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back to article Microsoft Surface Pro sales CANNIBALIZING Surface RT

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 …

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Surface Pro sales CANNIBALIZING Surface RT

Or all the people interested in RT already bought one, and sales would have tanked without help from the Pro.

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Re: Surface Pro sales CANNIBALIZING Surface RT

Indeed, if I was inclined to poke this product line with a 10ft pole, it sure wouldn't be an RT. BTW I'll save everyone the keyboarding time with the "told you so..MS fail etc". Now I'll just grab my pint and wait for Edons 2 cents.

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Re: Surface Pro sales CANNIBALIZING Surface RT

I agree.

I want to know who these analysts are who thought that surface RT or Pro would sell better?

I'm not an analyst, and I knew it wasn't going to sell.

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...or... 2

The RTs were bought by developers for testing and IT departments to test out these new fangled devices. Now they are buying Pros for further testing.

Perhaps neither is getting much real traction in the market place.

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FAIL

Spinal Tap

I've tried, but I can only think of one way MSFT can spin the sales figures and that's to paraphrase Ian Faith.

"Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no...no, no, not at all. I, I, I just think that the.. uh.. [its] appeal is becoming more selective."

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Devil

Re: ...or... 2

OK, Charles you might have a point. Do you know where I can acquire one of these fun boxxes?

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Megaphone

Gave up...

I gave up waiting for the Pro to become available, I bought a Samsung ATIV instead.

And, with the Atom and Windows 8, why would I buy an RT based device for about the same money? The Atom offers the same battery life (10-12 hours), runs without fans, is light and silent and runs all my normal Windows applications in addition to the Metro stuff...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Surface Pro sales CANNIBALIZING Surface RT

The Pro isn't available in the UK yet so no cannibalizing here yet.

Pro looks like a great device if a bit pricy but by the time it is available we'll be reading Haswell benchmarks, comparing battery life and speculating on how soon Pro 2 will be available. Unlike the Apple market where many customers will likely buy iPad 4 or Mini right up to the time iPad 5 and Mini Retina are announced, the market Surface Pro is addressing is more conscious of product lifecycle and less likely to pay premium price for a soon to be replaced model. In short, the first generation Surface Pro was too late for USA release and far too late for rest of the world so never stood a chance for volume. It remains to be seen whether Microsoft can do better with time to market in the next generation.

As for Surface RT, I never saw it as more than a Microsoft insurance policy in the ARM v x86 war in case Intel can't deliver battery life and competitive pricing on silicon for mobile. As with most insurance, the hope must be they never need to claim. I'm at a loss as to why anyone except a developer might want to buy one, apart from deep-pocketed gadget collectors of course. The fact that Microsoft spent a lot of money on advertising that could never pay off in sales rather than present it as a reference device says more about the corporate nature of the beast. Likewise the OEM licensing model for Windows RT seems to reflect internal turf wars rather than a coherent strategy. Windows success was partly driven by the fact that OEM pricing of Windows+Office was between 5-10% of the retail price of a complete PC system and in a tablet market dominated by $200-600 devices, its a no-brainer that Windows RT needs to go back to pricing basics if it wants to compete with Android.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Surface Pro sales CANNIBALIZING Surface RT

By the summer, most all tablet product lines will have switched to 2013 grade SoC. Apart from bargain basement, Tegra 3 will have vanished. So Surface RT has only 3/4 months to go unless pricing is reduced into budget territory. I can't understand why anyone would buy a new iPad 2 but apparently they do so maybe there is a market for Surface RT at £250 with touch cover though I wouldn't bet on it.

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Re: Surface Pro sales CANNIBALIZING Surface RT

very rarely does a post hit the nail on the head, this one does. Spot on.

Microsoft internally clearly have big differences of opinion, WinDiv v Devdiv etc.

And I also think you are correct, insurance for Intel failing. Intel have 2 more changes in smaller silicon coming and if battery improves with it and they can match arm - game over. Business will stick with it.

There is no need for religeon on this either, if people want cheap consumer Android tablets thats great. Pricier stuff for work / Office etc can co-exist without internet trolls killing each other :)

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Anonymous Coward

MS have not done themselves any favours in shifting these things, just a few mistakes off the top of my head:

1 - The initial release of RT not being in retail stores

2 - The lack of 3g or 4g connectivity options

3 - The inability to install non Metro apps on the RT model

4 - The shocking execution of the Pro model release that pissed of lots of loyalists

5 - Inability to join a domain form RT models

Microsoft are clearly not experienced in this market and will hopefully learn a few lessons. I will happily pick up a Surface Pro when it has 3g or 4g connectivity.

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Still not available...

the pro still isn't available here (Germany) and the RT only from Microsoft online or a few Staples outlets...

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FAIL

Relative measure OK

Maintaining sales between Q4 and Q1 (after the Christmas peak and initial launch excitement heading into low season except for Chinese New Year where relevant) is pretty good even with a longer time period for sales available. If it had been a great launch this would a great result for MS...

