficient Scion XB that does what people actually want, and does it cheaply even if it looks like a toaster.

In short: fuck x86 tablets. In the face. Sideways. With a giraffe. (Bet you thought I was going to say gorilla, eh?) The only reason why anyone uses x86 on the non-workstation endpoint any more is legacy software. Legacy software that requires a precision pointing device and an actual fucking keyboard. (No, the Surface keyboard doesn't count. It's somewhere between "Blackberry keyboard" and "netbook keyboard" and all the way towards "WTF useless.")

No matter how much flavour-aid that Microsoft pours into the local dihydrogen monoxide supply it won't change the fact that once technology reaches "good enough" people start buying on price...and we reached "good enough" a decade ago.

It's you're going to buy a smear-attracting fondle slab why in the name of sweet merciful monkey fuck would you shell out $800+ for it to get a device where 95% of the apps are either craptastic^n or designed for a precision pointer? Hell, why would you shell out $800+ for a device whose only real purpose is content consumption in the first place? What laboratory would they have to grow your ass in to think that was a grand vision?

If you're going to slap down more than pocket change on a computer then it had damned well better pay for itself. Which means being a productivity tool. Which means a precision pointing device and a keyboard that works better than rolling your face around into 80s voice rec software whilst making mewling noises and gasping.

The tablet is not a replacement for a PC! It is a replacement for the television and/or the newspaper. It is a new way to consume content, it is fucking worthless at producing it. If you pay $800+ for a single-viewer television or a newspaper you are exactly the kind of chump that companies like Microsoft hope we all are.

Which leads me to: there's no reason that x86 tablets shouldn't innately be priced at the same as ARM tablets excepting a complete misreading of the market by both Microsoft and Intel. They don't understand the purpose of the devices and they don't understand how to position themselves. If Microsoft and Intel can't start putting their x86 tablets in the $100-$300 range then x86 will simply lose out on the "personal content consumption device" market altogether.

Considering that historically we've had a lot more content consumers than producers I'd say that's a completely ridiculous business decision on their part.

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Headmaster

Re: offer says it expires on August 29th

> Given the Pro is a fully featured x86 PC in a tablet form, it's not ever going to be sold that cheaply unless a newer version replaces it.

It's the customer who sets the price. Not the vendor.

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LDS
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Re: offer says it expires on August 29th

As long as the vendor is not Apple. Than it sets the price and fanboys run to pay that money to feel good.

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Headmaster

Re: offer says it expires on August 29th

No. That just means the price is right for the target group.

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Re: "fully featured x86 PC in a tablet form"

Wow! Dead on analysis, Trevor. And the reason that re-organizing Microsoft around devices is NOT going to fix their problem(s). If the id10ts in charge haven't a clue about what tasks each device is suited for (properly mapping functionality to suitable device) then what chance do they have of doing so in the future? Seemingly none.

I'm have dealt with Microsoft products for the last thirty years and they've always had a problem with the "Vision Thing." As in 20/5000 vision (which I know all to well having cataracts). Once they do discover (courtesy of competitors) a niche, they are^H^H^Hwere really, really good about exploiting it. [Embrace, Extend, Extinguish, as the Microsoft haters say.] Now they aren't even getting Step 1 right. Anywhere except Hyper-V, Server 2012, and System Center. Not niches I practice in regularly. Oh vey!

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Stop

Re: offer says it expires on August 29th

Steve...

...is that you, loudmouthed, chair-throwing, clueless angry beancounter?

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Re: offer says it expires on August 29th

> Like the RT, this is the start of a fire sale.

At fire sale prices, it might be interesting. Oh, what was I thinking? It runs Windows 8. There is no price cheap enough.

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Re: "fully featured x86 PC in a tablet form"

95% of the apps are either craptastic^n

^n.

Luv'it.

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LDS
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Re: offer says it expires on August 29th

Any price is right for that target group... never seen before people without the money trying to buy one in any way.

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Vic
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Re: offer says it expires on August 29th

> It's the customer who sets the price. Not the vendor.

It's the vendor who sets the price. It's the customer who agrees to it.

If you can't get that agreement - you haven't got customers. Oh look...

Vic.

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Pint

But if we bought Lenovo, wouldn't the Chinese be spying on us?

FTFA - >"For that sum one could buy the similary-specced Lenovo Yoga Ultrabook convertible at BestBuy and still have $100 left in your pocket."

