Can Microsoft boost the sale of Windows tablets with a $99 price sale? The company is trying to find out.
On Monday, the Windows 8.1 Dell Venue 8 Pro tablet will go on sale for $99 -- a one-day sale price, only one per for the first 20 buyers at Microsoft's brick-and-mortar stores in the U.S. This is a $200 discount from the regular price for the 8-inch tablet, and is the first of the company's 12 days of deals promotion that features a sale of a Microsoft-related product every day.
After the first 20 buyers, the tablet's price is $199, still $100 less than regular, and continues at that sticker until there are no more units at that outlet. Microsoft has said that some stores may have under a dozen units in stock.
Online, the first 100 sales of the tablet will be priced at $99, which then becomes $199 as long as supplies last. Once the inventory is restocked, the price reverts to its regular $299. Pricing does not include taxes or shipping, and, in Canada, the sale is only available at retail stores.
While the numbers of tablets sold at these prices will obviously not move Microsoft's market share, it is attracting attention at a time when the category dominance by Apple's iPad has begun to decline and other brands are moving up. According to stats released by industry research firm IDC on Tuesday, Apple's share of the tablet market is 35 percent in 2013, down from 45 percent last year and heading for another five point drop by 2017.
IDC is predicting that Microsoft-based tablets will increase to more than 10 percent by 2017, and that Android tablets will drop two percentage points from their 60.8 percent current market share. Microsoft's Surface tablets have moved from under 1 percent last year to 3.4 percent in 2013. Retail research firm InfoScout reports that the Microsoft Surface 32 GB tablet, at $199, was the top item sold on Black Friday.
The question is whether such tactics as sale promotions can help the company get its market share higher than 10 percent in three years?
Jitesh Ubrani, research analyst for IDC's Worldwide Tablet Tracker, said in a statement that, although we're already halfway through the holiday quarter, and although "there have been some relatively high-profile launches from the likes of Dell, HP, and Lenovo, we've yet to see the widespread availability of these devices, making it difficult for Windows to gain share during this crucial period."
Additionally, Microsoft continues to receive criticism for selling three different versions of Windows for tablets -- version 8 and version 8.1 for Intel x86 processors, plus RT for ARM-based tablets.
Meanwhile, it is not uncommon to find Android tablets for under $100. On Black Friday, for instance, Walmart sold the HP 7-inch Mesquite tablet for $89, and now that retailer is selling the same Android 4.1 tablet with Intel Atom processor for $99, $30 below the list price.
Tablets with less than stellar specs, or by lesser known brands, can commonly be found for under $100, such an RCA 7-inch tablet or the Nextbook 7-inch, both sold by Walmart for $69.
Posted: 2013-12-29 @ 6:12pm PT
I also tried on-line and it was a disaster. This should have been offer at staples and other stores also. Staples told me if I had the ad from the internet they would price match on that day. I took the ad the next and they would not honor it. I hope microsoft would do this better next time
Posted: 2013-12-09 @ 12:04pm PT
I got one
Somerset Collection Troy, Michigan
Also now have the deals for the rest of the 12 days
Posted: 2013-12-09 @ 10:22am PT
Amazing. Where is the outrage and panty twisting when Apple does the exact same thing during an iPhone launch?
Posted: 2013-12-09 @ 8:35am PT
@Seymour, @ RonC: I think it's simply a matter of too much demand for an obviously popular offer. Hopefully they'll get it together and extend the offer.
Posted: 2013-12-09 @ 7:22am PT
Their on-line store page did not have any visible links or references to order this special offer. The page continued to time out and crash after a refresh. When I engaged support via chat, they apologized and said the offer sold out within 5 minutes. Typical MS garbage.
Posted: 2013-12-09 @ 7:18am PT
A tech company that can't even get Tech right. Tried visiting the Microsoft store early in the day on Monday - but there was no link to place the item in the shopping cart. Came back a couple of hours later and attempted a Chat session but gave up after waiting for nearly 30 minutes for a response. Now the website will not even respond... Why would anybody want to buy a tablet from an outfit that can't even make their own website work?
Posted: 2013-12-08 @ 5:14pm PT
What type of peripherals can be attached to the tablet? Printers?
Posted: 2013-12-08 @ 1:18pm PT
This is a marketing joke. With only 20 available and no reasonable other access by the "public' Microsoft can expect their usual backlash. This is a dumb move.
Posted: 2013-12-08 @ 7:04am PT
Only 20 per store plus no store in my area. So simple Microsoft has pissed me off I will never buy one period.