surface tv spot ss

Although Microsoft’s Surface RT is not yet in the bargain bin of tablets, a fire sale could appear any day. That’s the impression from a report that the software giant turned tablet player is selling as few as 55 percent of Surface’s shipped. But wait, there’s more bad news:  A “very high” rate of the Surface RT tablets are being returned to stores.

If true, Microsoft sold between 680,000 and 750,000 of the 1.25 million Surface RT tablets shipped during the fourth quarter of 2012. Little wonder, then that production of the first Surface has likely halted, according to one hardware research firm Thursday…

In an interview with CNET, an IHS iSuppli analyst described fourth quarter sales of the Surface RT as “significantly lower, maybe on the order of 55 to 60 percent” of shipments.

By comparison, Apple usually sells 95-100 percent of iPads shipped. Earlier this month, Apple announce selling 22.9 million tablets during the previous quarter.

This is not the first time we’ve heard analysts say the Microsoft Windows 8-based tablet was poorly received. Earlier today, IDC ‘s Ryan Reith said consumers’ response to the Surface RT was “muted at best”, urging Microsoft and its partners to reduce the tablet’s price.

IHS iSuppli analyst Rhoda Alexander said Microsoft is now selling excess inventory instead of producing any future Surface RT devices.

Alexander added that consumers are returning the device in droves, frustrated by what she said is a “steep learning curve of the OS – which is not necessarily intuitive.”

But again, consumers aren’t the only ones puzzled by the RT. She reports a “distinct lack of interest” from tablet makers in using the software.

In hallmark double-speek reserved for putting a happy face on bad quarterly results, Microsoft’s finance chief Peter Klein last week said the Surface “was a contributing factor to revenue growth in the Windows business.”

Surface RT storage options

Notice no mention that the Surface RT was a positive contributor.

The company refused to provide any sales figures.

But the Surface RT is history, right?

We’re on to the Surface Pro, which should run all Windows applications – not just Windows 8.

What?

There’s a report that the 128GB Surface Pro only has 83GB of space available?

The Surface soap opera just keeps giving and giving…