back to article Microsoft Surface sales numbers revealed as SHOCKINGLY HIDEOUS

Microsoft's shares took a beating following its gloomy fiscal 2013 earnings report earlier this month, in which it wrote down nearly a billion dollars on its unloved Surface RT fondleslabs. But the software giant isn't out of the woods yet, because new details have emerged that have the full Surface picture looking even worse …

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Where can I buy one?

Hi Stu18,

You will be able to find PLENTY of these on the Aussie & NZ eBay sites shortly. This is because Microsoft TechEd Australia is about to start - once it does, cheap Surfaces will start flooding onto eBay, because delegates attending it will be able to purchase them at a ridiculously cheap rate.....

How cheap ? I can only speak from my own experience after attanding TechEd in Madrid at the end of June. We were each given a card with our event passes that contained URLs to the various Microsoft Stores for each country within Europe. Being a Brit, I followed the link to the UK Microsoft Store, where I was able to purchase a 64GB Surface RT + typecover for £69 (these retail at £439 in the UK), as well as a 128GB Surface Pro for £299 (UK retail is £799)..... I have colleagues in the USA who were also offerred a similar deal at TechEd in New Orleans earlier this year, but I do not know the discounts that were being applied out there.

Bottom line is that I made a killing on both (even after eBayes rip-off fees were applied). It also shows how desparate Microsooft are to sell the RTs ! Just think about it - they were willing to apply a disount of over 80% when selling the RT to TechEd delegates...... I will let more business-savvy people comment on this point.....

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Re: Where can I buy one?

Something similar (hiding the OS like it was a negative selling point) happened in the Vista era. I still remember helping a friend of my mum's pick out a basic XP PC that did everything she needed (Basically browsers, email and occasionally printing) at the store, and keeping schtum when the guys at the till brought out and started ringing up a slightly better specced machine for the same price. It wasn't until we'd got home and fired it up that Karma struck and I realised I'd taken a Vista machine.

(Cue much wasted time looking for drivers that don't exist yet, followed by 'downgrading' the machine to XP like I should have done in the first place.)

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Anonymous Coward

Surface RT was a terrible idea.

Replace Surface RT with a lower priced Bay Trail full windows Surface, update Surface Pro mk2 to Haswell, and they might salvage something.

I'm happy with my Surface Pro and Type Cover/wedge mouse. Enough grunt to run a RHEL/oracle VM and do proper work...and great for browsing on sofa, usual tablet stuff. Sold my iPad and laptop as this does both just fine. That's how it should have been marketed...not all this 'Click In' bollocks.

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You are obviously the target market - you can see the benefit of a tablet cum laptop. Unfortunately, there aren't many of you. Personally, I like a full laptop and an iPad rather than having it all in one device and I appear to be the more common customer. I think they misjudged the numbers who would buy their vision incredibly badly which, while surprising to Microsoft, comes as no surprise to anyone else.

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Gold badge

The surface pro is indeed a very useful bit of kit.

However, it's not a tablet. It's too bulky to be a real tablet, even with the keyboard removed. What it is is what these "ultrabook" things should have been. It's a far better small, light laptop than any of the small, light laptops out there.

Also, when considered as such, it's a sensible price too.

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Anonymous Coward

"Surface RT was a terrible idea."

Intel CPUs couldn't at the time match Arm for battery life. So the idea was OK.

However, the new generation 4 Intel core processors are really starting to make a proper PC tablet competitive with (but far more powerful) than Arm based tablets. Therefore I think Microsoft should focus on full blown Windows tablets with it's inherent security / performance / functionality advantages over IOS and Android.

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Silver badge

> It's a far better small, light laptop than any of the small, light laptops out there.

Except that, as Linux netbook pushers discovered, it lacks the main feature that a small, light laptop must have for it to be generally useful: the ability to run ordinary x86 Windows programs.

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FAIL

Except that it does....

The post you replied too was referring specifically to the Surface Pro, which does run ordinary x86 apps!

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Coffee/keyboard

@AC 31st July 2013 07:29 GMT

"Therefore I think Microsoft should focus on full blown Windows tablets with it's inherent security / performance / functionality advantages over IOS and Android"

You owe me a new keyboard. I wish there was a way to filter out obvious trolls / shills...

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security advantages? AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA...

oh wait your serious aren't you......

LET ME LAUGH EVEN LOUDER!!!

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Unhappy

Re: Except that it does....

Interesting. Shows how effective all that $1bn Microsoft PR was then, since it didn't even work to educate someone computer-literate like me :) It's hard to see past the pictures with that hideous boxy UI, though. Thanks for the correction.

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Apple is rumoured to be working on a 13" ipad. My suspicion is that this will combine tablet and desktop modes, at which point everyone will say that having a tablet and desktop on the same hardware is the ideal form factor.

