back to article Microsoft halves Surface RT production orders - report

Microsoft has slashed the number of Surface RT tablets on order with the Original Design Manufacturers in Asia, according to reports. The supply chain was primed to build and ship four million units of the ARM-based device by year-end but Redmond has slashed this to two million on the back of weak demand, sources told Digi Times …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
Devil

I will have to revise my numbers as well.

SEC can consider this an official press release. I was going to buy one (1) Windows 8 RT tablet in February for 200 American dollars. It appears that due to modification to the supply curve, I have to revise my acquisition cost to 250 American dollars.

3
0
Silver badge
Holmes

Re: I will have to revise my numbers as well.

Pffftt.

Hands up who's surprised...

4
0
Silver badge

Re: I will have to revise my numbers as well.

It's going the way of the Zune and the Kin.

9
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: I will have to revise my numbers as well.

you'd be wiser to buy...

something else...

6
0
Silver badge

It's going the way of the Zune and the Kin.

...but not quickly enough

5
0

Re: I will have to revise my numbers as well.

Ah the anti ms troll is out in force

1
9
Silver badge
FAIL

Re: I will have to revise my numbers as well.

Nope.. Just realists. Sorry to inform you .. Any criticism can not be countered with an accusation of fanboys or haters. Some things are just crap.

Windows tablets offer very very little that other already established tablet OSs don't.

Name three things that a Surface can do that an Android or an iPad tablet can not (excluding the obvious "run Windows", or "run Windows store apps"). Important things. Not corner cases that might sell a few units to a couple of corporate buyers who have just been bought an expensive lunch.

The ARM one does not run x86 software. the Intel one will, but with a touch interface, low power, low storage, and a smaller screen than one is used to.

Android undercuts them. Apple out poses them. What market do they have left exactly for a not particularly practical device that is quite expensive?

3
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: I will have to revise my numbers as well.

@ John Bailey

"Name three things that a surface can do that an android or an iPad can not":

1) Run microsoft office. This is huge. It is probably the most widely used app on the planet after browsers.

2) Have a real usable physical keyboard. The mechanical keyboard is a great thing. I personally find the on-screen keyboards to be useful for anything longer than a very short SMS message. My phones have been Motorola Droids for this reason and I haven't tried win phone yet because of this.

3) Run Remote Desktop. There are remote desktop like apps for the other tablets, but not being native makes them weak. The remote desktop client on Windows 8 RT is excellent.

0
4
Silver badge

Re: I will have to revise my numbers as well.

> 1) Run microsoft office.

Most tablet users will be happy with a simple text editor for memos and stuff. No one will run the corporate spreadsheet on a 10 inch screen. Not twice anyway.

> 2) Have a real usable physical keyboard.

Why do you think that is unique ? Keyboard/stand/covers, folding keyboards, flexible keyboards, even projected keyboards have been available for years.

> 3) Run Remote Desktop.

There are remote desktop like apps for the other tablets. Oh no, wait, that is what _you_ said.

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: I will have to revise my numbers as well.

>> 2) Have a real usable keyboard.

I take it you've not used the lifeless dead flesh keyboard then? I think usable is pushing it a bit.

2
0

Re: I will have to revise my numbers as well.

Have a real usable physical keyboard

--------------

Yeah that's what makes a good tablet... A physical keyboard. I reckon you are Ballmer because he doesn't get it either

3
0

Re: I will have to revise my numbers as well.

1) Microsoft Office is still popular, but its importance is diminishing. Many people are using alternative solutions which are quite mature these days. Average user don't need power of full Microsoft office.

2) Any tablet can be fitted with real usable keyboard, at less price. Better yet, a laptop comes with it.

3) I found splashtop very compelling solution for remote desktop, and I use RDP on Linux everyday, neither are native solution. Wait, why would you need a native solution, if you are already running Windows? I don't see this a significant advantage.

At the end of the day, I see Office the only advantage.. but If I need to use office, I use my laptop.

2
0

Re: It's going the way of the Zune and the Kin.

> ...but not quickly enough

This is Good. It means that many more victims (that is, patients) will purchase this greatest technology from Microsoft and more will understand what Microsoft are really capable of. "The OEMs are to blame" won't fly anymore.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Sigh

And to think they broke a nice, functional desktop interface for this.

