IDG News Service recently discovered that a variety of Windows RT tablets had been quietly discounted at various retail chains.
Writer Agam Shah revealed that Dell’s XPS 10 now starts at $449 for the 32GB model – a discount of $50 from the original price, with the 64GB edition $100 cheaper at $499.
Asus’ VivoTab RT has also been subject to a price cut, with Amazon.com now advertising the 32GB tablet for $382, a significant discount considering the model launched for $599 back at the end of last August.
Other vendors have also been getting on the act, with Lenovo dropping the IdeaPad Yoga 11 to just $599 as part of a seven-day offer. The hybrid Windows 8 tablet usually sells for $799, but can now be found as cheap at $499.99 from Amazon.
While there have been murmurs of Microsoft killing Windows RT and fairly regular complaints from industry observers about the ARM-based operating system, one analyst believes that these widespread discounts are being used to ramp up demand.
“A price drop may be an attempt to stimulate demand, said David Daoud, research director at IDC.
"A lot of it is pre-positioning for the summer season," Daoud said. "Do price reductions stimulate demand? Sure they, do, in the right time."
Microsoft will no doubt be hoping that this sales frenzy translates in more market share for Windows 8, but it may also cast an eye at its own Windows RT tablet, the Surface RT. The model, which starts at $499 excluding the Touch Cover, has not been discounted and could as a result miss out on rising sales.