...however the bad news is that BOTH quarters are catastrophically small compared to major rivals (Apple and Samsung). Based on the figures in this article Apple outsold them by more than 30x in Q4 despite pre-Christmas iPad mini shortages.

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Devil

prepared to offer tender words of consolation

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

Laughed. May as well make this one a fixed footer for all Microsoft stories henceforth.

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Joke

Re: prepared to offer tender words of consolation

Looks like they've decided to copy Apple's PR too...

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Devil

Subhead Correction

Redmond's slab slump continues despite because of Windows 8 model

There, fixed it.

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Facepalm

Not surprising

Most people in the target market (the ones with enough cash for a surface, that is), have by now experienced what a "walled garden" means by ways of their various I thingies. People grudgingly accept it from Apple because they have the feeling the get something back, like, say, the feeling of security, stability, lots of app choices, etc.

Ask the average person on the street what he connects with Microsoft. And now ask yourself if you expect him to buy a Surface device...

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Anonymous Coward

MS just called...

...they want the 90's back

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Anonymous Coward

Selling stuff is hard

Microsoft has gone through so many decades of people automatically buying their stuff (for various reasons, including monopolies) that they still assume that tens/hundreds of millions of people will buy anything they make.

The hubris annoys me and I'm glad they're going to have to come to grips with reality soon. And the reality is that people don't trip over themselves to buy "meh" products.

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Re: Selling stuff is hard

Part of it was because people were automatically buying their stuff ( Office for example ).

Part of it was because people automatically found their stuff in what they were buying ( Windows ).

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Re: Selling stuff is hard

If it hadn't been for the stroke of genius of locking in their crapware on all new computer sales they'd have vanished up their own collective fundament years ago. Now they're faced with a situation in which people actually have to make a *specific choice* to buy their shite, and guess what...

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Looks like there'll be plenty of half-decent tablets going dirt cheap in a year or two once someone figures out how to jailbreak them.

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Trollface

"Jailbreak" means run Linux

oh.. I mean android.

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Re: "Jailbreak" means run Linux

No, jailbreak here means "run anything you damn well please".

Yes, Linux and Android will be two big ones, but also NetBSD, etc, as well as running any Windows/ARM application on the now jailbroken Windows RT if they so choose.

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going cheep

I thought that. There will be a shedload going cheap.

I'll offer £50

for a dozen.

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Anonymous Coward

RT having a negative impact on Pro?

Every now and again we get someone asking "can I run program X on an iPad" - where X is typically something they know and love from the XP era. It the RT models did not exist I could send them out to look at the full-fat Windows 8 tablets - however human nature being what it is, the odds are that they would end up with an RT machine that cannot run said program.

If the RT trap disappeared, it would be much easier to ensure that people get a tablet appropriate to their needs and budget. Though for those who can afford a Surface Pro and *dont* need to run x86 Windows applications, a MacBook Air is likely to leave them happiest.

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Microsoft have come to the table about 2 - 3 years to late. I think this can safely be seen as a flop.

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Anonymous Coward

Surface Pro is a pretty cool product - much better than anything from Apple or Android - and it only just launched. I wouldn't be so quick to write it off.

I want one, but I am waiting until the next generation of low powered Intel chipsets and CPUs ship ~ mid year - which presumably will be the 'Surface 360' lol.

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We have a bunch of customers waiting to buy the Pro. To my knowledge still not released in the UK or "Coming Soon". I'm not sure how, in the UK, Pro sales can be cannibalizing RT sales when the dammed Pro is not even on sale in the UK!!

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With RT - yes. The "status driven" crowd uses iThingies, the "cheap" crowd uses Android and those who need a tablet pc use Windows/x86 since the turn of the century. Not much place for a "castrate" like Win/RT.

With PRO: No. Tablet PC and Windows are married for a decade. The S/P is just the first hardware from MS. Writing this on an aging T731 in tablet mode

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Coat

> I want one, but I am waiting until...

Sounds like on of those astroturf posts that promote dead games on gamer forums.

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Anonymous Coward

Surely that would be 'I have one and it's great'?

I might want one too, but they are not yet sold here :-(

The dell XPS 18 looks pretty cool too.....

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Or maybe someone who already has a fully functional Windows/x86 tablet pc (or convertible) and can afford to wait. On the job I have an aging but still solid T731 with dual battery, SSD and a dock, privatly I use a EP121(1) Both main units are still "good enough" compared to the current gen "ivyBridge" equiped units(2). So waiting for Haswell (or at least a y-Series) is "the right thing" since the benefits of the new CPU (faster GPU, lower power consumption, better sleep modes). Even waiting for BayTrail Atoms may be an option

(1) and a "tested, to slow, given to the workers" Q550 as a light reader

(2) The EP121 got a "Centrino" card for 1st gen WIDI

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Thumb Up

Upvote!

I upvoted you...

...because anyone who's game enough to reveal they're a shit-for-brains deserves an upvote for their honesty.

