Ahead of Surface 2 announcement, Microsoft expands trade-in promotion

Michael Santo's picture

Microsoft has -- sort of -- upped the ante on its limited-time iPad trade-in deal, which we wrote about earlier, expanding it to Android and BlackBerry devices.

We say "sort of" because the new promotion seems separate from the earlier iPad promotion, which is still running (until Oct. 27).

In that promotion -- available only in-store, not online -- an iPad owner could bring his or her device into a Microsoft store, and receive a minimum of $200 on a gift card. It was good for the iPad 2 through iPad 4.

The new deal both expands and contracts on the promotion. It expands the deal in that users of Android, BlackBerry and other platforms can trade in their phone or tablet, and receive up to $350, paid in a VISA prepaid card.

The cards are good for six months.

Although this is a new Microsoft Corporate Buyback promotion, the FAQ on the site says that anyone can join. All that is required is a Microsoft Account ID, which anyone, including non-Microsoft employees and non-Microsoft users can get for free. Businesses can also trade-in multiple devices at once and get a single quote for the value of those devices.

Ah, and there is that word: quote. Microsoft is teaming with Clover Wireless for this promotion. Clover is a company that provides private label trade-in, buy-back and repair services.

The quote is a contraction of the original deal, but so is this: Users are required to show a proof-of-purchase of a Microsoft device -- a Windows Phone and / or Surface tablet within 30 days of the ship date of their device to Clover. Within 60 days of receipt, Clover will send users their rebates in the form of the aforementioned prepaid Visa card.

If you are looking at a Windows RT or Windows 8 tablet, Microsoft is expected to announce new versions of the Surface RT (which will lose the RT moniker) and Surface Pro on Monday, Sept. 23.

Our advice: if you are even remotely interested in this, wait until after that press conference.

As noted above, the Surface RT tablet is going to lose the RT moniker, and be called simply the Surface 2. There are rumors that it might either carry a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor or NVIDIA's Tegra 4,.

Either processor would add a wonderful performance boost to the device. Notably, though, the Qualcomm processor would add the possibility of an LTE version of the RT tablet.

Meanwhile, the Surface Pro 2 -- which runs full Windows 8, not Windows Phone -- is expected to carry a Haswell CPU. In fact, it must. Intel's latest Core design promises much better battery life, which has long been a complaint by Surface Pro users.

In addition, a long-rumored keyboard cover with an included battery appears on the horizon. Rumored to be called the Power Cover, this could enable the Surface Pro to reach a full day of work. However, it's expected the Power Cover will trail the Surface Pro 2 retail launch by some unknown time.

Note: it's not clear how long this promotion will last.