surfaceproMicrosoft has sold a grand total of 1.5 million Surface tablets so far — counting both the Surface RT and Surface Pro models — according to a report from Bloomberg News this afternoon, citing three sources.

The news service says the result is substantially less than Microsoft had been anticipating – a blow to Microsoft’s efforts to expand beyond the traditional PC business into the growing market for tablets.

Apple, by comparison, sold 22.9 million iPads in the fourth quarter.

Bloomberg quotes its sources saying that Microsoft had initially ordered about 3 million Surface RT tablets, the version that runs on ARM processors. The company has sold slightly more than 1 million of the Surface RTs, and 400,000 Surface Pro models, the version that runs on traditional Intel chips.

The report is consistent with IDC’s previous estimate that Microsoft shipped 900,000 Surface RT tablets in the fourth quarter.

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  • guest


  • guest

    Zune 2.0. Hey, atleast it wasn’t as bad as Kin.

  • whatwhatwhat

    is anyone taking into account the fact that they didnt role the items out in other brick and motor stores until last month? If you compare that to how many stores that have and simple online order, that is pretty big. Compare that to Kindle and Ipad that were released at retailers like target, best buy, frys, etc. from the start. FAIL YOURSELF guest.

    • Anne S.

      So isn’t that another FAIL then? That they weren’t smart enough to get more distribution and roll it out to other retailers and instead tried to sell them through own stores…

      It’s like whining that other companies were smart enough to roll it out to other stores and you didn’t and then complaining about how the numbers are skewed because you weren’t smart enough to do what they did. No sir, FAIL YOURSELF.

      • guest

        No. It limits risk, allows you to catch problems early, fix them before it affects more customers, and learn. Only a handful of companies would have spent this much and done a broader initial rollout, and most of those are established players following up a previous success and who don’t rely on an OEM channel for the bulk of their revenue.

        • guest

          This is just magical thinking. They burned their OEM relationships with this move to building their own hardware, to no meaningful sales or consumer impact. Now they have to convince their OEMs (like Samsung) to continue to support their (burning) platform rather than building their own on android. MS made a huge blunder, and this will likely be the point in time that HBR case studies point to as the beginning of the decline.

          • guest

            Let me know when you can refute any of it, or even attempt to.

          • guest

            dude, the decline started about a decade ago. The only thing that’s changed is it’s now obvious to all and showing up in the numbers.

      • whatwhatwhat

        All I see are people who want to see the negative in these numbers and hate on MS because it isn’t Samsung or Apple. When you get a statement of “fail,” or “at least it wasn’t as bad as the kin” then there is an issue with appearances and not a proper focus on sales numbers. Lets talk marketing. They focused on a clientele that would be willing to buy from the online store and drive a very long distance to get this item. That is the core. Would Apple have been able to do those numbers if the didn’t have stores in every mall, or sell the items through multiple IT couriers? NO. I think those numbers are respectable considering the original role out. It has been 6 months of sales, with an availability through 74 stores, plus the online store. That is 19736 units per location. Roughly 109 per location, per day, if it has been out a total of 180 days. But I believe it has been less time then that. Not too shabby in my opinion. Finally, see statement below. I have not heard of anything wrong with this unit. It seems to be well constructed and marketed toward a business centric customer.

        • Chris

          But how does that match with Microsoft’s own internal projections for sales? They apparently ordered 3 million, and sold around 1 million. That’s way under what they expected — if retail footprint is to blame, why was Microsoft so far off on the quantity they ordered?

  • Big4DontLie

    Wonder if those numbers include the ones they gave for free to their employees. I know other companies pump their numbers by accounting for those as sold from one legal entity to another. Figure about 98,000 MS employees, subtract that from total number of RTs sold and that IDC estimate is right on the money.

    Financial Accounting™: it won’t get you laid, but it’ll get you paid. (Until the IRS finds out)

    • Isthisallgoingtoofastforu

      How can you conclude that IDC’s estimate is right on the money when you have no idea what demand was?

      • guest

        He’s an idiot savant™. Or maybe just the first part…

    • guest

      Yes, these numbers include the 100k for employees and close friends.

  • guest

    I don’t see a lot of new info there. SurfaceRT reception in its first quarter weak. We already knew that. Exacerbated by initial availability in MS stores only, but valid and still unresolved concerns about its overall appeal and more importantly that of WindowsRT itself. OTOH, using even their figures Pro sales look decent one month in, and might even be tracking ahead of MS’s internal estimates, which seem to have been 1M Pros and 4M RTs in year one. Of course given the current positioning, the success of WindowsRT on tablets is arguably much more important for MS than W8. So the big miss on SurfaceRT and lack of WinRT support generally from OEMs presents a serious problem.

  • KSog

    Very simple reason for this —- way overpriced!!!

    • Guest

      Compared to what specifically?

  • yaddamaster

    I was at a MS store the other day and came veeeery close to walking out with a surface pro. The only reason I didn’t is because I’m not sure I can live with 128gb (yes, I know it take mini sd). But – if they had thrown in the type cover I would have bought it for sure.

  • Jay Zeng

    Simply over-pricing.

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