Walmart.com sold out of the 32GB Surface RT

Facing steep competition in the market, Microsoft recently dropped the price of the Surface RT by $150. The company was able to cut the price by writing down the inventory to the tune of $900 million, and it looks like that price cut may have been the key to move inventory.

If you head on over to Walmart’s page and you are looking to buy a Surface RT in the 32GB version, the site is temporarily out of stock of the tablet. Now, this is only one version of the device, and we know it’s not a huge milestone as stores frequently sell out of products, but to sell out of the Surface RT that had not been moving very well is something to celebrate for Microsoft. Also, considering that Walmart is a massive vendor, it’s likely safe to say that they had a large inventory of the devices that they were able to move in a modest time frame.

Microsoft is already testing the next generation of the Surface that will feature the "typical improvements," but with the write-down of the Surface RT, it will be interesting to see if Microsoft continues to push the Surface RT brand, or will it pull back as Intel has already shown that it can compete in the low-cost, low-heat, performance market.

Source: Walmart via ZDnet

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54 Comments

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Love my Pro. But I have to admit I would have bought an RT if I didn't need some graphics app for on the road.
And with RT also comes better batterylife and 'always on' or whatever it's called.

I'm very interested in a new Atom based RT/Pro with digitizer. Than the CPU will have some ump and great batterylife. Best of both worlds.

At 5:10 PM CDT on July 29, 2013 I was able to order one from Wal-Mart, a black $349 model. They apparently are not really sold out. All models were/are available at our "local store".

seeprime said,
At 5:10 PM CDT on July 29, 2013 I was able to order one from Wal-Mart, a black $349 model. They apparently are not really sold out. All models were/are available at our "local store".
Just had to check myself also. I'm at Walmart right now and since we needed soap, thought I'd check just how sold out these are. I told the young lad I needed to buy 10 for our church and asked how many they had in stock. He said they had 27. I asked him if I come back, does he think they'd still be available. His reply, yes, no one really wants these things. Lol.

I totally agree that MS did an absolute disaster with marketing of the Surface RT. Dancing girls? Something you can do with a well established device, otherwise suicide. Bad Marketing accounts for the failing in sales mostly in my opinion. Typical MS, good hardware but has no clue of how to sell it. It's pretty pathetic what they tried.

Ha! I wouldn't even buy one of these to resell due to the risk... would hate to have to own one of these useless things (useless for now, and probably some time to come).

mantequillas said,
Ha! I wouldn't even buy one of these to resell due to the risk... would hate to have to own one of these useless things (useless for now, and probably some time to come).
This is one reason I never bought one. I could maybe get $100 on eBay. Value is very important to me. I sold my daughters iPad 2 in May for almost $400.

mantequillas said,
Ha! I wouldn't even buy one of these to resell due to the risk... would hate to have to own one of these useless things (useless for now, and probably some time to come).

I bought one recently and don't regret it at all. This thing blows every other tablet out of the water. I thought the same as you before, but then I actually tried it and can't stop using it.

SteveyAyo said,
Do they run Windows yet?

Why would anyone select RT vs Nexus 10? Better screen resolution? hmmm no, RT faster? hmmm no, RT more apps? that is no as well, RT better browser? hmmm... much slower, .... and the list continues

Nexus 10, Real Multitasking? No. More Tablet Apps? Nope, Full Office Suite for Free? Nope. Most importantly does the Nexus run Android? Yes... therefore not worth the money

SteveyAyo said,
Nexus 10, Real Multitasking? No. More Tablet Apps? Nope, Full Office Suite for Free? Nope. Most importantly does the Nexus run Android? Yes... therefore not worth the money

So basically WinRT is system that can run Cut the Rope and MSOffice in the same time, what a revolutionary thing!

SteveyAyo said,
Nexus 10, Real Multitasking? No. More Tablet Apps? Nope, Full Office Suite for Free? Nope. Most importantly does the Nexus run Android? Yes... therefore not worth the money

Android, IOS and WP are multitasking, i.e. multi process. The term "real multitasking" is just marketing stunt.

Brony said,

Android, IOS and WP are multitasking, i.e. multi process. The term "real multitasking" is just marketing stunt.


Marketing stunt? lol.... The fact that I can view both at the same time is a big deal, and which is one of the key things of "Windows" (i.e. multiple panes/windows).

An excellent place for Surface tablets to be sold. Missing are the high-end toy stores. The market segment for tablets is very limited.

Don't really think this really matters much. I probably wouldn't buy one even for $50 and that's mostly because MS's is screwing with the Windows desktop ecosystem. Had they kept the tablet UI off of desktops and laptops i might buy the surface RT for $150 or even the regular price.

This... makes absolutely no sense. You wont buy a device which has no Desktop functionality outside of Office because its not aimed at a desktop? or is this some stupid stand against metro BS post?

SteveyAyo said,
This... makes absolutely no sense. You wont buy a device which has no Desktop functionality outside of Office because its not aimed at a desktop? or is this some stupid stand against metro BS post?
Finally there's the matter of principle. Do I really want to encourage MS's business tactic of reducing desktop functionality in order to familiarize users with MS's touch interface in an attempt to drive their failing phone and tablet sales? For me, the answer is definitely not, as it sets a dangerous precedent and encourages them to continue throwing desktop users under the bus.

Oh wait, apparently principle = stupid BS post. Mods please ban.

I wish they drop RT alltogether.
As you say, intel is finally competing in the low heat, low cost market.

I would love all the future MS tablets to run full windows! First gen was iffy for me..

RT - limited
Pro - thick and expensive.