It's already an ideal when it comes to Ubuntu - a phone which you can dock and use as a full pc is a wet dream for many people. But a tablet which you can dock and use as a full pc, like Asus's successful Transformer range? Oh no, that's a Microsoft FAIL!

Let's face it, people just don't like Microsoft even when they make what are essentially decent products, and a distant 3rd-place platform struggling to get decent apps is a hard option to choose.

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Anonymous Coward

"security advantages? "

He means things like delegated rights, ACLs and auditing built in from the ground up, etc - features that IOS and Android simply don't have. Plus IOS and Android have an awful lot more vulnerabilities than current Windows versions - and Android has a lot more Malware....

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Anonymous Coward

However, the new generation 4 Intel core processors are really starting to make a proper PC tablet competitive with (but far more powerful) than Arm based tablets. Therefore I think Microsoft should focus on full blown Windows tablets

Up to this point, I mostly agree, and certainly Windows is a more general-purpose OS than Android or iOS, but I wouldn't make the point that it's necessarily more secure. Particularly iOS. Android of course suffers from the problems that come from people downloading applications from unscrupulous vendors which doesn't happen on Windows RT or iOS as they both prohibit casual sideloading.

Windows RT (what does RT stand for anyway? Really Terrible?) is a distraction for Microsoft. Windows Phone is having much better success than RT ever will … the lower end Surface RT could probably have a Windows Phone derivative ported to it, and run with that without too much trouble. The higher end devices should run a proper OS, not the watered down half-experience that is Windows RT.

"Proper" in the eyes of the end user, which may or may not be Windows depending on that end user's use case. Let them be the judge of what the best "tool" for their "job" is.

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Munchkin, munchkin, how to spot a munchkin. A bark-bark-Barkto we shall go!

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Silver badge

>Plus IOS and Android have an awful lot more vulnerabilities than current Windows versions (assume talking about windows mobile and RT only here as the main Windows kernel had over 30 critical CVE in 2012 alone) - and Android has a lot more Malware....

Only makes sense not to go to the effort to hack a platform virtually nobody owns. It would be like looking of vulnerabilities in BeOS.

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Silver badge

And unlike (Insert Linux flavor of the Month HERE), has less users, actually using it. So why bother.

Which again just like Windows (99.9% World penetration) = lots of users = LOTS OF TARGETS!

Also this is why Mac OSX Viruses are also non-existent.

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Anonymous Coward

It could not have happened to a more deserving company.

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Anonymous Coward

Another Ballmer ballsup!

Billion here and there, soon adds up to real money except in BallmyWorld.

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Yep, advertising works

They spent nearly a billion dollars on advertising, and they still can't shift more than a million or so units, even the pros which are kind of nice?

How many times is Microsoft going to flail and try to transform itself (ad company, cloud services company, consumer technology, etc.) before it gets the idea that Windows and Office make lots of money, so maybe just concentrate on that and make them better?

Windows 7 and server 2008 shows Microsoft can still make a darn fine OS. This other stuff is just killing them, because they are completely tone deaf in the consumer space.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Yep, advertising works

Have you seen their TV spots?

A bunch of hipster wannabes dancing around, spinning the slab on the table. The messages you get from the commercial are:

1. The keyboard connects and disconnects.

2. Nobody is going to get any work done because they're going to be dancing around the conference room.

They recently came up with a new spot, one with an iPad and MS slab side by side, with "Siri" saying "i can't do that" while showing that you can plug in a SD card into the MS slab, zoom the tiles, split screen between two apps... and then it shows the price of each. But it STILL doesn't show what the tablet can do.

I mean, seriously, what can it do? At least show a bunch of apps so that people can look and say "oh yeah, I can EMAIL and I can BROWSE THE WEB. WOOHOO, IT DOES EVERYTHING I NEED!"

When iPad first came out, the spots featured several apps, the star gazing app and piano app were two I remember. That piqued the curiosity of a lot of people.

The MS commercials are complete fails.

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Re: Yep, advertising works

The advertising was absolutely terrible. Even the retail displays were awful. They didn't even send mixed messages, they sent no message at all! The only differentiating factor was the insanely high price for this thing that couldn't even decide what it was supposed to do.

It will become a case study in how not to market a product.

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Happy

Only one thing to do

Promote the head of PR

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Windows

Soon to be the butt of another Simpsons Treehouse of Horror joke.....

Surface! Surface!! Surface!!!

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Re: Soon to be the butt of another Simpsons Treehouse of Horror joke.....

You will be thrilled to know that the queen of Metro has been made boss of Windows Devices, and the Windows Phone guy has been promoted to oversee all of Windows in the last reorg. Make your own conclusions about the objective goal of that.

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Re: Soon to be the butt of another Simpsons Treehouse of Horror joke.....

Steve Jobs is laughing in his crypt.

