Schools may soon buy the Surface RT directly from Microsoft for $199

Microsoft School Deal for Surface RT

If you find yourself wanting to snag a Surface RT for the upcoming school year you should check out the following deal. It’s bonkers. The most basic Surface RT goes for $499, but if you read on you can get it for three hundred dollars less at an insane price of $199.

Since you weren’t born yesterday you probably already know there’s a catch. Well, there’s actually two catches to a deal this good.  First, the deal is only available for schools. It’s an offer from Microsoft to K12 and higher education locations. Second, it’s not available just yet. Mary Jo Foley was able to pull a screenshot of the information which is below. The info comes from Microsoft’s Ryan Lowdermilk and appears to have been posted a little early since the page has been pulled from his site.

Surface RT School Deal

We’ll of course let you know when the deal does go live, but here are the details anyway.

  • Surface RT (32GB) for $199 USD (Normal retail price of $499)
  • Surface RT (32GB) with Touch Keyboard Cover for $249 USD (Normal retail price of $599)
  • Surface RT (32GB) with Type Keyboard Cover for $289 USD (Normal retail price of $629)

The deal will work for institutions in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China (via Digital China), Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States.

It’s nice to see such aggressive discounts available directly to schools and universities, even for hardware that will be slightly outdated by the time the new school year rolls around. Plus, with Office preinstalled on the Surface RT it should be a hit at a few institutions.

Source: Ryan Lowdermilk (link dead for now) Via: ZDNET



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procen says:

I'm getting this I have kids that's attending K12.

I'm fairly certain they mean this deal is only offered to the education institutions and not to the students themselves

John20212 says:

Microsoft should extend this also to students same way they do for software through Dreamspark.
Its just a shame the RT does not have pen support like the Pro, since that is the main feature I would be looking for to take lecture notes.

neo158 says:

I use a Capacitive Stylus with mine, works just fine for note taking.

phil2415 says:

Really?  I bought a capacitive stylus to use with my Surface RT a few months ago and it was abysmal.  I returned it to the shop.  Which stylus are you using?

MastrMeatWad says:

 I suppose unless I am a school looking to buy tablets this does not apply to me and the majority.  Cool if looked at as news instead of a deal alert.

Shadow 024 says:

Hello people... "Schools" does not mean students, let alone parents. This is for Schools and Colleges that want to buy for their students. You won't be purchasing any unless you are an institution.
It goes repeating before anyone passes this comment:

the deal is only available for schools.

procen says:

I can request it if they K12 buy some for school use because they provide computers if you want it.

Penny_1 says:

Many big universities actually sell some of these types of products to their residents in the university's store. I'm not sure if the institution will be allowed to sell these Surface RT units that it purchases (depends on the conditions), but if it can, students can expect to see some pretty low prices for the RTs in their university stores. Companies like Apple and Microsoft were alwas offering discounted products in my old university's store.

neo158 says:

Which contradicts the title of the document then:

"Microsoft Surface $199 for Students"

MastrMeatWad says:

Yes.  Excitement led to disappointment.  Would be perfect for my daughter at that price. ;) 

joe_easton says:

I have read the article and understand that this price is just being sold to the schools and not the students.  But my questions is; could teh schools then sell them to students, teachers, etc? 
I would gladly pay my school $250 for one - instant profict for the school!

Visual360 says:

Nice! My wife is a teacher, and will probably get this. Sweet deal indeed.

Epic Pie says:

Wish it was available in Indonesia too :c

neo158 says:

You do know what the word "Racist" means, don't you?

I do...but any time I mention something about all the apps coming out of India, I get called a racist. Just wanted to join in with the ridiculous finger pointing. Wasn't as fun as I thought it would be.

MastrMeatWad says:

Yeah, usually anything that involves the word racist is not fun.

cae758 says:

My sister's a teacher at a high school, so I'll pass the word on. Thanks, Sam!

Sam Sabri says:

You betcha. When the deal goes live we'll do an update post with the full official details. 

q21701 says:

Sam, my wife homeschools our kids. Any idea if MS will include homeschoolers in this program?

safesax2002 says:

Same situation here...my wife homeschools my kids. Technically we had to register an institution name with my state's Dept. of Education (Nebraska) so that MIGHT make it easier. It would be nice to know for sure.

rodneyej says:

That actually is a good question, and a good idea.