I expect next version to look like Surface RT.... and act like Surface Pro

They wont drop RT because its the future of WP, to scrap it completely would be insane. They need to continue advancing it and shrinking it to more Mobile sizes so when they add the phone functionality it will work perfectly

panacea said,
I wish they drop RT alltogether... RT = limited

Have you actually used RT? I had the same mindset as you before, thinking it was lame/limited, but then I actually bought a Surface RT recently when the price reduced. I installed the 8.1 Preview and I have to say I LOVE it. I immediately threw away my iPad. The amount of work and things you can do this thing blows every other tablet out of the water. I thought the limited apps would be an issue too, but it's not at all. I can't wait to take it on my trip :-)

Sorry, but "temporarily out of stock" could just be poor inventory management...

The only thing that matters here is units sold. We will only know after Q3.

It's possible. Out of Stock could mean a lot of other things than "we sold out of units to customers". I personally find it unlikely that Surfaces started flying off shelves with a $150 price cut.

Its almost as if maybe they should have been selling these things at places like WalMart from the very beginning... Instead thy chose to sell them pretty much exclusively at Microsoft Stores, which are rare.

Also as far as the Next Surface goes, they will definitely have an RT version, it will just be smaller and cheaper... RT will be the Mini of the Surface family until RT becomes WP

I believe selling exclusively at the Microsoft store was intentional to not **** off OEMs. They were willing to take a hit with the halo device - but definitely not as much as they did. With sales underwhelming, the expansion to retailers and price cuts are necessary.

DClark said,
I believe selling exclusively at the Microsoft store was intentional to not **** off OEMs. They were willing to take a hit with the halo device - but definitely not as much as they did. With sales underwhelming, the expansion to retailers and price cuts are necessary.

At this point, I'd say **** the OEMs. They haven't be doing anything except eating glue for the past couple of years.

Lenovo is really the only OEM I have any faith in these days. Microsoft needs to make it so ALL Windows products are sold like the Signature products are. Now that Windows has an app store, all bloatware should be put in a special OEM section of the store that people can download OEM apps that THEY choose.

Dot Matrix said,
At this point, I'd say **** the OEMs. They haven't be doing anything except eating glue for the past couple of years.
OEMs are the main victim of MS's boneheaded business decisions of late.

startscreennope said,
OEMs are the main victim of MS's boneheaded business decisions of late.

OEMs aren't a victim of anyone other then themselves.

Pam14160 said,
If this works just may be MS will keep the prices for the RT at this level. . .=Nice

I was hoping it would lower.

Pam14160 said,
If this works just may be MS will keep the prices for the RT at this level. . .=Nice

That wouldn't be enough. People interested in the Surface know this offer wont be beaten for a while. They also know the device itself is high quality and worth this price. So they jump in. But this doesn't mean Windows RT suddenly is popular and can stand on its own.

I doubt the price alone will convince regular customers. Either they'll see the even cheaper Android alternatives or they have some cash to spend and go for an iPad instead. Not to mention that its really the 8'' tablets that are popular.

Windows RT tablets needs to be available at 200 dollars and on 8'' tablets. Chainstores will pick them up in large quantities and consumers will buy them in large quantities as well. Then word of mouth can help create more awareness for the new touch Windows experience.

I agree. If the price of RT was 199, I might have gen RT a try. At 500, it wasn't even a consideration, nor at 350. I have a Nexus 10 that does all the media stuff I want. What I NEED is a W8 tablet with good specs and lower price point than what we're seeing. I suspect next year will be the end of RT, but w8 stuff will do much better.

Hahaiah said,
I agree. If the price of RT was 199, I might have gen RT a try. At 500, it wasn't even a consideration, nor at 350. I have a Nexus 10 that does all the media stuff I want. What I NEED is a W8 tablet with good specs and lower price point than what we're seeing. I suspect next year will be the end of RT, but w8 stuff will do much better.
It's good that you have a media consumption device, but it does not do Office docs (and no, online Google Docs do not compare).

A Windows RT-based device can replace the average user's computer completely. The only exceptions are for those people that require "heavy" or otherwise special software, such as gamers, stock traders, graphics artists and developers (but they all likely need more "oomph" from their machines anyway, or x86-only software). With the Surface RT providing a mechanism for attaching a real keyboard, which I feel is the overpriced part, and coming with Office for free, no other tablet can compete.

This is where Microsoft failed miserably: marketing the Surface RT. My fiancee uses her Surface RT in law school in every single class, and her work "products" (notes and assignments) can be thoughtlessly delivered to her teacher and peers without worrying about significant software limitations.

It's probable that the RT is selling at close to hardware cost, and it still does not seem to be worth it. They should at least include a touch cover: that hardware can't cost more than ten dollars to make.

Selling out is not a big deal, and I have yet to see either surface outside a store. I'm at a university. The Samsung note tablet is popular, and I've been seeing the spectrum of Android tablets for years. What to speak of the iPad.

I considered that 199$ would have been the right price at first, but in hindsight, it wouldn't have worked. Sure, the devices would have flown off the shelves, since the hardware is worth more than that, but it wouldn't have expanded the ecosystem because 1). The supply was limited; five million units, and 2). People would have bought in bulk at such a low price in order to scalp them on E-bay and Craigslist. Ultimately, there wouldn't have been any devices available at the retail price, Microsoft wouldn't have gotten any farther with getting them into the hands of actual consumers, and the ecosystem growth spurred on by the low price would have settled more or less to the present rate.

By that logic, iPad should sell for what..? $1500? $2000? I mean, if we're basing price off the level of abysmality (made up word) of the app store that is.

Depending on your definition of abysmal, maybe Android tablets should cost a few hundred dollars more, eh?

Deihmos said,
It should be about $200 or less. The app store is abysmal.

Are you seeing the same appstore as I am? Windows 8 is a mixed bag but the appstore is one place where its succeeding. It has a lot of apps and its growing faster then the competition as well.