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It's a limited offer that runs through the end of August

Windows RT-hasn't been the most popular Microsoft product, but the tech giant is looking to remedy this by slashing the price of its Surface RT tablet for schools and colleges. 

Microsoft will soon introduce the "Microsoft Surface for education limited time offer" this month, which will offer discounted Surface RTs to schools and colleges interested in adopting the tablets.

The offer, which will reportedly run until August 31, 2013, will sell Surface RTs (without keyboards) to schools for only $199. The Surface RT retails for $499. 

If the schools want a touch keyboard with their Surface RT, the total price is $249 (retail $599). With a type keyboard, the cost is $289 (retail $629). 

Microsoft won't make K-12 schools or colleges order a minimum number of the RT tablets. They simply fill out a purchase order before the deadline, receive a confirmation from Microsoft and receive their tablet shipment. 

The limited offer will be available to schools in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China (via Digital China), Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States.


Microsoft is expected to provide further details on the offer on June 24. 

Just last week, Microsoft announced that it was giving away 10,000 Surface RT tablets to teachers at the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). The idea was to spread RT adoption in schools by supplying teachers with the devices and even training them how to use it. 

Earlier this month, Microsoft was reportedly planning to cut the price of its Windows RT software for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) that make smaller tablets. 

Hardware makers haven't seen a whole lot of success with RT. Back in April, many computer companies started slashing the prices of their RT-based tablets in hopes of clearing their stock. For instance, at that time, Dell's 32GB XPS 10 tablet with Windows RT launched at $500 last fall and dropped to $450. The XPS 10 was slashed again in May to a starting price of $299.99. ASUS' VivoTab RT was another device to take a cut ($599 at launch, cut to $382 for 32GB on Amazon while Newegg listed it as "discontinued").
 
Hewlett-Packard (HP) said it currently doesn't have any plans for an RT device. Acer called Windows RT "immature," and said that it is focusing on Windows 8 Pro and Android-based tablets instead. Samsung said it hasn't decided whether it should make a successor to its RT tablet. 

Microsoft's Surface RT inventory is likely pretty heavy as well, with Windows 8 Pro-powered tablets being a more popular choice (since RT is an ARM-based operating system that doesn't provide all the features found in W8 Pro). All these RT give-aways make it seem like Microsoft can't get rid of them fast enough. 

Source: ZDNet





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