We've seen Apple buying back old iPhones, now Microsoft will pick up your old iPad for $200 of store credit to help you try a surface tablet. With the new models due to be announced, that might not be such a crazy idea. 


Prepare to Surface, Again

In 10 days time, on 23 September, Microsoft will unveil its new Surface Pro 2 and Surface 2 (formerly RT) tablets, with the updated Windows 8.1 OS on the Pro, a new kickstand, plus improved specifications led by the new Intel Haswell or Nvidia Tegra low power chips offering better performance and battery life. 

Still not tempted? How about trading in your good-condition, used iPad 2, 3 or 4 model for $200 off the price of a new Surface? That might sweeten the deal for some who've found their old iPad surplus to requirements or are just tempted to try the new, new Windows. And of course, the older models had their prices slashed last month. 

The deal will only be valid in Microsoft Stores in the U.S. and Canada, which should also help them get some extra footfall. It ends on 27 October, by which time there could well be a new iPad on the shelves too. Still, it adds a little spice to the tablet market, although we can't see Apple offering to buy old Android or Surface tablets. 

Windows Phone Gets A Voice

On the Windows Phone side, although Microsoft will acquired Nokia, it seems Huawei will still produce Windows Phone products, having launched the W1 earlier this year. That's according to reports out of Europe where Richard Ren, Huawei's EU consumer boss said. "We remain one of Microsoft's strategic partners. We will continue to develop devices running Windows Phone, and launch more products." According to the WSJ.

Learning Opportunities

While we're on the subject of Microsoft efforts to compete, it has spent a great deal of effort developing a rival to Apple's Siri digital assistant, and has now roped in its Halo game franchise heroine Cortana (as the code-name at least) for its own interactive service. 

The game's virtual AI helps the Master Chief hero through his adventures and will help Windows Phone users in real life, offering real-time navigation assistance, local advice and integrate with your apps and services to create an overall interaction shell. If the final service does offer her husky voice and perhaps her rendered face on the screen, it should make quite an impression. 


Presumably Cortana will head to tablets and Windows PCs too, to offer a rounded service, and she's a hell of a lot more attractive than Clippy ever was.