Launch Day: Microsoft’s Surface Pro 128 GB already selling out online

Microsoft launched its Surface Pro tablet today, the first full-fledged Windows 8 machine developed by the company, and already the demand is exceeding the supply for the 128 GB version of the tablet. Online listings at the Microsoft Store and Staples show the Surface Pro 128 GB as out of stock.

Whether the situation is more a result of low supply or high demand isn’t clear. However, it is abundantly clear that the 128 GB version of the Surface Pro is in much higher demand than its 64 GB sibling.

That makes sense, given that the Intel-based Surface Pro is an actual Windows 8 PC, unlike the ARM-based Surface RT, which doesn’t run legacy applications. Users will be able to treat the Surface Pro more like an all-purpose PC, which tends to translate into a need for more storage.

See Ed Bott’s breakdown of usable storage space in the Surface Pro vs. MacBook Air.

In the Seattle region, both the Bellevue Square and University Village Microsoft Stores still have both versions of the Surface Pro in stock, based on our calls a short time ago.

Previously: Hands-on with Surface Pro, Microsoft’s three-in-one PC

Follow-up: Check out this line for Microsoft’s Surface Pro

Follow us on Twitter @geekwire.

  • Guest

    Congrats to Microsoft on the successful launch! Surface Pro 128 GB has everything I need in an ultrabook with the added bonus of touch and keyboardless ‘blet functionality. Well done.

  • http://profiles.google.com/freesavant M K

    Very few were made. Best Buy never had any Surfaces, 128 or 64, available, either in store or online. The store manager here in SoCal told me Microsoft shipped 1 of each to each Best Buy store. The Microsoft store online had no 128 units available at all from what I could see. It’s easy to sell out when you make no units because you have lost all faith in the product. Too bad, I was going to buy today, but if Microsoft has no confidence in it I don’t either.

    • guest

      At least one credible report puts the initial order at 1M, or about 1/4 what they did for SurfaceRT. Given that SurfaceRT didn’t sell that well and Pro is more expensive, that seems like a prudent decision. But divide 1M across all online and brick and mortar locations and you don’t get a lot of inventory per store, assuming all even made it to their locations already. It’s obviously not a good thing to have people with $ unable to buy the product due to lack of inventory. But everyone plays this “we sold out game” that Apple perfected. And supply will probably get sorted out in the days and weeks ahead. In the meantime, chill out.

  • Arch Stanton

    The game of stock supply vs demand is played by every manufacturer no matter how many of the things are sold. Having zillions of something on shelves is far worse IMO than turning away a few folks empty handed. Expecting to find any truth or accuracy on anyone’s launch day is just dumb.

    While we’re all out asking Best Buy how much of something is in stock, keep in mind they have little reason to tell you the truth. They are really shooting to have a very few of everything in stock all the time. And they too can play the game of “we only got a few, and we’re all out” meanwhile they have plenty in the distribution center waiting to fill in.

    If you see it on the shelf, or someone walking out of the store with it, that is the only verifiable way of knowing anything.

    So that being said, what do we really expect for Surface Pro? It isn’t like a Halo launch or something. Low margin items also are naturally going to maintain low inventory. This is an entirely new thing they are selling, so it would be a huge risk to stock more than demanded. An XBox launch on the other hand, they have a better gauge for the kind of demand even though this too is a low margin item.

    • http://profiles.google.com/freesavant M K

      Arch, Microsoft delayed the launch a couple weeks for reasons they’ve never given publically. This isn’t Staples or Best Buy… neither had either the 128 or the 64 available online either… that answers all your “maybe its the retailers” speculation.
      Microsoft lost faith in the Surface Pro and decided not to make many – those of us who wanted to buy one are moving elsewhere today… betcha Acer Iconia sales spike today and next week…

      • Arch Stanton

        I think we can agree that they are under-supplying. I don’t think it is a faith issue though. There are a lot of things happening with this like alienating partners, difficulty estimating demand, etc.
        Personally I think the surface is meant as just a start, to be a boutique device for now. The blogosphere is already trying hard to make Surface out as a failure, imagine if there were tons on shelves backing up that idea?
        As for the ‘available online’ issue, that really tells us nothing. Online stock numbers and availability are gamed all the time so that they can keep their inventory backlog at a bare minimum.

  • MSGo

    This is a typical BS from MS. Hype the product but nothing in stores. Went to Staples and Best Buy in Chicago and was told they only had 1 of 64 GB. MS Store ran out in Chicago. Did MS Store in Chicago have 10 only or WTF?

    Is there a no concept of order online but ship 2/3 weeks later. Maybe MS needs to learn from APPL how to setup supply-chain system.

    Prefer MS Windows over iOS.