Surface RT Tablet Price Still Isn't Right: 10 Reasons Why

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2013-07-19 Print this article Print

Microsoft recently made the not-so-surprising move to cut the price on its Surface RT tablet by $150. The device, which now sets customers back $349 to start, doesn't deliver any new functionality or design features, but Microsoft believes it's now hitting a price point at which some folks might decide to bite. Clearly Microsoft is hoping the price cut will convince consumers and enterprise customers that this is the right time to start buying the Surface RT tablet, which it has promoted with a massive and prolonged marketing campaign. Regardless of what Microsoft believes, the reality is the Surface RT is in deep trouble. As a result of poor sales and the price cut, Microsoft disclosed on July 18 in its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings report that it has taken a $900 million charge to reflect the reduced value of its Surface RT tablet inventory. The tablet might have a nice design and its reduced priced makes it potentially more attractive, but it's missing the key features that would make it a success. Add that to the fact that Microsoft is also pushing a more-powerful alternative in the Surface Pro, and it appears the company is simply trying to eliminate its extra supply before it cancels the tablet altogether. Quite honestly, such a move might not be such a bad idea. In the following slides, we examine exactly what's wrong with the Surface RT and why, despite its major price cut, the tablet is still a loser for the vast majority of customers looking to jump into the tablet fray.

  • Surface RT Tablet Price Still Isn't Right: 10 Reasons Why

    by Don Reisinger
    1 - Surface RT Tablet Price Still Isn't Right: 10 Reasons Why
  • The Operating System Is All Wrong

    Microsoft's Windows RT was a misstep from the very beginning. The operating system isn't a full version of Windows and runs on the ARM processor architecture. Microsoft had hoped that that feature would attract vendors, which would in turn attract users, but it hasn't happened. Why? Windows RT is a hobbled version of Windows 8—an unpopular operating system.
    2 - The Operating System Is All Wrong
  • The Price Isn't That Much of a Value

    It's nice to see Microsoft drop the price to $349 on the Surface RT, but let's be honest: Is that really that much of a deal? The Surface RT comes with subpar software, a design that isn't all that impressive and the same issues it had when it was more expensive. In some cases, price really doesn't matter when a product is a dog. And the Surface RT is a dog.
    3 - The Price Isn't That Much of a Value
  • What About the Surface Pro?

    Microsoft shot itself in the proverbial foot when it decided to launch a Surface Pro just months after the Surface RT. Even worse, the company kept promoting the Pro version as the Surface RT collected dust on store shelves. The Surface Pro is a better product all around than the Surface RT. The Pro is the model Microsoft should have delivered first. Smart shoppers realize that.
    4 - What About the Surface Pro?
  • Microsoft Delivered No Improvements

    If Microsoft truly wanted to deliver better value to its tablet customers, wouldn't the software company have offered at least some improvements in the Surface RT? Instead, the company ignored the software and hardware and only dropped the price on the tablet. That sounds like Microsoft wants to pull the plug. And if Microsoft wants out, there's no reason to buy this model.
    5 - Microsoft Delivered No Improvements
  • The iPad Is a Much Better Product

    Customers looking for a tablet that can handle all of the ARM-based applications they want and still deliver PC-like functionality should opt for the iPad over the Surface RT. Apple's tablet has more capabilities and far more apps and comes with software that customers will actually like. It makes no sense to spend money on a Surface RT when the iPad is already there.
    6 - The iPad Is a Much Better Product
  • At That Price, the iPad Mini Is a Much Better Product, Too

    But what about the iPad Mini? Apple's small tablet comes with a great design for about the same price and it will incorporate many of the features found in the Surface RT. Better yet, the tablet is designed to work with far more apps than the Surface RT, making Microsoft's cheaper tablet look somewhat lame in comparison.
    7 - At That Price, the iPad Mini Is a Much Better Product, Too
  • Application Support Is a Major Concern

    It should also be noted that application support on the Surface RT is disappointing, to say the least. The vast majority of applications that companies and consumers rely on to get the most out of Windows won't work with Windows RT. And until developers start supporting the operating system, users will feel disappointed by application support.
    8 - Application Support Is a Major Concern
  • There's No Enterprise Value

    What would the average corporate customer actually get out of the Surface RT? The device lacks support for the applications they desire and is running a modified operating system that they have no experience with and even less interest in. The Surface RT offers absolutely no enterprise value. And unfortunately for Microsoft, the corporate world knows it.
    9 - There's No Enterprise Value
  • The Connectivity Leaves Much to Be Desired

    Customers hoping to buy a tablet with the idea of being able to connect to the Internet wherever they go through 3G or 4G LTE mobile networks will be quite disappointed with the Surface RT. The tablet lacks connectivity to mobile networks, meaning it'll only access the Internet via WiFi. That's a shame.
    10 - The Connectivity Leaves Much to Be Desired
  • You Lose Half Your Storage

    The sheer size of Windows RT might surprise customers who expect to get the 32GB or 64GB version and use up most of that space. According to Microsoft, the 32GB Surface RT comes with only 15GB of usable storage. The 64GB model has 45GB of useful space. That is a significant problem for potential buyers.
    11 - You Lose Half Your Storage

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