We only want the NSA and the GCHQ spying on us through PRISM - so we'll be sticking with Microsoft kit, thank you very much.

Beer - because your tax dollars are hard at work, trying to keep China from stealing the secrets to the golden brew.

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Coat

will name change ?

as M$ tablets sink out of site, will Surface tablets become the new Titanic tablet ? Or is that another submarine patent ? Coat is one with big lump in pocket.

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Joke

NSA Book

"NSA Book" because they might as well name the thing accordingly.

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What about the wheels?

Are they throwing in the trucks to convert them to something useful?

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Anonymous Coward

The willful blindness of large corporations

Even after 20 years in the industry, I'm still surprised how blind and inward-looking large corporations can be.

I really wonder whether anyone remotely sensible at Microsoft has sat down and just talked - no focus groups, no market consultants, no brand image people - to discuss why the Surface and Surface RT tablets are doing so badly compared to every other tablet on the market.

I keep wondering whether there's something deeply clever going on here, a strategy that will turn things around for Microsoft. But I can't see what it is, and I wonder if I'm trying to attribute Microsoft's collective approach to intelligence rather than to the heady mix of apathy, corporate blindness, and lack of customer empathy that explains the situation far better.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The willful blindness of large corporations

The answer is quite simple, when you are a monopoly you have no incentive to innovate or listen to your customers but now there are real alternatives people don't have to put up with MS any more.

After a LOT more kickings MS might slowly get the message it's not 1999 but don't hold your breath as Ballmer has a thick hide and a much thicker skull

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Re: The willful blindness of large corporations

@AC 07:44Z 05-Aug-2013

"I really wonder whether anyone remotely sensible at Microsoft has sat down and just talked - no focus groups, no market consultants, no brand image people - to discuss why the Surface and Surface RT tablets are doing so badly compared to every other tablet on the market."

Forget the venom directed at Balmer. I suspect its the marketing and brand image people who are not only making the decisions in MS-land, they've completely taken over. If anyone dared to participate in a discussion without the blessing of the marketing priesthood, said discussies would find a bag popped over their heads before they get stuffed into the back of a van destined for a re-education camp

Don't forget the apple motto: Its not the quality of the product that matters, its whether the marketing department can con the punters into buying it.

That's what MS is trying to emulate except that MS is used to being a de facto monopoly and thus the quality of their marketing dept hasn't hitherto mattered.

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Build it... and they will come.

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h3
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Re: The willful blindness of large corporations

Windows 8 will get a boost if the only way that the indie games made for the xbone can work is via Windows 8. (Cannot imagine them doing anything else). That might give RT enough apps for it to be enough.

A proper VDI deployment with Windows RT would be ideal if I was in working in a suitable environment but I don't.. (RemoteFX on it works just great but it is marketed as a consumer device).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The willful blindness of large corporations

It sounds like the only way to run indie games on Xbone is to use WinRT (Metro / Modern UI / whatever).

It is apparent that it's all part of their strategy to get the world off of desktop Windows and into the new RT OS, the one where all software goes through the Microsoft Store with the 30% fee to devs (enterprise obviously excluded, as per iOS).

Trouble with Microsoft's plan, is that people realise they are being given the choice of a new OS (e.g. in Windows 8) and they're choosing something else (be it iOS, Android, Ubuntu, or whatever else) because they have no reason to switch to Microsoft's new OS platform.

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Anonymous Coward

Firesale - best to wait

will be filling up the bargain bins for $100 soon enough. Even then it's questionable how useful it is with a locked bootloader.

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Re: Firesale - best to wait

Even then it's questionable how useful it is with a locked bootloader.

It's fine for anyone who wants a full-fat Windows machine. There are only a few of us who would just want the hardware and the freedom to install our unix of choice.

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Re: Firesale - best to wait

It's fine for anyone who wants a full-fat Windows 8 machine. Well thats as many as want to install the unix of choice - well less actually.

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JDX
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Re: Firesale - best to wait

Windows8 on a touch device is 100X better than any Linux distro on a touch device...

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Re: Firesale - best to wait

"...it's questionable how useful it is with a locked bootloader."

According to what I've been reading on the Hackintosh boards, it's only the RT (ARM-based) that has the locked bootloader, The Pro (Intel-based) isn't locked down.

People are starting to report success in getting OS X running on a Surface Pro, although others still have questions.

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Re: Firesale - best to wait

> Windows8 on a touch device is 100X better than any Linux distro on a touch device...