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Boffin

The tablet is dead. Desktop PCs are the future. : 3

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Another Heroic Failure

Titanic, Edsel, Sinclair C5, Windows ME, Windows Vista, Windows8, MS Office 365 subscription model.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Another Heroic Failure

"MS Office 365 subscription model."

Actually, that one's a storming success - they are selling loads of it.

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To quote Peanut and Jeff Dunham

If you polish a turd, it's still a turd!

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Trollface

So why not go for the new SUBSCRIPTION TURD? Cheaper, faster, smoother!

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Anonymous Coward

Cargo cult business strategy

It's interesting that Microsoft thinks they can copy Apple's products and put them on the market years later and get the same reception that Apple did...

I wonder what their rationale is for this? That they're Microsoft?

Or are they so stupid that they think their inane unique value propositions will actually entice customers... "look, our tablet has a flippy stand!"... "look, our tablet runs that piece of software that you're forced to use at the Office and don't want on anything you buy!"... etc.

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Re: Cargo cult business strategy

Well it worked for Windows back in the last century.

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Joke

On the surface

On the surface it doesn't seem too bad

its when you dig deeper ...

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I wanted one, but they were priced way too high.

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Too pricy, too underpowered and its advertising (a bunch of Glee reject dancing students), snapping open and shut its (£100 extra) keypad*.

They thought to compete with Apple when they should have competed with Google.

Keep the pro at £800 (well specced ultra), but sell the RT (with 'Not For Work' Office and crappy keypad) for £250 - I suspect their results would've been fairly different today.

* Apples advertising: Camera looking at an iPad screen whilst different software runs, including educational, musical, magazines, office and games.

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Where have all the visionaries gone?

Ouch, ouch, and ouch. I love the marketing, the hardware, and the intent of the surface. I haven't gotten to see the software much. But MS has priced themselves out of the market and targeted a segment that is just too small. Very few people want a mediocre laptop replacement for the same price as an ultrabook.

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WTF?

Re: Where have all the visionaries gone?

Surface RT is much cheaper than an Ultrabook (even before the discounts) and is not a laptop replacement; Surface Pro is not mediocre. What are you talking about?

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Meanwhile...

While Windows languishes in its death-throes, Linux becomes the core OS on everything from Smart Phones to DVR's, and will soon be moving to a washing machine or toaster near you.

Sounds similar to Bill Gates' plan for Windows ten years ago, doesn't it?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Meanwhile...

"Linux becomes the core OS on everything from Smart Phones to DVR's, and will soon be moving to a washing machine or toaster near you."

But still not on the Desktop.

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Happy

Re: Meanwhile...

It's on mine.

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Silver badge

Re: Meanwhile...

And mine too...

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Microsoft have *always* made crap products

They just got lucky (right place, right time) with Windows, and have dined out on (and crushed the competition with) it ever since.

To release (at most generous) an also-ran in the market with well established quality from Google and Apple was never going to work.

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Anonymous Coward

you guys are all idiots and don't see the bigger picture.. This was just round 1.. Giving oems a chance to do better and MS kept the price for their devices high enough for oems to make money

we all benefitted from this round, making apple aware, making oems aware, making google aware, making google's oems aware and at the end we all have better and cheaper products

Haswell is around the corner... The best tablet/hybrid/note book/ultra book or whatever you want to call it is coming. Oems had their change and fucked up BIG time. Now they don't have an excuse anymore and MS will bring the best to the market for a very decent price point.. We only saw the beginning...mark MY WORDS

regards

toraji

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Anonymous Coward

Two words: Black Knight

(ref. Monty Python's Holy Grail)

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Windows

FIle in the same drawer as "the recession will be over ANY MINUTE NOW"

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Meh

@ toraji

Signing your post with 'regards' is a tad disingenuous and rather superfluous when you start it by calling everyone idiots...

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Silver badge
FAIL

What the Hell are you smoking, could you pleas pass the Bowl over?

Just what give you the impression that any OEM would want to get bent over for this?

If anything (or indeed this were any other Company then MicroSoft), this Filing just goes to show what a dismal failure the Surface (RT & Pro) have been. I can't even begin to why anyone with One good Braincell left to 'em would front up the costs of making any more of these, when they could be making Android Tablets instead.

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The microsoft ship has NO rudder. CEO Steve Ballmer is out of touch with reality.

Perfect example: Ballmer laughed at the iPhone when it was introduced. If you

have microsoft stock, you might want to sell it now.

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Pirate

Rudders and Anchors

In a loss of steerage situation one may maintain a modicum of control and stability by casting an anchor overboard to keep the bow of the vessel into the waves.

- The Annapolis Guide to Seamanship

Ballmer is going to have to be sacrificed by tossing him overboard and using his bulk to keep the ship pointed...

Pirate because that's as close to a ship as we've got.

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