had a simple formula for competing in the mobile space: Launch a Surface Pro
device running Windows 8 for people that need a full fledged system for getting work done yet desire the portability of a tablet, and Surface RT
for consumers who are primarily interested in a tablet. In Microsoft's mind, this would also serve as the blueprint for its OEM partners to follow with devices of their own. The only problem with Microsoft's strategy is that consumers aren't flocking to these devices, so what's next?
A price cut
. Surface RT debuted at $499, a premium price for a tablet made even more expensive by the fact that competition in the Android space keep coming out with lower priced devices. Citing "people with knowledge of the matter," Bloomberg
says Microsoft will follow suit with price cuts of its own.
It remains to be seen if Surface RT will come down in cost, but Microsoft is said to be slashing the price of Windows RT for small tablets in an attempt to get more manufacturers to jump on board.
"You need more breadth of equipment manufacturers making the devices, you need lower prices, you need a better selection of devices," Wes Miller, an analyst at Directions, told Bloomberg
The idea, of course, is that by reducing the price of Windows RT, Microsoft's hardware partners will build cheaper devices, thereby passing the savings on to consumers. It's a simple solution, though the problem may be a little more complex than that. In addition to price, there's the uncertainty of whether consumers are ready to buy into the Windows RT ecosystem with its limited selection of apps. Not all of Microsoft's partners are confident in the OS, especially Acer, which recently said
"there's no value doing the current version of RT."