Rafig says:

my dauther go to college , i am getting one.

Good, because you clearly did not.

rodneyej says:

Don't pay "The Remedy" any attention.. He's known for being rude to people on here..

This is not for students or parents of students. This is for Schools/School Boards/Colleges/Universitys and what not to buy them for their institutions.

This is a great idea but really pointless.  How many school districts are going to get together and decide to purchase these for use in their schools in that tiny purchase window?  These types of decisions were likely made a few months ago and the orders have been processed for other tech they purchased.
If they have been promoting this to schools for a while then I will happily stand corrected though.

Jazmac says:

How'd you get to "pointless" when you admit you don't even know whats up? Knowing Microsoft over the years, they don't do much of this in a vaccuum. They have all kinds of high level meetings with school districts long before word gets out about their plans.  Even before the first version of Office hit the streets, they were in talks with my bosses at Boeing before it dropped. Its how they roll. 
What I want to know is will this come with a keyboard?

I clearly said I would happily stand corrected if that was the case. I never said I don't know what's up. I said that it is likely these decisions were made a while ago. Our school district moves on decisions like this in March or April and it is a very small district.
In the article there is pricing for the unit alone and with the various keyboard options.

Sam Sabri says:

Yes. You can get no keyboard, type, or touch keyboard. 

ikissfutebol says:

Speaking as someone that worked in a school district's IT department, you'd be surprised how fast decisions can be made. Often times schools have open POs so that part isn't the issue. My director would drop money like it was nothing and yet still had tons left over to be two carts worth of iPads (60 if you were wondering). Believe me- when you are expected to spend all of your budget or either risk getting a cut for the next year or have a different department spend the remainder, you make sure there's nothing left. Many schools have fiscal periods that are either ending in June or July. Makes total logic to do this. Lastly, there are normal vendor reps that get super buddy buddy with decision-makers. I wouldn't be surprised if this is more of an official/formal announcement...as in directors had an idea something like this was coming.

Very happy to stand corrected. Thanks for the info.

deloa84 says:

Good. Much more functionality than an iPad for school simply because of Office.

The iPad can get office now you have to pay a subscription fee to Microsoft though see for yourself on the iPad!

Graven Pshya says:

Oh really? I thought it was just iPhone that had access to Office 365. All in all, I would like to see Surfaces in schools because they're more functional than iPads and won't be seen as "toys" lol.

_Emi_ says:

so you are comparing a real office which comes free with RT to a crappy dumbed mobile version of office that you have to pay a suscription to use it?
wow... i like your definition of "functionality" because thats the word the person you replied used.

blackhawk556 says:

You're wrong. Office isn't available for ipad. IPhone only.

Zulfigar says:

That, and the addition of the full-sized USB port.

Jazmac says:

Awesome. I have a daughter in college.

This is not for students or parents of students. This is for Schools/School Boards/Colleges/Universitys and what not to buy them for their institutions.

Jazmac says:

That is not how I read it. Office and Windows 7 licences is offered to Colleges and institutions as well who then passed that on to the students and a reduced cost. I didn't read that colleges could not or would not do the same with the Surface. Did you? Not even the author of the peice says that.
"If you find yourself wanting to snag a Surface RT for the upcoming school year you should check out the following deal. It’s bonkers. The most basic Surface RT goes for $499, but if you read on you can get it for three hundred dollars less at an insane price of $199."
I didn't see he was writing this for the benefit of a Public Instutution.

Certainly institutions could pass this along and buy them for students, but students cannot order them themselves. The promotion is only for educators to order, and there is no guarantee that those educators would allow students to purchase them though.
You bothered to read the first paragraph, but failed to see what he wrote right after?
"Since you weren’t born yesterday you probably already know there’s a catch. Well, there’s actually two catches to a deal this good.  First, the deal is only available for schools. It’s an offer from Microsoft to K12 and higher education locations"
It is quite obvious from that, that this offer is only for educational institutions and educators, whether or not those institutions will then allow students to purchase their inventory is up to the school itself. It seems to me though that this is meant for institutions to have surfaces as inventory for their classrooms, not for personal tablets for their students.

Jazmac says:

This is always how MS gets its products into the hands of current, future users / buyers / businesses...through the school. They introduce it the exact same way.

