Steve Ballmer admits Surface defeat


Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer Thursday played Captain Obvious, telling Microsoft workers the company may have overestimated demand for its Surface tablets. Really? The revelation comes only after the software giant announced a nearly $1 billion writedown after slashing Surface prices.

Not willing to take such things as a sign to go off and do something else, Ballmer and operations chief Kevin Turner reportedly told a closed-door town hall meeting a new Surface is now being tested…

“We built a few more devices than we could sell,” the Microsoft CEO said at the meeting, according to NeoWin. Commenting on the lukewarm reception to Microsoft’s Windows 8, the CEO said “we’re not selling as many Windows devices as we want to”.

The admission follows a string of Microsoft ads meant to downplay Apple’s enormous lead in tablet usage by using Siri to speak about the virtue’s of the Surface.

In reality, the attempt elicited mostly giggles.

Not laughing were Ballmer and associates who said that ginormous writedown was needed because it took cutting the Surface RT price by 30 percent to sell the things. But like a blacksmith trying to sell horse shoes to Prius owners, Microsoft still thinks the Surface can be salvaged.

Another data point:: Microsoft’s share of connected devices sales has plummeted from 90+ percent in 2009 to less than 25 percent.

Microsoft share of connected device sales

The next Surface – whatever it is called – is being tested “with incremental improvements,” according to the reports.

Should someone tell Microsoft that ship has sailed?