Welcome to the post-PC world, Microsoft: $900M in unsold Surface RT inventory

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 18, 2013

Microsoft last June unveiled its iPad contender, the ARM-powered Surface RT tablet. We’ve suspected all along that it hasn’t been much of a smash hit.

Nine months later, the Windows giant admits defeat by announcing it will be taking an astounding $900 million loss over unsold Surface RT inventory.

The top dogs called it an “inventory adjustments”. Our take: these things would not have been collecting dust in the warehouse if they were flying off the shelves like hotcakes… Read More

 

Despite anti-iPad campaign, Microsoft forced to lower Surface price

By Cody Lee on Jul 12, 2013

In an effort to spur struggling slate sales, Microsoft launched a TV ad campaign aimed squarely at the iPad. The strategy, which has spawned four commercials since May, focuses on highlighting the flaws in Apple’s popular tablet in comparison with the Surface.

But despite the agressive campaign, Microsoft still seems to be having trouble selling tablets. According to a new report, the Redmond company is planning to drop the price of all Surface RT models by $150 later this month—a move in response to lackluster sales… Read More

 

Microsoft’s fourth iPad-bashing ad touts Windows 8 multitasking

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 9, 2013

iPad-bashing is becoming the recurring theme for Microsoft as the once dominant force in computing struggles to reclaim its relevancy in the post-PC world. Nowhere is this more evident that in Microsoft’s inability to hit the ground running with Windows 8 on tablets.

With a few notable exceptions, you can tell an also-ran has run out of ideas when it puts together a television commercial advertising its contender against the industry leader.

Sometimes the strategy of piggy-backing on the top dog’s popularity can do wonders (case in point: Samsung), but often times it just backfires. The latter appears to be happening with Microsoft’s anti-iPad ads. I’ll let you be the judge of that: the latest iPad-dissing 30-second spot sporting two baseball scouts is below the fold… Read More

 

In May, iPad recorded utter domination in web usage

By Ed Sutherland on Jun 26, 2013

Apple appears to have stemmed any loss of iPad usage online detected in April, roaring back to continue its utter domination of tablet web traffic in May. The iPad in May accounted for 82.4 percent of tablet web traffic within North America, according to the Chitika ad network. Amazon’s Kindle Fire registering the next best at just 6.5 percent of North American tablet web traffic May 15 to May 21… Read More

 

Turkish PM visits Apple, Google and Microsoft ahead of tablet tender

By Christian Zibreg on May 20, 2013

After Apple back in January flew its vice president for education John Couch to Turkey who meet with the country’s president Abdullah Gül to discuss Turkey’s $4.5 billion modernization program in which textbooks will be replaced by tablets and chalkboards by electronic whiteboards, a report Monday notes that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdoğan has now visited Apple, along with Google and Microsoft, in order to explore options ahead of the country’s impending decision to purchase 10.6 million tablets for education… Read More

 

Google’s Nexus 10 no threat to iPad sales

By Ed Sutherland on Apr 18, 2013

Here’s an interesting tidbit we found this morning: Microsoft’s Surface tablets could actually be outselling Google’s latest Nexus 10. We understand every scuffle between Google and Apple is actually a proxy for the battle between Android and iOS, so the statement by blogger Benedict Evans caught our eyes. According to Evans, the Samsung-made Nexus 10 likely sold around 1.01 million of the Google tablets by the end of March.

This compares to the 1.5 million Surface tablets Microsoft has reportedly sold – not to mention the ten million iPad mini tablets purchased in just the last two months of the fourth quarter in fiscal 2012. While the latest Nexus tablet is no threat to the iPad, the calculations suggest something more important: strong distribution and a well-defined ecosystem can overcome big-name rivals… Read More

 

WSJ: Microsoft to respond to Apple, Google with smartwatch, smartphone, mini Surface

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 15, 2013

As Apple’s manufacturing partner Foxconn recently began hiring workers for assembly of a next-gen iPhone and possibly a rumored budget iPhone, our friends over at Redmond are thought to be busy developing own branded smartwatch, smartphone and seven-inch Surface tablet. Both gadgets are viewed as direct responses to Apple’s rumored iWatch project, its wildly successful smartphone and the iPad mini tablet, respectively.

The smartwatch project is purportedly beyond the prototyping phase as Microsoft is said to have started aligning parts suppliers in Asia earlier this year, allegedly sourcing 1.5-inch screens. However, folks who apparently saw the prototypes warn it’s “unclear whether Microsoft will opt to move ahead with the watch” at this stage… Read More

 

Is Apple losing its coolness edge to Microsoft and Android?