PSRBF6 says:

Bad move. They'll want to install programs on it.
Better off selling a NON RT version to schools.

The schools my children attend have iPod & iPad stations.  They are looking for dead simple apps, not x86 applications.  I think they are probably hoping to get a piece of that pie.  :)

Nik Rolls says:

Why? As a study companion, RT has all you need.

Nik Rolls says:

And for a teacher, Powerpoint combined with HDMI out, plus browser and docs is most of what you'd use.

ikissfutebol says:

I would be interested in seeing if Microsoft has better group app license policy than Apple. I left my position before Apple was supposedly updating it, but the policy didn't exist...either buy every app for each device (very costly) or claim you didn't know. Since that change was going to put a huge damper on app selection, Microsoft could make a very nice play assuming Apple didn't really give any or much incentives, which seems like Apple.

Fiann says:

They do. They have a special account you set up and then you use something like a gift card to buy apps that you can put onto a bunch of iPads.

ikissfutebol says:

Are you saying this special account also sees special pricing (as in scaled based on how many devices it's going on)?
Otherwise, this sounds like what we did at my old job. It's actually illegal and since Apple hadn't done much to curb it (as of two years ago), we were going to claim ignorance to the policy if we were ever approached. Essentially what you're doing is saying you are the sole/primary user of each device, which isn't the case. I know just prior to leaving that they were using more free apps and trying not to put big money apps on lots of devices in hopes it attracted less attention. 
To compare this with something else, if I register a group of iPads to the same account for my friends and family, it is technically illegal for them to all be using apps purchased just once. I reckon Sam can tell you how disheartening it would be for people to steal the WPCentral app like that.

Fiann says:

No, it's completely above board. It is a special class of account that is used to activate it. Remember, you can't authorize more than a certain number of devices otherwise.This lets you but 30 or however many copies of an app to activate on a bunch ipads at once.

ninny1176 says:

Why? As if they won't want to install apps on full W8? RT would have more tightly controlled apps whereas full blown W8 would have access to any apps/programs and would need to be administered to prevent unwanted apps. It's also possible that the school will be able to offer these devices as a pass-thru sale to the student, thus it becomes theirs...no need to dictate what apps are on it.

Again no love for India. Probably Microsoft will go broke if they provide this offer in India. Just saying.

They probably figured that putting India on that list meant it would be corrupt local politicians and others (persons of influence) who'd get the RT's and eventually sell it on the black market.

Tafsern says:

It amazes me that every article here on WPC always have a comment about India. 

You got a problem with that buddy???

Tafsern says:

Did I say I got a problem with that? 

Grow up. 

Then y mention something that doesn't bother you? Anyways we Indians love windows phone, windows 8 and surface so we will mention it wherever we want.

rakesh1995 says:

India not included

Ticomfreak says:

I wish my high school would give all students Surface RT's ;-)

Also I'd rather have them use rt more restrictive also helping the rt version develop better along with all the versions!

I know that the Macbook Air's used in our local high school are massively locked down.  The kids really can't do much of anything on them beyond what the school dictates.  Therefore it is my guess that RT is all schools would probably want kids to have anyway.

Graven Pshya says:

I agree. Come to think of it.. Windows RT could be very successful in the classroom because of its OS design; as long as the curriculum has the apps.

tekhna says:

Touchpad 2.0, firesale and all. 

Erickson187 says:

Is this just for schools to buy or for students in college to be able to? I would buy one if its for students with valid id. Otherwise I would not be getting one

Even at $200, I question the viability of these things. I'd be all over trying to get one of these if it was a $200 Atom tablet, but as a Computer Science major, the lack of x86 software (more specifically, code compilers) is a deal-breaker. I truly wish that RT would go away, because the Atom tablets are more versatile, while they also live in the same price range, with similar battery life to boot. There are some minor (read: 3D gaming) drawbacks to them, but newer technology (Haswel) should help that along.
I really think that Microsoft should be touting x86 Atom tablets as the future, because they destroy any software support advantage the competition could claim, while still maintaining the functionality of any RT device.

