Does Steep Ed Discount Mean Microsoft is Ditching Surface Tablet?

During the back-to-school season it is not unusual to see great bargains on technology. Microsoft has done just that by offering a discount of at least $150 across the entire range of Surface Pro 3, says Michael Endler of InformationWeek.

The deal will run through September 3 and will bring the Pro 3's entry level cost down to $649. In comparison, that is $50 less than an iPad Air with the same storage capacity and $150 less than a MacBook Air. These Microsoft Pro 3 prices are only available to qualified students, faculty, and staff.

Some early tests show that the i3 processor-based models do not live up to their i5 counterparts. The base Pro 3, in some tests, even falls behind past-generation Surface Pro models. One very strong incentive which may send the Pro 2s flying off shelves is that NFL teams will be using Surface Pro 2s on the sidelines, thanks to a change in the leagues policies on the use of devices and computers on the field.

In the opinion of Rob Williams, a writer for Hot Hardware, the hiring of Satya Nadella as CEO of Microsoft could have endangered Microsoft's future. Now, he says, he is more confident in the computer giant. In spite of having to get rid of so many employees, the company has renewed its "vigor and focus". He also lauds the Surface Pro 3.

Starting now and continuing to January 2015, Microsoft stores nationwide are offering a 10% discount to students, educators, and staff members, according to WinBeta. That means 10% off brand new Surface Pro 3s, Windows PCs and accessories. Not only that, but a 10% discount will apply to Office Home and Student 2013 as well as 10% off the new Wedge Mobile Keyboard and Windows 8.1 Pro for Students.

"We know technology is an important part of any educational experience, so we're pleased to offer a 10% discount to students and the people who support them. Come visit us today to save on some of our favorite products," read a Microsoft store release.

Sean Keach, reporting for T3 – The Gadget Website, disagrees with the Microsoft party line that all is fine with the company, saying that Microsoft lost $1.7 billion over the last two years because of its Surface line.

"Microsoft continued to lose money on its Surface tablets throughout its just-concluded 2014 fiscal year," reads the report [not sourced or referenced], "adding hundreds of millions of dollars in red ink and boosting total losses to $1.7 billion."

This is an estimate, according to Keach, because Microsoft never published the cost of revenue for the Surface over the two years. Case in point, he adds, is that Microsoft axed the Surface Mini. He suggests that the canning of the Mini could have contributed to the major losses, especially since there were probably a number of devices already manufactured.

Keach continues by reminding readers that the original Surface was launched in October of 2012 and has become Microsoft's main series of tablet computers.

08 7, 2014
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