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Microsoft discounts Surface Pro 3, launches trade-in program

Microsoft has both cut the price of its Surface Pro 3 and is offering up to $US650 towards the purchase of the tablet-cum-laptops to customers who trade in older Microsoft Surface devices.

The reasons may be as mundane as a desire to move more units, or an attempt to reduce inventory before the company introduces a successor to the Surface Pro 3, which launched in June 2014.

The price cuts - $US100 off for any configuration debuted in late January, and were a repeat of discounts Microsoft offered during the holiday season late last year. This month, however, Microsoft expanded the $US100 reduction to the lowest-priced Surface Pro 3, dropping it 12.5 per cent to $US699, and extended the offer through February 28.

Previously, the sale omitted the 64GB, Intel Core i3-powered configuration, and was to end February 7.

Discounts on the other Surface Pro 3 configurations ranged from 5 per cent to 10 per cent. The tablets - which Microsoft hawks as replacements for laptops -- do not come with a keyboard, which costs an additional $US129.99.

On Sunday, Microsoft also kicked off a buyback program, which credits customers for turned-in Surface RT, Surface 2, Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2 or Surface Pro 3 devices. The program runs through March 8.

The credits must be applied to an online purchase of a Surface Pro 3.

Trade-in credits vary by device and configuration, with the maximum of $US650 for a 256GB Intel Core i5-powered Surface Pro 3.

Surface device owners can start the buyback process on Microsoft's website.