James8561 says:

x86 is currently too heavy for mobile use and your devices will be less responsive on x86 atom vs ARM because x86 is simply complex, battery life disadvantages asides.

tgr42 says:

You're right, Keith.  It's too bad the differences between x86 and RT are too difficult for most people to understand.  Also keep in mind that MS has a vested interest in the death of desktop apps, or at least suppression to the extent that is feasible, as they get a cut of every sale of Windows Store apps and have much greater control over that environment.

Fishhouse says:

Will they be able to send video messages via Skype on it, or let alone be able to download Skype at all? Zing!

You can download Skype at windows store..

MastrMeatWad says:

"zing".  Do you end every question with a zing?

No, but your mom ends always ends our love-making sessions with one.  Zing!!!

Visual360 says:

Okay, I'm confuse. Is this live now? Seems like Engadget is saying that it is. Might be reading it wrong...

I am in college so would I be able to buy one?

No,This is not for students. This is for Schools/School Boards/Colleges/Universitys and what not to buy them for their institutions.

Welle says:

How do you know it? It says for students and educators, maybe its like WP Dev Store. Or schools have to buy it for their students

If schools have to buy it then it is not for students to buy (which is what I meant) 
Anyways, says in the artcle
"Since you weren’t born yesterday you probably already know there’s a catch. Well, there’s actually two catches to a deal this good.  First, the deal is only available for schools. It’s an offer from Microsoft to K12 and higher education locations."

ikissfutebol says:

If you read Mary Jo's article, you can find the order form. You really have to be a decision-maker at a school/university.

ade333 says:

Check with your campus store, they will likely know the most. I imagine they'll be able to get one for you as most have had very long relationships with MS and probably know all about this. If you did not know already, students can usually get software at a heavily discounted rate through their campus stores.

dangish says:

Probably have to buy in bulk.

Murani Lewis says:

Supposedly there is no minimum. The key thing is the limited windows to purchase. At those prices quite a few parents would buy the devices and schools could even help make money on the deal by adding a $25-$50 surcharge. I know my alma mater is facing a budget deficit for the upcoming school year and this could be a way to generate some income.

ade333 says:

Actually, you probably don't. Schools have direct reps with MS and buy lots of software on an order by order basis, just like if you were buying through MS. In fact, most universities probably already have a few RTs and PROs in their campus stores and once the RT price changes, you will see that reflected in the shelf.

samlj0717 says:

Guys, on a different note I really thinking bout getting and surface RT, I have researched and watched video's for month. Is surface RT a good buy.

Graven Pshya says:

If you need desktop applications get a Surface Pro or other Windows 8 tablet. Surface RT is great if you'll be mainly using apps from the store and only need Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote as your desktop applications. Build quality is very nice, kickstand is great and battery life is good.

Some things to consider: sound volume (I believe it's fixed now) and camera.

ikissfutebol says:

Agree with you, but I might add also web browsing, social networking, and email. Between this and Office, the majority of people would be fine. Maybe not of a tech site, but we are also the minority.

MrUniq says:

If it helps any...I have a Surface Pro..but in hindsight I could have been fine with an RT. I rarely use the desktop on my PRO, even with office installed. Actually never. I could have saved my self a few hundred lol.

Lol MrUniq, I just read your comment after mine posted.

I've had a pro since day one and I could have honestly been using an RT this whole time. I've installed a few things but really, I keep going back to store apps, or mostly office.

James8561 says:

really hope schools in california get this OMG

camptime says:

My 8 year old son is using my Surface RT for school home work, Power point has come in very handy.

Bob101910 says:

Bonkers? Teddy Bonkers?

dkxs says:

If it's true, I'm getting one

MDak280 says:

My school unfortunately already has iPads. But this is a great thing. Not just for the education, but for awareness of the platform. Students would be exposed to Windows. A lot of them will really like it, which would result in more WP and Windows tablet sales. I hope many schools take part in this, and I wish my school didn't already have iPads!

lastword112 says:

why not India :/

LeLee092 says:

Pretty sure these are for students as well...idk about K12 but most colleges has a tech/computer store where they sell apple and PC products at a discounted price...they especially do heavy discounts for fall freshies, so *crosses fingers* hope this deal will be for the university stores as well

cgk says:

This is available to me but as far as I can see it is worthless because I'd be breaking the terms of the license if I connected it upto our 0365 accounts. Outside of that, our student body (I work at a University) perfer ipads and macs so I can't see this being of much interest to them. 

cgk says:

By the way, that isn't the full information - it is as follows:

