Black Friday is no longer a one-day event for Microsoft. Like many eager retailers, the tech giant has already begun slashing prices for a holiday kickoff spree that will last not one day, but several.
It seems early, but companies selling digital devices are wise to get a head start. Almost three-quarters (74%) of shoppers will purchase consumer electronics this holiday season, according to data shared at this year's CES Unveiled preview. This marks 3.4% growth from the 2014 holidays.
Microsoft is doing some major price-cutting on popular devices, including the Xbox One, Xbox 360, Surface 3, and PCs from Lenovo, HP, Dell and Asus. Discounts extend to its newly formed Windows Store.
[Microsoft and HP plan to boost Windows 10, cloud and mobility in the enterprise.]
The earliest sales, starting Nov. 20, affect Xbox Live Gold members and shoppers browsing the Windows Store.
Microsoft is celebrating the expansion of Windows 10 to 110 million devices by offering 10-cent deals on movies, music, apps, and games from the Windows Store. Each day from Nov. 20 through Nov. 30 will bring new Store deals, with some lasting longer than others.
Starting Nov. 20 through Nov. 23, Xbox Live Gold members can snag Xbox One and Xbox 360 games for 40%-60% off. They can take off an additional 10% for having Gold status.
If you're not a Gold member, Microsoft is giving the option to upgrade for $1 for the first month so you don't miss out. Not willing to upgrade? All access deals on games are available between Nov. 24 and Nov. 30.
Those curious about which games are discounted, and by how much, can view a full list on the Major Nelson blog.
From Nov. 26 through Nov. 30, Xbox One console bundles will be available starting at a record-low price of $299. Microsoft has 12 holiday bundles for the Xbox One, and each comes with a $50 Black Friday discount.
Other Black Friday sales on smartphones, Office, Surface, and PCs will start 9 p.m. PT on Wednesday, Nov. 25 online and at some Microsoft Stores. All stores will be open on Friday, Nov. 27 and select outlets will be open on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 26. You can check your local store hours on the Microsoft Store site.
Windows 10 devices from Microsoft and its partners are getting some steep discounts. You can save up to $200 off the Surface Pro 3 and $300 on the HP Pavilion 15, which will retail for $549. The Acer Aspire R13 is selling for $1,099 (down from $1,499) and the 2-in-1 Acer Aspire Switch 11V is retailing for $499 (normally $649).
No doubt the companies are hoping these discounts will bring some holiday cheer to the sluggish PC market. In October, Microsoft joined forces with Intel, Dell, HP and Lenovo in a marketing campaign to demonstrate the capabilities of modern PCs.
Microsoft is also offering sales and freebies on smartphones and accessories. The AT&T Lumia 640 is selling for $39 at Microsoft Stores, and the Lumia 640 AT&T Go phone is $30 at Best Buy. AT&T is also cutting up to $200 off the Surface 3 LTE when you buy a Lumia 950 or 640 XL with a two-year service agreement.
If you're interested in buying the Lumia 950 XL, which was unveiled in early October, you'll receive a free Display Dock with your purchase if you buy at a Microsoft Store.
On the productivity front, you can find Black Friday discounts on Office. Microsoft is offering $10 off Office 365 Home and Personal editions. You can also receive $50 off Office Home & Student and Office Home & Student for Mac.
A Work & Play bundle, priced at $149, will give you a one-year subscription to Office 365 Home, Xbox Live Gold, Skype Unlimited World, unlimited WiFi, Assure Software Support, and a $60 gift card for digital entertainment.
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