26
1
Mushroom

Re: And to think they broke a nice, functional desktop interface for this.

But it's the nature of the beast. The MS business model requires users to constantly "upgrade" (am I the only one to still use keyboard shortcuts because I can dig them out of my memory before I can find what I want in the &!@#ing ribbon?) Incremental change (sometime called "improvement") just won't persuade us to buy the same things again these days, so we have to be *made* to want completely new things every few years.

The lesson for MS is that unless they change that business model, they must eventually be history. Perhaps not this time, but surely one time soon.

2
0
Silver badge
Paris Hilton

RT PrO though that will sell Meelions

It must. Who hasn't looked at a laptop and said: "This is really neat, but I wish it didn't have this keyboard. I would totally pay twice as much if they would take that off."

Why, the CES Windows Tablet storms of the past few years have yielded an amazing outpouring of innovative designs that have conquered the tablet market. A shame Microsoft isn't even going this year, to finally show off their own-brand hardware. That would be awesome.

7
1
Meh

only the stupidly technology enamoured give a hoot

Is this the last gasp for the Redmond behemoth, or a life changing moment that will pave its future reinvention? Who knows? And who really cares? All people are wanting at the moment are cash to feed the necessities and their holidays. They don’t care how they get access to the Internet; so long as it’s secure and fast. Windows is not really that important in people’s minds, just what Windows can allow them to do - is what they care about. The geeks may salivate at the specifications – but the public in general, the ones who really count and who have the money, just want the darn thing to work. Honestly, people don’t care what they use, as long as it works! Microsoft tablet, Apple pad, Intel or AMD what’s it, only the stupidly technology enamoured give a hoot.

4
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: only the stupidly technology enamoured give a hoot

I came to the same conclusion about 2 years ago after seeing my various nephews and nieces ( there are 10 of them! ) all become teenagers and simply treat tech much as we all use a microwave or a fridge, just devices to get stuff done. They in turn influence my brothers and sisters in-law with the same ideas.

The days of brand loyalty in tech are fast disappearing as the OP says, people just want to get stuff done without a fight and without the device crapping out.

This Xmas alone I have heard my wife and my sister-in-law discussing the merits of Samsung, over Apple over Asus, Android over iOS, in the desire to find the right sort of tablet for one of the kids. This sort of discussion would have been unimaginable about 5 years ago.

When you hear every Tom, Dick and Harry on a the train, bus and plane disucssing the merits of the new iOS release over the latest Android O/S you start to realise how much tech is woven into everyone lives. When I was a nipper at school and my small little clique of nerdy mates would discuss the latest 8-bit development, we'd get the snears and comments from the non-nerdy kids, now who are the nerds?

3
0
Mushroom

Re: only the stupidly technology enamoured give a hoot

Oh we're still the nerds...or even the 'geeks', but now we have high paying jobs and we sell iOS, Android and Windows applications, games, hardware and services to the rich....whilst those who sneered sit in the post room getting paid piddlesticks for the most mind-numbingly tedious jobs, and look forward to getting home to fatty and the kid in their smoke-stained hobbit-holes.

Just recollecting a slightly vindictive but triumphal moment from a few years ago...sorry...

5
0
Silver badge
Unhappy

Build quality

If what I hear about the Surface's keyboard literally coming apart at the seams then MS would be wise to order a few more to replace those machines returned by unhappy punters

See:

http://www.t3.com/news/microsoft-surface-keyboard-users-experiencing-splitting-issue

and

http://pocketnow.com/2012/11/09/surface-keyboard-covers-falling-apart.

Still I expect that as ever MS will fix it when they release the service pack!

3
0

Re: Build quality

Don't worry about the keyboard, once I had got over how good the touch cover is, I dont really use the keyboard, i just use the tablet alone. Mabe people are folding the touchcover back on its self. You would have to be pretty stupid to do that. You can always use usb peripherals if you want to do serious typing..

I have to say I am seriously impressed with my RT surface, my only concern now is that the OS may not ever see version 2.0?

