Microsoft will pay you $650 to ditch your MacBook Air for a Surface

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No matter how many updates Microsoft makes to its Surface tablets, it just hasn’t been able to live up to its promise of killing the iPad and MacBook Air in one swoop, but now Redmond is ready to try another tactic — buying you out.

Microsoft announced that starting today, MacBook Air owners can walk into any Microsoft retail store and trade-in their Apple machine for $650 of store credit toward the purchase a Surface Pro 3, which Microsoft swears can replace your laptop, because you know, it’s got Office.

The Surface Pro 3 was revealed last month with a gigantic 12-inch screen, up to 512GB of storage, a stylus and Microsoft’s slim keyboard cover. Prices start at $79,9 which would put your total bill around $150 if you trade in your MacBook Air for the baseline model. To get the same specs as a baseline MacBook Air though you’re looking at a bill of $1128.99.

Trade-in values for each MacBook Air may vary depending on the condition, according to the terms of Microsoft’s deal, and you can only redeem it at a Microsoft Store.

MacBook Airs used as trade-ins must power on and off, as well as not suffer from water damage or cracked screens. Oh, and don’t even think about trying to trade in that busted MacBook Air for a new Xbox One. Microsoft says the fronted cash can only be used on its big ass tablet.

  • William Donelson

    Who pays for all the apps you have, and the data transfer?

  • Andrew

    No thanks LOL.

  • http://www.designstrategies.com Len Williams

    What a great idea! Finally I can use Microsoft Office… wait. Doesn’t Office run on a MacBook Air already? OK, never mind.

    Even if I liked and admired the Win8 OS (which I don’t), why would I want to give up a compact, exquisitely designed and engineered laptop that has a hinged lid that I can open to just about any comfortable angle, for a two-piece device that needs a kickstand to stay upright because it has no adjustable hinge? The additional space the kickstand takes up is significant because the Surface looks like it would be difficult to fit the whole thing on my lap. So let’s see: Give up my beautiful and well-engineered laptop running OS X for a flimsier, less well-engineered tablet/cover/keyboard hybrid that needs extra space just to stay upright and runs Windows 8? Eh, no, I don’t think so, no matter how much they’re giving it away for. In fact, the OS is so horrendous that Microsoft would have to pay me about $1500 to accept a Surface (I’d then donate it somewhere and buy myself a new MacBook Air).

  • marcsprspective

    Well hold up can I play Devil’s Advocate without fanboys jumping down my throat? Ok? Ok. If you own Macbook Air from a few years ago (before the Haswell update) and wanted a newer machine, wouldn’t this machine make sense? I get it, Apple products are good, I own quite a few, but that doesn’t mean that this is a horrible machine.

    In Italian we have a saying “Il Mondo e’ bello perche’ e’ vario”, roughly “The world is beautiful because it’s diverse”. Some people will buy this machine and love it, for some this is a great deal. Some people like Surface products (my best friend swears by them), some don’t. Why does loving an Apple product automatically equate hating the Surface? I don’t understand the vitriol on some of these posts. To each his own, guys.

    • The Gnome

      You have to just look at the blog title and understand. If this were a Microsoft fanboy site we’d probably see different. Go look at an Android site and you definitely see the venom. Its really just that simple… you have too high expectations and don’t know your audience.

      oh, and the Surface sucks ballz regardless of what type of fanboy you are. :)

      • marcsprspective

        That’s BS. I love Apple stuff. I have a great laptop and tablet and an airport for my home (which is more than some people can say), but that doesn’t mean I can’t look at the Surface and say “damn they fit all those specs into something that small? That’s pretty cool!” It doesn’t “suck ballz” (what are you 12?). Like give me a break, the Macbook Air and the new Surface are both really cool products, and anyone who can afford either (or both) can count themselves lucky.

        I hate the vitriol on the other side either, it means that someone like me can’t say “Hey this Apple product is pretty awesome” without automatically implying that “boo that Nexus ‘sucks ballz” as you would say. Guess what: I love Apple products, I also like the Surface lineup, and you know what, I wouldn’t mind owning a Nexus 7.

