Microsoft kicks off school tablet discount

Microsoft is trying to set up its Surface tablet computer for a boost in sales with a special offer for schools.

Under a new programme, schools can purchase a Surface with Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system for less than half the regular price.

A Surface RT costs about 192 euros (250 dollars) with the programme, compared to the normal 480 euros. The next version up goes for 242 euros, instead of 580 euros. Microsoft’s Office Suite come pre-installed.

The deal, which will be offered in 25 countries, is good through till the end of August. Microsoft hopes that the deal will boost sales of Windows 8 and carve out a niche in the lucrative tablet market. The company would not say how many devices have been set aside for the offer.

Market analysts estimate that Microsoft has sold about 900,000 Surfaces in the first quarter, which would give the company a market share of about 1.8 per cent. (dpa)