0
5
Anonymous Coward

Re: Build quality

A link closer to home - can't get over this and that's a FACT. Not build quality but ...

http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/containing/1645572

0
0

Crash n burn baby

http://www.zdnet.com/microsoft-surface-pro-to-have-half-the-surface-rts-battery-life-7000008113/

Surface Pro battery life half that of the RT - 4 to 5 hours, plus a thousand dollars for the 128GB version (not forgetting you lose like 16GB for the OS and Office, plus another $120 for the keyboard). Even companies don't like to feel they're being ripped off this blatantly. (and I don't hate Windows 8 or MS), but it does feel like they're trying to blow smoke up my ass.

Drop the price to $750 and include the cheap keyboard with it and open the goddamn market up.

3
0
Silver badge
WTF?

@Tony Paulazzo "Surface Pro battery life half that of the RT - 4 to 5 hours"

What precisely did you expect? The RT runs on a Tegra 3 ARM SoC and the Pro is running on an Intel Core i5 cpu - it would be astonishing if it did not have half the battery life of the Surface RT.

4
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: @Tony Paulazzo "Surface Pro battery life half that of the RT - 4 to 5 hours"

And don't forget the Full HD (1920x1080) screen on the Surface Pro. Higher resolution = greater GPU load = lower battery life.

2
0
Silver badge

@AC 30th Nov 10.31 GMT "And don't forget the Full HD (1920x1080) screen"

Indeed. In fact (without commenting on any other aspect of the "Pro" until I have actually seen one) I would have to say that given that it has a HD screen and is running a current generation Core i5 I would regard 5hrs battery life as not too bad. I would not expect to see any major improvement as far as that is concerned with x86 tablets or ultrabooks until we get the Haswell chips some time at the back half of next year (if they actually can do what Intel is claiming of course).

2
0

Re: Crash n burn baby

Heh, you should try being in the UK. At the current rate of 1.6, and the fact we typically have to pay the same figure in pounds as you do in dollars, we're going to end up paying the equivalent of $1201 for your every $750 device...

1
0
Silver badge
FAIL

Re: @AC 30th Nov 10.31 GMT "And don't forget the Full HD (1920x1080) screen"

>until we get the Haswell chips some time at the back half of next year (if they actually can do what Intel is claiming of course).

Hasn't Intel been claiming since 2006 at least they are only 1.5 years away from an ARM killer chip. FAIL!!!

2
0
Alert

Price FAIL!

Microsoft pricing strategy is the main factor here. What happen to "stake em high sell em cheap ". Every one knows that they are not established in the Tablet Market so endless they half the price they are on a one way losing strict with Surface. Windows 8 will pale in popularity to windows 9 with Windows 7 remaining strong until windows 9's release. windows 7 will get a boost in 2014 with support for xp ending.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Price FAIL!

Seems to be the smell of blood in the water, as Apple's desktop sales keep growing, Google's multi-vendor Chromebook line keep expanding, and Dell begins shipping Ubuntu machines again as they did during the Vista fiasco (only now, with a growing 20+ million customer base, Ubuntu is attracting mainstream support of its own such as Steam games). With record Android and iPad tablet sales this year making Surface success a long shot, I wonder how much relevance Windows 9 will actually still have when it's rushed out in 2014.

3
0
Silver badge
FAIL

How can the MS strategy possibly fail?

Officially declare your first product as 'low-functionality' version without any perspective of better functionality in the future -- and sell this at the upper price point of the competition. Then come out with the 'fully functional' version at a price well beyond anything ever considered by the consumers.

MS found the bait and switch strategy, but somehow they got it wrong.

6
0
Anonymous Coward

Disappointing

Why can't they fill the shops with more unwanted tablets at unrealistic prices? In a few months they might slash the prices and it might be worth getting. Sure it won't be as good as <insert favourite tablet here>, but a 32GB+ WART device for £100 might be useful (i.e see RIM Playbook).

Surely MS realise that their customers rarely touch the pre-SP releases other than when forced to (i.e. pre-installed Vista) - if they are not willing to provide some incentive for WART upon introduction, competing on the same terms when Apple and Android have had a further 12 months in the marketplace is not going to make it any easier....

Still they always have their desktop/laptop x86 market to fallback on to win people over to Windows as their end users spend less and less time using it....

0
0
N2

Perhaps

If they dropped the price it may start moving, particularly with January sales approaching.