      • Jammer Jamski

        Exactly, I’ve got a massive windows desktop, a Retina Macbook Pro and an HTC One … go me! I develop software for all platforms.

        I don’t subcribe as a fanboy of any of them.

        I also used to own and run a recording studio and I used to see the same levels of technology bias. Never insult someones synthesiser. Why do people get so attached to gadgets, it’s childish.

      • Uxey

        The world just does not do good ol’ reporting anymore. Its commentary, colored by the authors opinion. Its as simple as that.

    • http://wilker-dev.com Wilker Lúcio

      I guess you can just take by the website name “Cult of Mac” :P

    • http://www.designstrategies.com Len Williams

      Your post seems to presume that in the minds of Apple users that there is an some kind of equivalency between 2 different operating systems. I could use Windows if I wanted, except for the fact that I consider Windows a less than intuitive OS and no fun to use (for me). Regardless of the hardware involved, if the Surface runs Win8, that’s a deal breaker right there. Last year I bought an Acer all-in-one with Win8, hoping it would be a significant improvement over all previous versions of Windows, but I found it so maddeningly awful to use, counter-intuitive and bizarre that I took it back 2 days later. I could use everything from WinXP to Win7, even if I wasn’t a fan of the OS, but Win8 was a nightmare of badly implemented newness, with few visual clues of how to use it. If the choice was using an old Mac or a new Surface, there’s just no contest. Make mine Mac. I can actually do work on my Mac, instead of having to figure out how to do things in a completely new OS in an environment I’ve never liked before.

      • marcsprspective

        Right, but again that’s your preference. And that’s fine, I have the same preference. I just don’t understand why we, as Apple fans, have to go after and denigrate people who would buy this because they like Windows 8 and this product? It’s just their choice, so what?

        Honestly: I’m in love with the Surface line (not Windows 8, the Surface hardware). I look at it and think “this is an idea Apple should have had with the iPad”. Everything from the Kickstand to the Keyboard is a really great idea that I wish the iPad had.

      • http://www.designstrategies.com Len Williams

        Of course, person preference is senior to anything. I have friends that use Windows and like it, which is completely fine with me. Tolerance of the choices of others is the mark of a civilized individual, and intolerance a sign of boorish bigotry. It’s nice that you like the hardware of the Surface, but how can you use it if you dislike Windows? From an engineering point of view, I think the kickstand is a terrible idea because of the extra depth it takes up. If you need this functionality, it’s far better to NOT use a tablet but to opt for a full Mac OS X (or Windows) laptop with a secure built-in keyboard and a proper multi-position hinge. A laptop is a far better idea from a durability and engineering standpoint. There are light and fully functional laptops on both platforms (that all look remarkably like the MacBook Pro or Air). I think Apple’s strategy on the iPad to have a simplified OS is a good one for light mobile computing, because no matter how you try to force a tablet to be a laptop, it’s always still a tablet with accoutrements. It’s just bad engineering to try to force a tablet to be something it was never intended to be. If you want the functionality of a laptop (the way the Surface attempts to offer) then why not simply buy a purpose-built laptop that has been designed through many iterations to be a full mobile computing platform? You can strap rockets and wings onto a horse, and you may even get it to fly, but why not just buy a plane in the first place?

    • Kr00

      People choose the things that suit them. Every person I know who has gone from a Windows environment to the Apple environment have all said the same thing. It is just easier to use and feels friendly to them.

      You couldn’t get those switchers to go back to Windows even if you paid them to. Anyone who is happy with their choice of platform, will not switch back, no matter what the price. All my friends who use windows have all screamed bloody murder over Windows 8. One, who is such an Apple hater, put his new laptop in his desk draw because he loathed it, and used his wife’s iPad instead. He demanded she not tell me, but guess what.

