Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Does Surface Pro $100-off promotion timing signal a new version?

If you had made a bet that, since Microsoft dropped the price of its poorly-selling Surface RT tablets, the company would drop the price of its Windows 8 Pro-based Surface Pro, you would have won. On Sunday, the Redmond, Wash.-based giant announced a $100 price cut in its Surface Pro prices.

Essentially a 10 percent cut in prices, it follows Microsoft's Surface RT price cut, which amounted to about 30 percent. The 64GB version is now $799, while the 128GB version is now $899.

These prices do not include the highly desired keyboard cases. In addition, the Surface Pro reductions are only temporary and last from Aug. 4 through Aug. 29.

There have been hints about Surface RT 2 and Surface Pro 2 models. It's been reported that Microsoft has been testing Surface devices with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800 processor to use in the ARM-based Surface RT update, and it ie expected that the Surface Pro 2 will sport an Intel Haswell processor, which should increase battery life while also keeping performance up.

In the past, the company has teased a battery-equipped keyboard cover that could also extend battery life. The Surface Pro uses an Intel Core processor which requires active cooling, meaning that battery life has been disappointing. Thus, both of these moves could improve battery performance by a great deal.

Could the date -- Aug. 29 -- when the promotion ends signal a Surface Pro 2 announcement?  That remains to be seen, but those waiting for a post-Intel Core Surface Pro will be hoping for that to be the case.

Pricing, though, remains a question, as despite the fact that a Surface Pro tablet running Windows 8 Pro has the same capabilities as a laptop, the comparison is always made against an iPad, and even with the new price cuts, the price is still too high.

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