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Maybe a better headline would be:

Microflop fails to surface

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Windows

years too late

Especially since their Surface RT is essentially a year-old Asus Transformer Prime without the dock and the Android software with apps? Yes.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: years too late

"Especially since their Surface RT is essentially a year-old Asus Transformer Prime" -

Except with a more powerful CPU/GPU, a better OS, a better screen, an injection moulded magnesium chassis, a 3mm thick touch keyboard cover and software inc Microsoft Office. So not exactly 'essentially'

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Re: years too late

"Except with a more powerful CPU/GPU, a better OS, a better screen, an injection moulded magnesium chassis, a 3mm thick touch keyboard cover and software inc Microsoft Office."

... So those "improvements" would be reflected in the sales figures then?

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$urface

It was always simply too expensive. What market were they trying to break?

There smartest bet would have been to take the WinPho OS to a tablet, not deploy an expensive laptop alternative !!

Idjuts...

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Re: $urface

I know, right? I'm rather fond of my Lumia and would happily splash out on a Windows Phone 8 10 inch slab but the fact that even Microsoft's hardware partners are refusing to touch RT with the proverbial pole speaks volumes.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: $urface

You are comparing toys to corporate tools. Enterprise solutions like Surface Pro will almost always cost more.

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Re: $urface

You are comparing toys to executive toys. Executive toys like Surface Pro will almost always cost more.

Fixed it for you.

Even then I find most are requesting Windows 8 Ultrabooks with touch for Executive toys over the Surface Pro.

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Re: $urface

Bzzt - Wrong. Tablet PC have been in use for a good decade. And mostly NOT be executives but rather by engineer types.

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Facepalm

Re: $urface

You think "engineer types" is the target Microsoft is after with the Surface / Surface Pro? Good one!

Check out all the "engineer types" in this Microsoft Surface Pro ad.

http://youtu.be/l2KPQNP1Z1s

So lots of great engineering aps in the not-metro app store then I expect eh?

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Re: $urface

Engineers do not buy based onadvertisement. They buy based on needs and capabilities. If in doubt they evaluate and test and /or check reputable sources.

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Re: $urface

Are you really that stupid or are you just pretending?

If it's just the same people who bought XP Tablet, or Win7 Tablets then Surface will be a total fail. MS is NOT looking to sell to Engineers, they want to sell to all the people buying iThings. They want BYOD people to buy them.

They are selling them from booths in shopping malls. They are running lifestyle ads for them.

Do Engineers buy their specialized tablet computers from a booth at the mall?

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Re: $urface

And? Are engineers forbidden to evaluate hardware that also sells to Joe Average? If it fits the needs and is "best for the money" I do not care for the advertisement or "target audience" - I buy the thing. Depending on the lot size and service contracts needed from the shop next door, the larger distributer or the manufacturer directly. Where is the problem?

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Meh

With the exception of the low res screen

I actually really like it.

I thought it was not going to be great, but then I played with one, and yes. It works really well.

Still, 700 euros is a bit much when I already have a Transformer Infinity... (Though if I was buying today I would accept the lower resolution and take the RT).

What I don't get is the stealth launch. Everyone knows the iPad. Most know Samsumg / Asus tablets. No one outside of an IT professionals who I know about the surface. If you don't even tell people about a product how on earth are they ever going to buy it...

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Windows

This is a Microsoft employee blogging phenomenon

If you own one of the blogs where these things are discussed your server logs are rich with well-known Microsoft IP addresses. If their English isn't good they usually just paste talking points straight from the internally circulated "discussion guide", sometimes in context-inappropriate spots. Some try to rephrase as is recommended, but their lack of idiom leads to hilarious results and they cannot engage in a protracted discussion. Some are quite good. But they all bring their point of view involving whose fault it is.

The software engineers blame marketing, praising the UI and "design language". The hardware folks blame marketing too, pointing out their "innovative" features saying it's an excellent product nobody knows about despite a half-billion spent on ads and even though the RT hardware is an obvious retread of a year-old Android tablet that had been far surpassed on Surface launch day. The marketers blame engineering and manufacturing. The Office team even chimes in, pointing out that their ware is "essential for business and included free" neglecting the facts that this is the consumer grade tablet and the software isn't licensed for business use. By blaming each other they point to flaws in the team effort, and by using obviously ridiculous and untrue memes "enterprise grade" "not a toy" "Microsoft has unlimited funds to put it over", by making light about the weakness of the ecosystem - they reveal who they are. Most especially when they trot out the same fifteen talking points to every article over and over, bringing them into every discussion as can be seen in this and every ElReg article in the context list.

They don't realize we know who they are and how fiercely competitive they are being about trashing their own product and each other. It's funny to watch really. There are so many of them and they are so hard at it that you need only mention and disparage a Microsoft mobile product in your article to get hundreds of comments and thousands of views - enough to make it worthwhile even if it's only the 'softies trying to out-shout each other about which of them is most at fault for the fact that the product is collecting dust on the shelf. By doing this they are even making it profitable for the various blogs like ElReg to glance askance at their ware.

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Unhappy

Re: This is a Microsoft employee blogging phenomenon

But at least the Chinese army seems to be out of MS payroll for now.

and meanwhile, I mourn minimsft blog death.

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