      A designer who uses a Windows machine at work told me he can’t wait to come home to work on his iMac. Its apples over oranges. So be happy with your choice, but browbeating people about theirs, is just childish. Microsoft have pretty much announced that they can’t sell the surface on its merits. That is a monumental failure considering the millions of PC users in the world. People have gravitated to the platform that has been able to do it better. Simple. So don’t look down on them for that.

      • marcsprspective

        I’m not browbeating anyone over everything, what I’m saying is that why can’t we all honestly say that yeah, Microsoft actually made a Surface worth buying? In the current fanboyish environment on this site, it’s as if enjoying using an Apple product automatically means that I must hate using Windows and Google products. Thats the environment we’re creating here, this “too cool for school” hubris over our tech.

        I like my Apple products, but I also recognize that that’s my choice. My preference. That doesn’t mean that I will have a gag reflex any time I use a Windows 8 device, why should it? It’s an equally capable device. It’s just not for me. AND THAT’S OK! Same thing with Android and Chromebooks. It has a user base, a target audience, and I recognize that I don’t belong to that audience, and again, that’s ok! I just don’t understand the vitriol behind some of the posts (both in the comments, and Cult of Mac’s articles).

        The big thing is the following: Why can’t I be jealous of the Surface Pro 3 without it making me ANY less of an Apple fan?

  • The Gnome

    Its interesting that Microsoft is turning to paying people to use their products, or paying developers to build their apps. This seems symptomatic of a much larger issue and smacks of desperation.

    P.S. I wouldn’t bring my MBA air for a measly $650 unless it was broken and had gotten run over, and even then only if they bought me a new MBA. You could give me $650 and I still wouldn’t use the Surface. Believe me, I’ve tried. 2 times now and about to give their 3 a shot.

    its a good thing they made the 3 super thin so it won’t take up so much space in the drawer with the other Surface devices. (and my copy of Windows 8)

    • mahadragon

      Could you imagine Tim Cook giving Surface users a $650 credit towards the purchase of a MacBook Air? LOL!

  • AAPL_@_$101_Is_A_Done_Deal_:)

    I don’t know if Microsoft is desperate or not but they really seem to be trying to do an awful lot to boost sales. I would think such an offer is unusual. I find it hard to imagine someone would turn in a popular, known quantity product for a product whose earlier versions weren’t accepted very well by consumers. Besides, you could probably get more money for a MacBook Air by selling it to someone on eBay. I’m not knocking the Surface Pro 3 in any way but it really does seem like an unknown quantity that most consumers wouldn’t want to take a risk with.

  • fuckntardz

    “Prices start at $79,9 ” … that is not a price.

    • Lucus Bendzsa

      I know like I will edit his articles but please don’t make these mistakes

  • ronjon400

    I told my wife we can trade her make book air on a surface tablet. She said ohhh is that the computer with those nauseating tiles flipping around? I told her the deal, even she said that’s a ripoff. Give them my MacBook Air ‘and’ $150. That’s just crazy!

  • rd

    NO.

  • digitaldumdum

    “Microsoft will pay you $650 to ditch your MacBook Air for a Surface”

    I love it. Microsoft always has a last ditch effort to try to sell it’s crappy hardware. This “ditch-your-Apple-for-our-lousy-imitation” last ditch effort is the funniest, and saddest.

    So, the idea is to trade in a break-through, ultra-slim, incredibly powerful laptop with a remarkably long battery life and superior software… for a lousy imitation of an iPad, and all for a few hundred dollars in your pocket? One would have to need $650 a •lot• only to gain a piece of Microsoft rubbish.

  • Osman Keser

    Pathetic attempts to sell its product. A company whose sales are on the way wouldn’t do that. Does anybody in microsoft remember Apple ever has done the same promotion?

  • Kr00

    This is code for, “We can’t give our crap away, so we’ll have to bribe you”. Desperate and pathetic. Thats Microsoft.

  • HotelQuebec

    No brainer. Surface Pro 3 is better than Macbook Pro 13″, iPad, digitizer pad and stylus combined. How much are they also giving for iPad?

About the author

Buster HeinBuster Hein is Cult of Mac's Senior News Editor and lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Twitter: @bst3r.

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