Microsoft has cut the sales price of its Windows RT-powered Surface devices by “as much as 30 per cent”, following lacklustre sales of the device at its original cost.
The Wall Street Journal said that the entry level unit has seen a cut to $349 from $499, with the most costly falling to $549 from $699.
It is not clear if the current move is simply a way to get its current inventory moving, or is intended to pave the way for the release of new Surface devices in the near future.
While Surface devices powered by Windows RT – which does not offer app compatibility with either Windows 8 or Windows Phone 8 – have hardly set the market alight, it has recently been reported that Microsoft is readying an updated version.
The new unit will be powered by Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 800 processors, rather than Nvidia Tegra chips, enabling them to ship with mobile broadband support.
It has also been reported that the company will offer a smaller, 7-inch to 8-inch version of the device, alongside the larger sibling.
Windows RT is Microsoft’s attempt to bolster its position in the premium tablet computer market, which has been dominated by Apple’s iPad.
But the platform, which runs on processors which use ARM architectures, rather than the x86 silicon used for other versions of Windows, does not offer compatibility with apps written for other Windows platforms.
Windows RT has seen little support from third parties. Last month it was reported that HTC had shelved a device using the OS and that Acer had described it as “very immature”, while Samsung also appears to have switched its focus to Windows 8 – having dabbled with Windows RT previously.
With vendors also looking to push Windows 8 into the mid-tier, the window of opportunity for Windows RT looks somewhat limited.