Microsoft evidently sees its Surface tablets as a good fit for those in education, and with Office 2013 included with the Surface RT, along with the popular OneNote note-taking app, it certainly makes some sense. Earlier this week, the company revealed that it would be giving away 10,000 Surface RTs to educators across the US.
Today, Microsoft developer evangelist Ryan Lowdermilk revealed the company's Surface for Education program, a limited-time offer that will see the Surface RT 32GB made available to students for just $199 through their schools and universities. The price represents a sizeable 60% discount over the tablet's recommended retail price of $499 (although some retailers, such as Staples, have recently dropped their prices to $399).
The discounts extend to accessories too, with the Touch Cover being sold for $50, and the Type Cover on offer for $90, when purchased with the tablet. The promotion starts today and runs until August 31 2013, and there's no minimum order requirement for schools or unis that intend to place an order for their students.
The offer isn't just limited to the US either. A further 24 countries are also included in the promotion: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
A brochure and order form is available to download here.
Source: Ryan Lowdermilk
Update: Since this article was published, the post detailing the offer has disappeared from Ryan Lowdermilk's website, as has the corresponding order form on SkyDrive. ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley speculates that this might be because the details were released prematurely, although given that the promotion was apparently due to launch on June 17, Microsoft should probably get a move on with making that announcement.
Update 2: Mary Jo Foley managed to get confirmation from Microsoft of the promotion, although it's not due to launch until June 24, despite the June 17 date originally stated on the brochure, which was later pulled. A Microsoft spokesperson sent this statement to Mary Jo:
Yes, it’s true. It’s important Microsoft does its part to help get devices into the hands of educators that help prepare today’s students with skills modern businesses demand. We will be discussing this more in greater detail on June 24, both from the ISTE showroom floor and on our Education Newsroom. Please join us then!"