Microsoft this morning released the latest in a series of ads comparing Windows tablets to Apple’s iPad, but with a new twist — touting the slashed Surface RT pricing that yesterday required the company to take a $900 million charge to its quarterly earnings.
The ad highlights the Surface RT’s integrated kickstand, USB port, and TouchCover keyboard before comparing the prices of the two devices: $599 for the 32GB iPad vs. the new $349 price of the 32GB Microsoft Surface.
“Do you still think I’m pretty?” asks Apple’s Siri as the ad concludes.
This is part of Microsoft’s broader effort to clear the inventory of the Surface RT in the face of lackluster demand for the tablet. The new price may move more units off the shelves, but it also puts Microsoft in a difficult position financially, beyond the $900 million charge. The risk is that consumers will view the Surface as more of a budget tablet, which will make it tougher for Microsoft to justify a premium price for future versions — assuming there are going to be future versions of the Surface RT.
One important point: If you’re considering buying one of the Microsoft tablets, the Surface keyboard is actually sold separately at that price, as noted in the fine print in the ad.