Last fall, Microsoft announced its Surface lineup of tablets. The company had hoped that the Windows 8 devices would be able to challenge Apple's iPad in the full-sized tablet market. Like Windows 8 itself, however, the Surface (particularly the Surface RT) was a spectacular flop. As of its latest quarterly financial report, Microsoft was forced to take a $900 million charge for Surface RT tablets that are sitting unsold in warehouses.
Microsoft is now trying to put the Surface RT in classrooms using the "Bing For Schools" initiative while cutting the price of the Surface RT and Surface Pro for the consumer market. This month, the company has unveiled yet another scheme to get consumers off the iPad and onto a Surface.
Microsoft is offering customers $200 to give up their old iPad. The deal is only good for customers who have a Microsoft Store nearby. Anyone can bring in a second, third, or fourth generation iPad into a Microsoft Store and receive a $200 Microsoft Store gift card. The offer ends on October 27.
The $200 being a gift card does limit the usefulness of the deal somewhat. Microsoft, of course, is suggesting customers put the money toward the purchase of a Surface RT or a Surface Pro. However, there are plenty of other things to use $200 on in a Microsoft Store. The gift card could easily cover the cost of the Home version of Microsoft Office. Microsoft's stores also sell a range of video games for the Xbox 360, and $200 would take a nice chunk out of the high price of an Xbox One pre-order.