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Summary:

Although Microsoft hasn’t announced Surface RT sales, there’s little evidence it has a hit on its hands. That could change a little for the better with a new limited promotion: A free Touch or Type Cover included with Surface RT.

Microsoft Surface RT

On the fence about buying a Microsoft Surface RT tablet? A new incentive may help push you over the side, or at least that’s what Microsoft is hoping. Starting Friday and all throughout the month of June, Microsoft is offering a free Touch or Type Cover keyboard with the purchase of any Surface RT model in the U.S. and Canada either through Microsoft’s online store or participating retailers.

Surface RT starts at $499 without these attachable keyboard covers and a bundle with keyboard starts at $599. So this works out to be a $100 savings on the bundle.

I think that’s exactly what Microsoft is trying to accomplish with this limited offer: Reduce the net cost of Surface RT because at $599 with keyboard, it’s a bit pricey for what it offers. I only say that because an Intel Atom powered Windows 8 tablet with similar battery life and without the RT restriction of running legacy Windows apps can be had for about the same price. Microsoft clearly knows this, and given that we haven’t seen evidence of Surface RT as a hot seller — some of Microsoft’s partners have even limited their participation in Windows RT — this deal is meant to move more hardware.

Surface RT Touch CoversDoes this make Surface RT more attractive? We all likely have different answers to that question, as well as reasons for that answer. For some, Surface RT is already meeting their needs while others find it too limiting.

I actually like the hardware very much: It’s well designed, works in various settings, is easy to carry around and provides solid battery life. But again, I can get most of that from a similarly priced Windows 8 tablet for $500 to $700. For me — and I suspect many of you — it comes down to the available applications for Windows RT. It’s been a while since I last checked, but with the new keyboard incentive, I plan to look again at the app catalog over the next 30 days.

Bear in mind that Microsoft is holding its annual developer event next month and some rumors suggest that new Surface devices could be introduced. Even if that doesn’t happen, I wouldn’t be surprised to see hardware refreshes for the Surface line within the next 3 to 6 months as there are newer chips and components available to improve the devices. If you want Surface RT now, however, this is a decent deal.

  1. Microsoft suffering the pain of it’s tablet!

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  2. It’s really annoying! I bought one when they launched and now they’ve slashed the prices down by $100-$200 in New Zealand. I think Microsoft needs to get the pricing right with the next Surface generation, they should just ignore the other companies who are telling them to raise their prices and just go in there and shake up the tablet market. People would buy these tablets if they were half the price and considering Microsoft makes around $230 profit from every Surface tablet sale, they could afford to cut the price a bit.

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  3. I am amazed by this offer. I am right now typing from my red touch cover, which brings me to the price topic on this blog post. The $100 would have only come if you bought the bundle, but many decided to spend the extra $20-$30 to get a color-touch cover or a type cover. I spent around $664 taxes included, so spending $535 to get the Surface with a touch/type cover has much more than $100. The type cover itself is more expensive so I am impressed they included it in the offer. I would recommend anyone who is thinking about getting one, to get it with a type cover because it will save them over $130, and if they want a touch cover they can buy it separately. I’d say touch cover is the breakthrough of Surface since it is their invention. It is totally innovative, and I believe is better than the type cover, but with an offer like this, I’d get the type cover and try the touch cover. Perhaps wait for future colors to come. I’ve heard they are thinking on adding purple, but no assurance yet (wish they made me a mustard yellow touch cover ):

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  4. Very happy about this deal. I always thought the cover should be included. Picked mine up yesterday and am very happy with it so far…. and I will be even happier in a few months time when they release Outlook for RT. With these two issues fixed I believe it will be well priced to compete in the market.

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    1. Trisha, I completely agree: the cover should have been included from day one. And you’ll be happy to know that Outlook looks pretty sweet in RT: I just upgraded to the Windows 8.1 preview on a Surface RT to see it. :)

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