Microsoft has slashed $150 off the base price of its Surface RT tablet. Starting July 14th, you’ll be able to pick one up for $349.99 and up. Staples is already advertising the new prices in its weekly ad.
When Microsoft launched the Surface RT in late 2012, the company offered it for an iPad-matching $499.99 and up. That price didn’t include the optional Touch or Type covers which added a physical keyboard. With the new pricing, you’ll be able to buy a Surface RT with a Touch Cover for a starting price of $449.99.
The Surface RT tablets come with 32GB to 64GB of storage, NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processors, and Microsoft’s Windows RT operating system.
Basically, Windows RT looks and feels like Windows 8 — and in many ways it’s the same operating system. But it’s designed to run on devices with ARM-based processors, and unfortunately that means you can’t run the millions of apps designed for earlier versions of Windows unless they’ve been updated to be compatible with ARM chips.
For the most part, it’s best to think of Windows RT as more of a platform for mobile devices, and Microsoft emphasizes the tablet’s ability to run full-screen “Modern” or “Metro” style apps downloaded from the Windows Store. While there is a desktop mode, just about all you’ll probably use it for on a Surface RT is the file explorer and Microsoft Office — one of the key benefits to buying a Surface RT over an Android or iOS tablet, is that the Surface RT comes with Office preloaded.
Anyway, what I’m trying to get at here is that Windows RT started out as a good idea for getting Windows onto devices with low-power chips at a time when Intel and AMD didn’t really have anything that could compete with ARM in terms of long battery life and instant-on capabilities. But these days you can buy a tablet with an Intel Atom chip and the full Windows 8 operating system (which means you can run Modern and legacy apps) for well under the $500 asking price of a Surface RT.
So if Microsoft wanted to make a case for the continued existence of Windows RT, this price cut was pretty much a necessity… and pretty much overdue.
via The Verge