Microsoft will pay foolish people $200 to ditch their iPad, but you should know better

When a device has cornered a market as well as Apple's iPad line has, the competition will do a lot in an attempt to close the gap, and too-good-to-be-true trade-in programs are not unheard of.

Microsoft has launched a promotion in the hopes of getting iPad users to ditch their tablets in favor of the company's own Surface, but rather than too-good-to-be-true, this "deal" falls into the category of I-can't-believe-they're-serious.

Accompanied by an ad that reads "It pays to trade in your old iPad," Microsoft is tweeting that it will pay you a minimum of US$200 in store credit to trade in your second-, third- or fourth-generation iPad and buy a Surface instead.

Two. Hundred. Dollars.

Aside from the fact that the deal doesn't include the first-generation iPad -- which, logically, would be the device most likely to warrant replacement -- to offer a mere $200 for even the lowliest of the qualifying devices (a 16GB iPad 2 w/WiFi) is a bit ridiculous. That particular model fetches closer to $300 than $200 on eBay, even in "decent" used condition. After contacting several Microsoft Stores to get a better handle on how high their offers go, I was told prices can only be offered once you're actually in the store itself.

Seriously, if you have your heart set on a new Windows tablet, at least don't fall for this predatory ploy. You can get much more for your current hardware by putting in a bare minimum of legwork.