The offer:
• Surface RT (32GB) – $199 USD (Estimated Retail Price is $499)
• Surface RT (32GB) with Touch Keyboard Cover – $249 USD (Estimated Retail Price is $599)
• Surface RT (32GB) with Type Keyboard Cover – $289 USD (Estimated Retail Price is $629)
The details:
Q. What is the Surface RT in Education Limited Time Offer?
A. It is special pricing on Surface RT for a limited time from June 17, 2013 – August 31, 2013, direct from Microsoft to K12 and higher education institutions during the traditional Northern Hemisphere back-to-school time frame.
Q. Why is Microsoft making such an aggressive Surface RT offer to education now?
A. Microsoft has a long tradition of offering special pricing to education customers. Microsoft’s mission in education is to help schools, students and educators realize their full potential. We do this by investing in education institutions through software, hardware and services at affordable prices. We think Surface RT is a terrific tool for teaching and learning, and we want students and educators to have the best technology on the market today.
Q. How does Surface RT compare to iPad and Android?
A. There are many differences between Surface RT and iPad and Android. One of the most important differences to schools is Surface RT comes with a touch-optimized version of Microsoft Office Home & Student 2013 RT – Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote (an upcoming free Windows update will also provide an RT version of Outlook). Microsoft Office is among the most popular productivity software in schools and businesses. Its inclusion in Surface RT means that your students and teachers will be ready to get to work on Surface right away.
Surface RT also lets users multitask between applications, share the device between many users, provides USB and HD video out ports, optional keyboard covers, integration of Internet Explorer 10 to run Flash based websites, lots of storage and a file system, a high quality display, and excellent battery life.
Take a look at the Surface RT in Education Brochure to learn about how Surface RT is a great solution for your school or university.
Q. What is the difference between Windows 8 and Windows RT?
A. Windows 8 comes in three versions (Home, Pro and Enterprise) and runs on Intel x86 chipset. Windows RT comes in one version and runs on the ARM chipset. Windows RT devices are lightweight, have thin form factors, and better battery life. Windows 8 x86 devices can run legacy software and software requiring intense processing power as well as the new modern Windows 8 apps. Windows RT ARM devices can run applications like Microsoft Office 2013 RT and the new modern Windows 8 apps exclusively from the Windows Store. Windows 8 x86 devices running Windows 8 Pro and Windows 8 Enterprise have enterprise level security and manageability features.
Q. I’ve heard there are more apps on iOS and Android? What can I expect from Surface RT?
A. With over 20,000 educationally-relevant apps worldwide in the Windows Store from many of the biggest names in education – Khan Academy, Kno and leading publishers – there is an app for almost every subject. Microsoft has optimized the web browsing experience for HTML 5 and Flash, to ensure that the web works best with Windows.
Q. What countries will the Surface in Education Limited Time Offer be available in?
A. This offer is good in countries:
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China (via Digital China), Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States.
Q. Is there a minimum order requirement?
A. No. Schools may buy any quantity of Surface RT for their institution. Pricing is only available until August 31st. We recommend that schools to get their orders in early to take advantage of the offer while supplies last.
Q. How do schools order their Surface RTs?
A. The brochure contains an order form. Fill out the order form and send it to SurfaceEDU@microsoft.com . You will get an email back confirming the order and details on fulfillment.


I would definitely get one since I'm still in school! At that price its a steal!

Schikitar says:

June 24th it goes live. I'm an IT Manager at a school (Australia) and have passed this on up the chain. Certainly worth considering with 8.1 around the corner, however, MS needs to do some work around MS accounts for students. You can't even link a students O365 account to their domain account (even though that's irrelevant on RT). We have one year level with Win 8 machines which the students all love, I could see RT being useful in some of our primary year levels.

WP95 says:

what a steal. i cant wait to use my surface rt next year in college!

rkeenan says:

Only available for schools and not the students? There is a lot of four letter words I could in this situation. Looks like I will buy an Android tablet.  

Pelldom says:

Only available through schools. As stated several times above some campuses may make them available through their campus store.

Dragenox says:

Microsoft Why you no Include India !!!

lexus67 says:

What going to happen when they discover it doesn't run Silverlight-a major flaw with RT

Henry Tew says:

Sooo, it won't be available to homeschoolers?