Feeds

Microsoft Surface Pro sales CANNIBALIZING Surface RT

Redmond's slab slump continues despite Windows 8 model

High performance access to file storage

The bad news just keeps coming for Microsoft's vaunted line of Surface fondleslabs, with sources reporting that sales of the devices continue to disappoint.

Redmond has sold just around 1.5 million of the devices to date, Bloomberg reports, citing sources who claim knowledge of the company's sales figures.

That's a little more than double than the last estimate we heard, when analyst firm Canalys reckoned that Microsoft had moved about 722,000 Surface RT slabs during Q4 of 2012.

Double isn't good, though. It's true that we haven't finished the first quarter of 2013 yet, so Microsoft has managed to sell 778,000 Surface units in less than three months. But Surface RT launched on October 26, 2012, so that initial 722,000 was only really two months' worth of sales to begin with.

So sales have been essentially flat, then? Well, sort of – if you're just counting total sales for the entire Surface product line.

Consider, though, that Microsoft launched the Intel-powered Surface Pro model running Windows 8 in February. That version was widely expected to broaden the appeal of the line to include power users who were put off by Windows RT on the ARM-based model, but it looks like that hasn't happened.

Bloomberg's sources claim that Redmond has shifted 400,000 Surface Pros so far – that's fair enough. But if total sales of the entire Surface line are more or less the same as they were during the previous quarter, that means nearly all of the Surface Pro sales came at the expense of Surface RT sales.

That's lousy news indeed, given that Surface RT was already performing worse than Microsoft and many analysts expected.

UBS analyst Brent Thill initially predicted that Microsoft would move 2 million Surface slabs in the fourth quarter. In fact it sold little more than a third as many, despite launching Surface RT in time for the holiday shopping season.

Meanwhile, Redmond's hardware partners have been eyeing the software giant's Surface misadventure closely, and many are getting cold feet about launching Windows RT devices of their own. Samsung canceled its Windows RT plans in January, as did Toshiba in August, while Acer and HTC have both delayed their launches into the second quarter or later – if they end up happening at all.

That leaves Microsoft holding the bag for its underperforming ARM OS, and what a bag it is. Reuters reports that Redmond put in an initial order of 3 million Surface RT fondleslabs, and if the latest sales estimates are correct, it has yet to sell even half that many.

Faced with bleak figures like that, the fact that Apple sold 22.9 million iPads in the fourth quarter of 2012 alone is just salt in the wound.

The Reg reached out to Microsoft and was fully prepared to offer tender words of consolation, but the software giant declined to comment. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Leaked pics show EMBIGGENED iPhone 6 screen
Fat-fingered fanbois rejoice over Chinternet snaps
WTF happened to Pac-Man?
In his thirties and still afraid of ghosts
Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'
Now THAT'S what we call a proper new feature
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
US mobile firms cave on kill switch, agree to install anti-theft code
Slow and kludgy rollout will protect corporate profits
Happy 25th birthday, Game Boy!
Monochrome handset ushered in modern mobile gaming era
Leaked photos may indicate slimmer next-generation iPad
Will iPad Air evolve into iPad Helium?
True optical zoom coming to HTC smartphone cameras
Time to ditch that heavy DSLR? Maybe in a year, year and a half
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.