As sales flounder, Microsoft will drop prices on Surface RT tablet

The price drop may mean things aren't going swimmingly for Microsoft's Surface tablet. 

A Microsoft representative holds a Surface tablet computer as it is unveiled by Microsoft in Los Angeles, Calif., in this June 18, 2012 file photo. This week, Microsoft indicated it would drop prices on the Surface RT tablet line.

Microsoft hasn't exactly been forthcoming about sales figures for its new Surface tablet, although according to Bloomberg, as of March, the total number was hovering around 1.5 million units – not terrible, but certainly not stellar. (To put things in perspective, Apple sold 3 million iPads in the three days following the launch of the iPad Mini and the fourth-gen iPad.) 

Here's what we do know (hat tip to the Associated Press): Microsoft is dropping the price on its Surface tablet by a substantial percentage. Beginning this week, a 32GB Surface RT without a cover will sell for $349, down from $499. Meanwhile, the 32GB Surface RT with the cover – a cover that doubles as a keyboard – will now cost $449, down from $599. 

"We've been seeing great success with pricing and cover promotions over the past several months on Surface RT in the U.S. and other markets," a Microsoft spokesman told the Wall Street Journal in an interview published today. "People who buy Surface love Surface, and we're excited about all those additional people out sharing their excitement for Surface with other people."

In a report published in May, analytics firm IDC estimated that Microsoft shipped 900,000 Surface tablets in the first quarter of 2013, including a substantial amount of Surface Pro units. (The Surface Pro, a high-powered version of the Surface intended for professional clients, launched in February to mixed reviews.) That's good enough for a measly 1.8 percent of the global tablet market, IDC said

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