Partners' devices receive price cuts within Microsoft's online store

Microsoft slashes Windows 8 device prices

Microsoft has cut the prices of a variety of Windows 8 based tablets and hybrid laptops within its online store.

Despite launching Windows RT and Windows 8 last October, the firm has begun to slash prices on its partners’ hybrid devices.

However, Microsoft’s own Surface RT tablet has not been included within the cuts, as its price tag remains consistent at $499.

Amongst the discounted devices is Toshiba’s Satellite Convertible Notebook, which is now listed on the Microsoft store at $799 down from $1,149, whilst the HP ENVY x2 Touchscreen has similarly been reduced from $849 to $599.

Other devices that have received cuts include the Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T and Acer Iconia tablets, cut to $999 and $399 respectively.

Whilst the cuts are likely a routine reduction in order to maintain competitive pricing on ageing models, analysts have been quick to label the move as a sign of trouble for Microsoft.

Tech research firm IDC predicts that 2013 shipments will continue to fall by 1.3 per cent – a worrying trend for PC makers.

"Disappointing holiday sales, an underwhelming reception to Windows 8, and continuing economic malaise that further crimped IT budgets marked the face of the market during the second half of 2012, leading to a year-on-year decline of 8.3 per cent in fourth-quarter shipments, the most substantial decline recorded for a holiday quarter," IDC told CNET.

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