0
0
FAIL

Kin Hell

What a shock! Producing 2 devices capable of different things will only confuse your everyday punter. Your everyday user just wants it to work and not be bamboozled with options.

Shame MS can't get to grips with this simple request.

1
0
Unhappy

They threw the baby out with the bath water

They (MS) spent 10 years developing .Net as the next great big programming language, and it has evolved into something that was originally clever and slow into something that is really excellent.

However, Microsoft *themselves* never adopted it. Instead of writing the OS in C++ and supporting applications (control panel applets and the like) in .Net, they continued writing everything as native apps.

They never ported Office over to .Net, nor Visio, no SQL Server. Nothing.

If they had ported them, and encouraged everyone, including 3rd party vendors, to develop in .Net then they would have had the perfect cross-platform vehicle when introduce two divergent technologies as they have with Win8 and WinRT.

Your apps would run on both systems.

Instead, Microsoft seem to be placing less and less emphasis on their .Net platform. It's no longer hip at MS it seems. I can only think that a new crowd is en vogue in MS, and .Net is the ginger-haired step child, the legacy app that the new breed of software engineers have to maintain. Not Invented Here Syndrome.

A shame. They seem to have thrown the baby out with the bath water IMHO.

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: They threw the baby out with the bath water

Never mind there is still Silverlight - oh wait

0
0
Silver badge

Re: They threw the baby out with the bath water

>Instead of writing the OS in C++ and supporting applications (control panel applets and the like) in .Net, they continued writing everything as native apps.

>At the moment the only Microsoft application that uses WPF is Visual Studio and many users wish that it didn't.

Even Microsoft realized managed code was a mistake after they drank too much of the Java koolaid. Managed code has its place but certainly not at the systems level.

http://www.i-programmer.info/professional-programmer/i-programmer/2830-was-net-all-a-mistake.html

0
0
Silver badge

They just wanted to neutralize the Java threat

They were worried about code that didn't need the Windows API to run so they created their own Java to split the market. For that, it worked, as Java is still around but never became the threat they feared.

However, while they had their eye off the ball, Apple and Google sold a combined billion or so devices that many people use more than their PCs and don't use the Windows API. Oops!!

1
0

Straight Swap

Is it possible they just traded production volume for the Pro and we're getting only half the story?

1
1

Re: Straight Swap

so they have changed from making relativily cheap ones that they cant sell, to making dearer ones that wont sell? hurrah!! That Balmer, more cunning than a fox who has just been made head professor of the cunning department at Cunning University

1
0

Maybe they swapped something that didn't sell for something that might sell. Or something they make a bit of money on for something they hope to make more on.

Maybe Ballmer should just change his name to Baldrick. I honestly don't know. It was just a question.

0
0
Bronze badge

The RT mistake

Making the ARM version crippled (no actual Windows applications - except Microsoft's own, of course) seemed a dumb move. With a proper Windows port, an ARM-powered lightweight Windows machine might have some appeal for me; with just "RT", forget it.

As for 'Surface Pro' ... an expensive thin laptop with a touchscreen and removable/optional keyboard? Strip the "expensive" from that, it might fly, but when I can get an i5 laptop with 4 Gb for half the price (£400), the Surface would have to bring something *major* to the table. OK, higher screen resolution ... I'd pay extra for that ... thinner/lighter, too ... but not for that kind of price.

0
0

too much

When i thought the price was lower I was kind of happy to go ahead and get one, forget further evaluation, and just become an owner. But not at this pricepoint. I think microsoft lost the point. The windows thing is well cool, don't get me wrong, but the point of the tablet there is to use it like a erm, tablet. It means the average user will only need the RT style big touch app. I'm kind of getting used to that with windows 8 now. Of course the idea is that this is supposed to be some kind of stop gap, i'm sure, once they sort out the windows chrome for all other old style apps, but really really really, the only way to use that windows 7 interface is with a mouse and keyboard at this time and i don't want to pay so much more for that functionality AND a tab when either a tab or a laptop will suffice.

This kind of makes me want the RT and not the pro now. I might need to reevaluate why i need that windows 8 desktop behind it after all (except i like to develop and i doubt you'll ever see a decent touch screen version of visual studio ever). So maybe an RT with a better spec is what i'm after. How long will i have to wait!

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.

Forums