Microsoft has trimmed the prices of its second-generation, Intel-based Surface Pro 2 tablets just ahead of the beginning of delivery of its Surface Pro 3.
Microsoft cut prices on some of its Surface Pro 2 models sold in the US by $100 each and others by $200. The 64 GB, Core i5-based Surface Pro 2 is now $799 instead of $899, and the high-end 512 GB model is now $1,599 instead of $1,799. Microsoft cut Surface Pro 2 prices in the UK in late May, and also seems to be cutting them in France, among other countries. (Thanks to @andreabarbera for the tip on France.)
There are two models of the Core i5-based Surface Pro 3: a 128 GB one for $999 and a 256 GB one for $1,299. Those prices include a pen but not a cover/keyboard. The Core i3 and i7 models of the Surface Pro 3 aren't due out until later in August.
Some customers who preordered the i5 version of the Surface Pro 3 tweeted on June 17 that they've been notified their devices have shipped. When Microsoft made the Surface Pro 3 devices available for preorder here in the US, the ship date was listed as June 20. June 20 is also the date when the i5-based Surface Pro 3 devices will be available at retail, Microsoft officials have said.
Microsoft has had problems keeping its previously released Surfaces and some of the associated peripherals in stock. It's not clear if that's due to high demand or insufficient supply; my bet (given Microsoft's Surface RT write-down) would be the latter. It looks like supply may be an issue for Surface Pro 3, as well, given Microsoft has moved back the ship date for the 128 GB model of the Surface Pro 3 to June 30 (from June 20). The 265 GB model of Surface Pro 3 still is marked as shipping on June 20 on the Microsoft online store site.
During the company's introduction of the Surface Pro 3 on May 20 in New York City, Surface chief Panos Panay acknowledged that Microsoft is planning to stop making and gradually phase out its Surface Pro 2 devices. The company has no current plans to phase out its ARM-based Surface 2 devices, Panay said.
This story originally appeared as "Microsoft trims Surface Pro 2 prices ahead of Surface Pro 3 availability" on ZDNet.