If you're heavily invested in the world of Microsoft PCs the Surface RT could be a useful tool. It should never have been saddled with its original high price. $349 is more like it. Even better would be a Surface RT for $299 or even $249. If Windows RT is to survive it will have to compete price-wise with rival products like Google Chromebooks and Android tablets. The clock is ticking. There are reports that Microsoft will release the software to PC manufacturers later this month. The formal introduction of Windows 8.1 and probably second-generation Surface tablets will come mid-October just before the unofficial start of the holiday buying season. The PC industry is waiting. --Written by Gary Krakow in New York. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: email@example.com.