In an effort to entice more consumers to buy its Surface tablet, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) is dangling a new carrot.

The Redmond, Washington-based technology company on Sept. 12 e-mailed and listed on its website a promotion that includes giving credit worth a minimum $200 to customers who turn in “gently used” Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPads to its stores. The gift card is for Microsoft stores, and the company suggests upgrading to a Surface.

The promotion is good through Oct. 27 on the iPad 2, 3 and 4 models, Microsoft said.

Rich Adolph, a spokesman for Microsoft, said the intent of the initiative wasn’t necessarily a competitive one and was instead related to a recycling program. “This is part of a current recycle-for-rewards program,” he said.

Microsoft sold $853 million of Surface tablets in the fiscal year ended June 30, and took a $900 million writedown of inventory related to the product. The device, Microsoft’s first- ever computer hardware, is a mobile touch-screen computer introduced in October to compete with the iPad and tablets running Google Inc.’s Android operating system.

Windows sales have been besieged by poor demand for personal computers, which will face a 9.7 percent decline this year, steeper than originally forecast, according to researcher IDC.