Analysts have been projecting sales numbers for Microsoft’s Surface and it isn’t looking good for the Redmond software giant.

UBS analyst Brent Thill cut his estimate for Surface sales in half to just 1 million units sold this holiday quarter. Earlier this month, J.P. Morgan analyst John DiFucci predicted just 700,000 units sold.

If the Surface was supposed to compete with the iPad, it sure isn’t looking like it. Apple is expected to sell 20 million iPads over the same time period.

But Thill says that the Surface Pro, which goes on sale later this month, is the “more promising model.”

We’ll find out the real numbers when Microsoft’s earnings are released. Even at 1 million units sold, that’s still around $500 million coming in this quarter for the company. Still, though, that’s likely not what Microsoft had hoped for.

Microsoft limited initial sales of the Surface to its 60 retail stores before allowing other retailers to sell the tablet early last month, which was earlier than expected.

Will 2013 bring more success for Microsoft’s tablet? Or will the new Surface flop? What do you think?

Previously on GeekWire: Is that a Surface under the tree? 6 tips for new Microsoft tablet owners

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  • guest

    His report was out yesterday and widely reported. And Surface wasn’t meant to compete against iPad as much as to show OEMs what they needed to do so. But with a goal of selling 5-6 million units on the year and given the huge marketing budget, less than 1 million RT units has to be below expectations.

    • Guest

      “to show OEMs what they needed to do”
      Uhm, a simple email with specs couldn’t have done it?

      • Guest

        Uhm, no. MS and Intel have provided reference designs for years with little uptake from OEMs.

  • Thomas R.

    @d1330cc0242d52c5257fea5351ece8e1:disqus Perhaps that was the problem, they should’ve built something to compete against something (iPad) that was validated by market demand…

    • guest

      Like Apple built iPad for the market that was validated by …. oh right, nothing.

  • Guest

    This continues to be encouraging: with Windows RT as the teaser, Windows 8 has risen to the fore. It’s kind of like when you go to a shop and you’re presented with a poor pair of trousers for $30 and an excellent pair of trousers for $70. You buy the excellent pair, even though it’s more expensive, because it’s much better in quality than the first pair you saw.

    Windows 8 is similarly distrousering the competition in full-featured tablets, such as they are.

    • guest

      When presented with a poor pair of trouser, people just leave.

    • Thomas R.

      Brilliant strategy! Cannibalize your own market by first sending in a decoy that people don’t like so they’ll come back and buy an even more expensive one! Genius! Wish they taught this in MBA school…

    • Guest

      I feel like I’m not getting the sarcasm. I sure hope you don’t actually mean it.

    • Guest

      Crap it really is bad. Frank Shaw is drunk commenting before 10AM now. And I thought that drunken Twitter bullying of Jill Hazelbaker was bad.

  • Scott Moore

    They’re trying to make the surface sexy, but it’s like putting lipstick on a pig. It’s so last decade. And Windows RT? Windows 8? Really? It’s just so… lacking anything interesting at all. It needs to be much muchier, and needed to be much sooner to the party.

    • guest

      This might be the most idiotic comment that I have ever read.

  • camsh

    Saw my first Surface tonight at a meeting. Got to say it sure looked good. Thin, fast, very usable keyboard. I might get one. Headed to the Microsoft store in the morning to test further.

  • JimmyFal

    Even if that is the real #, which it isn’t, it’s an estimate, why would anyone expect a brand new entry with a brand new interface to leap ahead of the competition? Microsoft is in this for the long haul, the blogosphere is just here to keep us all happy with little rivalry’s.

    Now if the 118 people that actually bought, and reviewed, and gave the Surface a bad review, I’d be worried. But go to Amazon, look at the reviews, read the reviews. The market will decide, not the Anal-lysts. See Surface on here:

    • Jonathan

      But while MS refuses to reveal sales figures (worrying in itself), the Surface HAS been reviewed by countless mags and sites etc., and the verdict seems to be overwhelmingly negative. Time to worry yet?

      Beware of looking at reality thru rose-tinted glasses based only on nice ‘aftersales’ comments from one site like Amazon.

      • Guest

        There are positive and negative reviews of Surface in the media. I wouldnt characterize it as “overwhelmingky nagative”. But your suggestion that those should somehow trump the opinions of actual buyers of the product is odd, to say the least.

  • JS

    The pro version should be a dominant product in the marketplace. I am def getting one!

  • Ordeith

    Interesting. As AdSense reported recently that 8% of all Windows 8 traffic they are seeing is from Surface RT.

    So either Surface sold 1 million and Windows 8/RT (available on over 7,400 different devices) only sold 12.5 million total…

    or Microsoft is right with 60 million licenses and Surface RT is closer to 5 million in sales.

    My guess would be 60 million licenses, about half those in consumer hands = 2.5 million Surface RT units sold.

    I wonder if MS will release any numbers next week..

  • Jonathan

    I wonder if we have to deduct the 96,000 units that Microsoft handed out to their employees from the final ‘sales’ figures (due out any day now)…

  • Jonathan

    I wonder if we have to deduct the 96,000 units that Microsoft handed out to their employees from the final ‘sales’ figures (due out any day now)…

  • Benmartin1974

    I’d been pondering ordering a Microsoft surface for ages. I read plenty of reviews and this one was very helpful , I received my delivery last month and am very happy. I Would highly recommend to anyone still unsure,

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