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Combined total Microsoft Surface sales add up to just 1.5 million

by Mark Tyson on 15 March 2013, 15:35

Tags: Surface, PC

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Figures published on the Bloomberg financial news oriented website today tell a bleak winter’s tale of Microsoft’s woes in trying to shift Surface computer tablet hybrids. Sales of the Microsoft Surface RT are said to tally to a little over one million and the more recently released Surface Pro adds around 400,000 units sold for a combined total of around 1.5 million units.

The Surface sales figures, which Bloomberg was informed of by three “people with knowledge of the company’s sales” and who asked not to be named, show Microsoft’s technically interesting and attractively designed device to have failed to meaningfully penetrate the fast growing tablet market. Looking at the wider tablet market, for example sales figures, we see that Apple’s iPad sold nearly 23 million units in the same quarter and Android tablets are set to overtake those from Apple during 2013.

An analyst at UBS, Brent Thrill, told Bloomberg that Microsoft had expected to sell two million Surface RTs during Q4 2012 and had ordered a total of three million from contracted manufacturers. What avenues the company can take to rescue the situation are far from obvious. Another analyst Alex Gauna, at JMP Securities, was quoted by Bloomberg as saying “It’s pretty clear that things were bad entering the year, and at least for the moment they’re getting worse” He continued “The path to a successful Surface, in the same way that they were successful with Xbox, is not very clear to me right now.

Looking forward there are various brokers and analysts revising Microsoft Surface sales figures downwards as the rest of the tablet market continues to grow rapidly. It was also noted by Bloomberg that Samsung has ceased selling its Windows RT powered tablet in Europe and decided not to even introduce it to the US market.

With PC sales in a downturn, impacting sales of the Windows 8 OS, and its Surface tablet initiative stalling, what is next for Microsoft? Perhaps it will hasten the launch of a more affordable Surface mini tablet range or decide to sell a version of Microsoft Office to the throng of willing iOS punters...



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With PC sales in a downturn, impacting sales of the Windows 8 OS, and its Surface tablet initiative stalling, what is next for Microsoft? Perhaps it will hasten the launch of a more affordable Surface mini tablet range or decide to sell a version of Microsoft Office to the throng of willing iOS punters…
Hmm, a Surface mini might be an interesting product - especially if it follows Android pricing rather than that of iOS devices.

Speaking of Android - Office for iOS might be interesting also, but I'll argue that things like the Asus Transformer make an Android-one more sensible. Or better still Microsoft - DO BOTH! :D

I'd have been interested in the Surface, but the pricing was just far too high for what it actually is - an untested platform with little app store support. If I'd been the VP in charge I would have pushed to do it “at cost” (or pretty near) for the first couple of months to get some market share. If they'd launched a Surface at around £200 then I definitely would have bought one - but at double that I can get a lot better deal elsewhere, (Android cheaper/more models, iPad more app support).
This does not look good for MS or Windows 8.

Next stop - Windows 8 watches :p
Way too expensive for what it is. If it was £200 I might have replaced my Xoom 2 but at double that cost absolutely no chance.

I did purchase two copies of Win 8 pro for my laptops one of which has a touch screen and the other does not. It is WAY better on a touch screen and a little bit annoying on a normal laptop. I bought them for £24.99 each as an upgrade from Vista and Windows 7 and at that price they are OK. Any more expensive and I wouldn't have upgraded.

There's supposed to be a new OS coming soon codenamed Blue to succeed Win 8 so I'll wait till that arrives to see what that brings. BY all accounts it will be a free upgrade for Win 8 users.
And how many units of the last Asus Ultrabook or Samsungs Ativ Smart Pro sold? Numbers mean little without context, the Surface Pro should be compared against its ilk not ARM tablets. Its double the price of most ARM tablets for a start, totally different class of device.

1 million RT Surfaces sounds pants but again how does that compare to other RT devices? Looks like RT might be selling poorly against iPad but really need to compare total RT device sales across all manufacturers to see how well MS are doing, considering RT is a new OS with many of the same disadvantages as iOS or Android its not surprising if it hasn't stormed the market in its first 2 quarters.
kingpotnoodle
And how many units of the last Asus Ultrabook or Samsungs Ativ Smart Pro sold? Numbers mean little without context, the Surface Pro should be compared against its ilk not ARM tablets. Its double the price of most ARM tablets for a start, totally different class of device.

1 million RT Surfaces sounds pants but again how does that compare to other RT devices? Looks like RT might be selling poorly against iPad but really need to compare total RT device sales across all manufacturers to see how well MS are doing, considering RT is a new OS with many of the same disadvantages as iOS or Android its not surprising if it hasn't stormed the market in its first 2 quarters.
Also what are these figures over?

If Apple sold some 22M iPads (all classes, mini to stupidly expensive) in the same period, selling 1M RTs isn't bad for a start. Considering it was direct sales only for a month, the lack of advertising and retail presence. To be selling at 1/22th isn't a bad start.

The worry is the trend. If people aren't going to be buying them more and more. I wouldn't be surprised if they had a massive start demand and nothing since.