Microsoft (barely) sells a million Surface units

By , Jan 14, 2013

surface tv spot ss

If you’re Microsoft, January can’t end too soon. The company’s Surface RT is taking a battering from the iPad, selling one million of the tablets during the holidays. According to one Wall Street observer, the consumer-oriented tablet has two strikes against it: being compared to Apple’s product and too little retail exposure.

The one million figure is less than half of the two million units previously forecast by UBS analyst Brent Thill. In December, IHS iSuppli projected Microsoft would sell just 1.3 million units of the Surface RT…

“Surface RT is a consumer device with sales suffering from the difficult iPad compare and narrow distribution,” Thill told investors Monday (via Cnet).

In December, a day after ad network Chitika announced the Surface had just 0.13 percent of tablet traffic, came news Microsoft would expand its retail presence, selling the tablet at Best Buy and Staples. Previously, the Surface was available only at Microsoft’s nationwide stores.

Of course, it didn’t help that Microsoft insisted the Surface match the iPad’s price. The pricing was a bit of faulty logic brought about by dreams of retaining PC profits in a tablet age.

For Microsoft, the hope now is for its tablet dreams to limp along until later this month, when the Surface Pro will finally be released. Unlike the RT, the Pro will run all Windows applications, including the firm’s latest Windows 8 offering.

Additionally, the Surface Pro will more likely catch the eye of Microsoft’s core audience: the enterprise.

By the way, Microsoft is“actively investigating” a Surface RT jailbreak.

Noting the Surface Pro has a more promising future, Thill expects Microsoft will sell 2.5 million Surface devices by June, when the company’s fiscal 2013 concludes. The analyst further expects sales of up to eight million Surface tablets for fiscal 2014.

Surface RT storage options

David Pogue of The New York Times was in a hotel room where Microsoft gave a few reporters an early look at the Surface Pro. He felt it was a game-changer:

But even if the Surface Pro is not strictly a laptop killer, it nonetheless changes the game. It’s a machine nobody’s built before, and it should get a lot of imaginations whirring.

For now, it looks as if the Surface Pro is, conceptually and practically, a home run. For thousands of people, it will be an ideal mobile companion. It will mean the end of the daily question: “Hmm, should I take my laptop or my iPad?”

Hopefully, Microsoft learns a lesson from the blip known as the Surface RT.

Like RIM, which thought it could duplicate a successful brand in the enterprise into an iPhone killer in the consumer sphere, anyone who believes they can come from enterprise sales to beat Apple in consumer sales is certifiable.

The consumer tablet race is between just two players: Apple and Samsung.

All other entries will simply be road-kill.

Thoughts?

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  • jose castro

    haha figured as much after the hype that this would be the best tablet….. plz….
    and its definitely true that apple and Samsung are the only ones in the consumer tablet race..

  • http://twitter.com/toumi2 Mounir Toumi

    Losers…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000514380051 John Sklikas

    In my opinion, the main problem of the Surface is its price and not its concept. I believe that if it was sold for 299$ then, people would buy it, since it is better to have a full OS on your tablet than having a capable but not full OS like iOS or Android.

    • jose castro

      i believe it has a lot to do with the operating system.. i think a lot of people are getting confused with it… i read a bunch of articles on windows 8… and a majority of people prefer windows 7 over 8.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000514380051 John Sklikas

        That’s true but windows 8 is confusing for people that can’t use any touch gesture, like people that have a desktop PC which works only with a mouse and a keyboard.

      • jose castro

        very true.

    • Lordthree

      In what way is Windows RT more of a ‘full OS’?

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000514380051 John Sklikas

        Have you learned that windows RT was jailbroken? With this jailbreak almost every Windows App can be recompiled for ARM simply with a dev license. In XDA developers several devs have helped the cause by recompiling a lot of apps, so I guess it is a full OS right? Even without a jailbreak, in windows RT you have a desktop, an organized filesystem, (My Documents, Downloads, etc, exactly like Mac and Windows), codecs, ability to upload any file and not only pictures, and you can connect USB devices, even your iDevice, so I guess that windows RT is a real computer after all. Even, if you don’t want to jailbreak you can buy Surface Pro which comes with windows 8, but I I just mentioned this for your info, because I know that we are talking about Windows RT and not about Windows 8.

