Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) Wants Your Apple Inc. (AAPL) iPad

You know that things are bad at Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)  when even the software giant is willing to pay at least $200 for your iPad.

Wait a minute. That’s actually pretty darn brilliant.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is starting to offer at least $200 for trade-ins of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)‘s iconic iPad at many of its stand-alone stores, according to All Things Microsoft’s Mary Jo Foley. 

The offer is limited to all but the original iPad generation, and it’s not available online. It’s also not available at the hundreds of Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY) locations where Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) now has a “store in a store” presence. Microsoft knows better than to interfere with Best Buy’s own platform-agnostic trade-in program. Best Buy had a similar $200 trade-in program for iPads earlier this summer. Microsoft’s new promo will run through Oct. 27.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)Walking into a participating Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) Store, and plunking down a used iPad in exchange for some serious store credit, is a pretty good idea. There’s no saying what Microsoft will do with these secondhand tablets once it gets them, but the key takeaway here is that it will be converting an iOS user back to the Windows line of computing products. At the very worst, it satisfies a diehard gamer saving up for a new Xbox One later this year. At the very best, it creates a glut of used iPads on the second market, driving those prices lower, and limiting the appeal of new iPads.

It’s not a coincidence that Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is doing this just as it’s gearing up to introduce the Surface 2 on Sept. 23. Folks getting rid of their Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) tablets may consider making the switch to Microsoft’s fledgling platform. Developer support may not be the same, but a healthy trade-in allowance, and what could be aggressive pricing for a change, could really move the needle.