Company is reaching out directly to schools and universities with a Surface RT discount offer during the summer buying season.
Microsoft is making a reduced-price version of its ARM-based Surface RT tablet/notebook available directly to schools and universities for two months this summer.
The "Microsoft Surface for education limited-time offer" will be available between June 24 and August 31, a spokesperson said Tuesday. Under the program, Surface RTs without keyboards will go for $199 (retail price is $499). With a touch keyboard, the discounted price is $249 (retail price is $599), and with a type keyboard the discounted price is $289 (retail price is $629).
The offer is available directly from Microsoft to K-12 and higher-education institutions. It is available to schools 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.
There is no minimum order. Microsoft is recommending that schools get their orders in early as it is a "while supplies last" kind of deal.
I've asked Microsoft officials if the deal will be extended to cover Surface Pros, as well. No word back so far.
Microsoft has been making its Surface RT and Surface Pro devices available for substantial discounts to attendees of some of its recent conferences. Microsoft also announced a Surface RT giveaway at a major educational conference for 10,000 teachers, as GeekWire reported recently.
Microsoft company officials have not said how many Surfaces they made or how many they've sold to date, but a number of company watchers believe Microsoft ordered too many Surface RTs, based on the demand level for the ARM-based versions of its devices.
This story originally posted as "Microsoft launches Surface RT discount for schools" on ZDNet.