      • Lordthree

        If it has to be jailbroken and X86 programs recompiled, then you failed.
        If they thought they could make the windows RT experience ‘complete’ on ARM they would have.
        Btw- all the junk you mentioned… iOS has access to all that with jailbreak too. File system access, mouse input, the works.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000514380051 John Sklikas

        Really? Where is your jailbreak? On Windows RT you don’t need a jailbreak to have filesystem access. Did I mention a mouse? Can you upload files on any site even with a jailbroken iOS? No. Can you connect any USB device? No. And the filesystem access on a jailbroken device is just a bunch of jargon, while clicking my Documents on windows is simple. Don’t get me wrong, I am actually typing this from my iPad, and I use my iPad daily, but it’s not a full OS, not even with a jailbreak. The only way to make the iPad a real tablet computer is to port Mac OS X on it and only Apple can do this. If not, I really consider switching to a real tablet device within the next 2 years. I agree though that it is not simple to recompile everything for an ARM architecture, but it’s a step until all apps are made for ARM, and Microsoft had the power to take this risk, something that Apple won’t do because Tim Cook is not a risky guy at all. Oh, and a windows jailbreak for your info simply means running a program right after the boot, so you can actually keep on using your RT device normally, you can even update it, as Microsoft didn’t patch the exploit on the latest update.

      • melci

        No VPN, No Exchange email, half the real world battery life of the iPad, no 3G or 4G, no apps, $100 more expensive than the iPad 2, $170 more expensive than the iPad mini.

        No wonder the Surface RT is just the next in a long line of Microsoft failures – TabletPC, Slate PC, Spot Watch, Zune, Windows Mobile, Windows Phone 7, Kin and Surface.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000514380051 John Sklikas

        Why do you want to defend the iPad? Did I say that the Surface is better than the iPad? No, because it isn’t right now.I just said that I prefer a full OS like windows RT more than a capable OS like iOS or Android. Now VPN and Exchange will be included eventually, in fact do you remember that until iOS 3 there was no Copy/Paste on iOS?

      • melci

        Don’t you notice the contradiction in your statement? It is iOS that is more capable in many essential areas than Windows RT with VPN and full Exchange support, remote wipe, etc. The Surface is competing with the iPad of 2013, not the iPhone of 2008.

        Who said I was defending the iPad? I was merely pointing out some of the many deficiencies in the Surface compared to its main market rival. Or are we not allowed to compare this device with other offerings?

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000514380051 John Sklikas

        Of course you are allowed, but because of the text format I thought you were defending the iPad. To sum up, my opinion is that Windows RT has a potential to become a full OS in 1 year, in which all Windows apps will be compiled for ARM. Right now, it has most of the features of a full OS but as you correctly implented, there are some essential features missing like VPN and Exchange.

  • air naji

    Well as soon as that surface pro starts going on sale I’ll pick one up. That’s a full blown laptop with a tablet design that’s probably gonna fail. I’m cool with it lol ;)

  • Lordthree

    Samsung isn’t even selling as many tablets as Amazon.

  • jamesdbailey

    “For now, it looks as if the Surface Pro is, conceptually and practically, a home run. For thousands of people, it will be an ideal mobile companion.” –David Pogue

    Thousands? Damned with faint praise.

    How can thousands of people be considered a “home run”?

  • Tr1pTr0p

    Here we go again… Microsoft has a great idea (full OS on a tablet), but they just can’t help themselves, so they completely fuck it up with multiple pointless versions on an extremely overpriced device that only confuses consumers. The entire start menu is such a great concept, but couldn’t be done in a worse goddamn way! I cannot wait for them to finally come to their fucking senses, fire the brainless scum responsible for all the moronic decisions, and do something right for once! What a bunch of incompetent corporate fucks!

    End rant.

    • jose castro

      ^^^^^^ awesome..

    • 4p0c4lyps3

      Lmmfao. Cldnt hav said it any better. +10

  • http://www.facebook.com/shingo.hoshino Shingo Hoshino

    i will help Microsoft by buying 100 of these for $99 each to get ur million target ^_^

  • Zurkram

    Oh yeah, just what everyone wants. A $1000 2 pound table with A fan that you have to use mostly on a desk.

  • http://www.facebook.com/antman217 Anthony Antunez

    Windows RT is garbage and Surface is so overpriced. If only they had immediately sold the Surface Pro for $499 or under but unfortunately Microsoft always finds a way to fuck up something good :(

    • http://www.facebook.com/alfred.soyemi.9 Alfred Soyemi

      Surface Pro, A touch form factor with Ultra book spec for $499? The CPU i5 3rd Gen in it alone is almost $200 in min qty of 1000. The IPS gorilla glass 2 in it is approx $137. those are just 2 parts…. Macbook air with lesser features, no touch screen is $1099. Geeez! !! !!!

  • Steve Lang

    Is Windows 8 actually, essentially, or not all the same as whatever OS is running on the Surface RT Pro?

  • pdq3

    I’m an Apple guy, but I couldn’t help chuckling at this:

    “The one million figure is less than half of the two million units previously forecast….”

    Microsoft can’t catch a break these days, even in simple math.

    Not that they deserve one, but still…

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

    lol surface is gay