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    Microsoft cuts price of its tablet

    IDC says Microsoft shipped about 900,000 tablets in the first quarter.
    AFP/Getty Images/file 2012
    IDC says Microsoft shipped about 900,000 tablets in the first quarter.

    LOS ANGELES — Microsoft Corp. is slashing the price of its Surface RT tablet computer by $150 as it fights to increase its tiny share of the booming tablet market.

    The cut brings the price of the Surface RT with 32 gigabytes of memory to $349 without a cover, which also acts as a keyboard.

    Including a cover with a touch-sensitive keyboard, the device comes to $449.

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    The Surface has a 10.1-inch screen, measured diagonally.

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    According to the market research firm IDC, Microsoft shipped about 900,000 tablets in the first quarter of 2013. That included both the slimmed-down RT version and the Pro version of Surface, which is compatible with older Windows programs.

    That gave Microsoft a slim 1.8 percent share of the 49.2 million tablets shipped worldwide.

    Apple Inc. remained the leader, with 39.6 percent, and was followed by Samsung Electronics Co., AsusTek Computer Inc., and Amazon.com Inc. Microsoft was number five. For the first time in IDC’s quarterly report, Microsoft crept into the top five manufacturers, displacing Barnes & Noble Inc., which makes the Nook.

    Second-quarter figures are not yet out.

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    The price cut, implemented Sunday, comes just days after Microsoft reorganized its corporate structure to become more of a ‘‘devices and services’’ company.