Microsoft offloads cheap Surface RT tablets to schools
The deal runs until 31 August and is available to schools in the US, Europe and beyond. There’s no minimum order on units, though the firm is encouraging schools to “get their orders in early” in case supplies run out.
Microsoft will only offer its 32GB model to schools, chopping up to 60% off the original price. A standard Surface RT without a keyboard will cost schools £133 per unit, down from the original £399 price tag. They can also buy models with the Touch keyboard cover for £168, down from an RRP of £479, or the Type keyboard cover for £196, down from £509.
Although Microsoft spun the offer as “Microsoft Surface for education”, the discount is only applicable to the ARM-based Surface RT and not the higher-end Surface Pro. The firm addressed potential competition against the iPad and tablets running on Android, touting the availability of Office Home & Student RT as a key differentiator.
“There are many differences between Surface RT and iPad and Android. One of the most important differences to schools is Surface RT comes with a touch-optimised version of Microsoft Office Home & Student RT,” said the firm. “Its inclusion in Surface RT means that students and teachers will be ready to get to work on Surface right away.”
Although Microsoft said it has long been committed to investing in education, it’s possible the global programme is an attempt to clear stock ahead of a new device. This isn’t the first time Microsoft has offered its tablets to educators, offering free and discounted devices to conference attendees earlier in the year.