Market says no.

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Definitely not like Apple

This might be part of a cunning strategy to differentiate themselves from Apple.

When Apple has had unsuccessful product launches in the past it has just unceremoniously and silently buried them: the last Apple cube. They never discount and that's even without OEMs who might be pissed off by the competition.

By contrast, over the last couple of months Microsoft has managed to tarnish the Surface brand by keeping the RTs in the headlines. Yes, many of us think that they are still overpriced, but that's also because we think they're crippled. The impact on the "Surface" brand is worth a lot more than the write-off of the inventory not least because it can't be handled tax efficiently.

During this time OEMs who were either burned by the RT fiasco or, wisely, decided to sit it out have been launching interesting an competitive Windows 8 devices* at prices with reasonable margins. The market is still confused by Surface RT and Surface Pro and Microsoft comes along and after sticking the fire sale label on RT proceeds to do the same with Pro. This is immediately going to put downward pressure on prices and margins of other devices. Way to go, Microsoft!

* As I have to lug a Windows notebook around between docking stations I am truly interested in anything lighter.

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FAIL

How, Now?

I really don't get your drill, sorry. First you write about a cunning strategy w.r.t. Apple, and then you express how Microsoft tarnishes the whole brand.

No, the market is not confused any longer about the RT. The market has decided, that they are not interested in a full-blown W8 on a tablet.

I do agree with your last sentence, though. I for one do not mind paying for a light, full-fledged tablet on which I can install my *nix of choice. A light and full-powered one. Microsoft has shat themselves on the foot by restricting the box to Winblows. Christ Jesus, if they subsidized the hardware for whatever reason, I could understand that they don't feel *nix-junkies like myself slapping a nice *ntu on it. But since they charge the full amount, what the heck is their motivation to prevent me from buying one and do with it whatever possible!!?

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Re: How, Now?

I dunno, there is a lot of x86 windows software out there. Intel have demonstrated x86 processors sucking less juice than arm. But windows 8 and surface dont have a reputation to justify the cost. They need to have a loss leader, sell them under priced and get them in to the market as quickly as possible. Once people have them they'll demand software suited to the platform (desktop apps will be there, but surface pro apps designed for touch with the right gui will help, and start to sell). Microsoft are not making anyone want these products. I dont know what adds the rest of the world are seeing, but the only one ive seen is a bunch of corporates sitting around a table where everyone has a surface pro, and then they all dance around. It looks stupid! a) nobody in business has a pro and there is no reason to get one. b) nobody in business dances in synchronisation at meetings c) its not different and cool, its apple 3 years ago and while apple have lost a lot of cool lately they still have a lot more than microsoft!

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Anonymous Coward

PC World...

.... are still drinking the MS Kool Aid as they are currently running adverts flogging the Surface RT which are positively sycophantic

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Anonymous Coward

Re: PC World...

To be fair, they're not going to run adverts that say "Buy the Surface RT, it's shit and MS are shit."

You don't really sell that many products that way, do you?

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Re: PC World...

But then PC World ads regularly promote Norton and McAfee, confirming that they either know little about computers or really couldn't care what they sell as long as there's a buck in it.

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Re: PC World...

".... are still drinking the MS Kool Aid as they are currently running adverts flogging the Surface RT which are positively sycophantic"

Do you seriously believe that they completely believe all of the advertising they take money for?

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Devil

Re: PC World...

"You don't really sell that many products that way, do you?"

They can't do much worse... Honesty in Advertising!

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Re: PC World...

I expect it's something like...

Run ads, put a surface on display, get a big discount on the MS stuff you actually want to stock.

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Re: PC World...

...where they can add beans for extra security!

http://www.weebls-stuff.com/wab/upgrade-pt2/

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Re: PC World...

No you don't, but you don't sell many devices using a buttload of Hipsters prancing 'round like a bunch of ninnies jacking up their Keyboard Covers to their Fondleslabs either...

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Coat

Re: buttload of Hipsters

Is that better than a hipload of Buttsters?

OK, I'm leaving now...

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Still too expensive

Until Surface tablets come down to the same price as laptops I doubt they will shift in huge volumes. Why would I pay £800 for a device that has only 128GB of storage space when I could get a top of the line ultrabook with touchscreen for about the same price with much more storage space and much more RAM? I own an Asus Transformer TF300, and I only bought it because it was the same price (£380 WITH keyboard) as an equivalent laptop. It has now replaced my old laptop.

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