By Ed Sutherland on Feb 21, 2013

In the contest for coolness, the amorphous concept potentially driving young consumers to smartphones, tablets and other devices, Apple has some competition. While the iPhone maker is seen as cooler now than previously by 60 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds, even more people point to Android as the king of cool.

Even more surprising is Microsoft apparently isn’t your father’s software giant. The Windows maker – long viewed as buttoned-down and behind the technology curve – has revamped its image, thanks largely to the firm’s smartphone and Surface tablet… Read More

 

Microsoft CEO goes on defensive, says the Surface is ‘a real business’

By Ed Sutherland on Feb 20, 2013

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer recently addressed the companies Surface and the tablet’s sales (or lack thereof).

We’re going to try our best not to characterize his comments as whiny or envision the firm’s leader stomping his foot in the face of gloomy analysis. But it’s hard – real hard.

Speaking with MIT Technology Review, while admitting the Microsoft product was not an iPad-killer, Ballmer stressed the Surface isn’t a post-PC fantasy, either… Read More

 

Surface Pro teardown: Apple’s iPad wins the repair race

By Ed Sutherland on Feb 13, 2013

Microsoft’s one-week old Surface Pro tablet already has some dings in its reputation. The device is more difficult to repair than Apple’s iPad, according to a teardown by iFixit. The Surface Pro makes extensive use of glue to secure everything, including the battery and display, giving Microsoft’s latest tablet a score of just one out of ten for repairability. And repairs could become common, given simply using the Surface Pro could be harmful to the hardware… Read More

 

First reviews of Microsoft’s Surface Pro tablet hit the web

By Cody Lee on Feb 6, 2013

After years of sitting on the sidelines, Microsoft entered the modern tablet space late last year with the Surface RT. And although it sparked a lot of initial interest, it failed to translate that into sales, with reports claiming it didn’t fair very well over the holidays.

But alas, the Redmond company has a second shot at greatness with its new Surface Pro tablet. And it too has stirred up quite a bit of commotion, with some pundits deeming it a possible iPad/Macbook Air killer. But will this MS slate actually live up to the hype this time?

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iPad sales up 8M units in Q4, market share down 8 percent

By Ed Sutherland on Jan 31, 2013

New research shows number one tablet maker Apple shipped more iPads while also losing market share during the 2012 holiday fourth quarter. The company shipped nearly 23 million tablets during the period, a dramatic increase from the same time in 2011, when 15.1 million Apple tablets shipped.

At the same time, Apple’s overall share of the tablet market fell for the second quarter in a row, slipping to 43.6 percent from 46.4 percent during the third quarter of last year – and down from 51.7 percent a year ago, according to IDC.

Apple ended the year with 48.1 percent year-over-year growth while number two tablet rival Samsung saw its growth more than double. A combination of Android and Windows-based tablet sales helped push the South Korean firm’s share of the tablet market to 15.1 percent, up from 7.3 percent in 2011… Read More

 

Microsoft’s cloud-based Office 365 hits Mac and Windows without iOS/Android support

By Ed Sutherland on Jan 29, 2013

Microsoft is at last getting into game, offering its well-known Office suite of products for consumers increasingly turning to the cloud. Office 365 Home Premium provides all the familiar Office applications – including Word, Excel and PowerPoint – along with online storage and a free hour of Skype each month. At $99 per year ($80 for students and educators) the cloud-based application suite will work on up to 5 Macs, PCs and Windows tablets. Five years after Google launched rival Google Docs (now Google Drive), Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer proclaims Office 365 a key component in a “fundamental shift” for the company.

After making billions as a software company, Ballmer is rebranding Microsoft as a devices and services firm, a move some may view as too little and too late for Redmond… Read More

 

Microsoft’s Surface Pro to land on February 9 with $899 price tag

By Cody Lee on Jan 22, 2013

After a bit of a delay, Microsoft today announced launch details for its new Surface Pro tablet. The device will become available for purchase on February 9, and will run $899 for the entry-level 64GB model.

The Pro’s release comes more than three months after its less-capable sibling, the Surface RT. And with reports suggesting that it didn’t do so well over the holidays, Microsoft is hoping the Pro will be a hit… Read More

 

Microsoft (barely) sells a million Surface units

By Ed Sutherland on Jan 14, 2013

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… Read More