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Handhelds Microsoft

Microsoft Surface Struggles to Ship A Million Units 375

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the tim-cook-hexed-ballmer dept.
zacharye writes "While some see potential in Microsoft's Surface tablet, most industry watchers appear to have written off the device at this point. Orders were reportedly cut in half following a slow launch, and Microsoft's debut slate has been hammered time and time again by reviewers and analysts. The latest to pile on is Boston-based brokerage firm Detwiler Fenton, which estimates that when all is said and done, Microsoft will have sold fewer than 1 million Surface tablets in the slate's debut quarter." Still better than 25,000.
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Microsoft Surface Struggles to Ship A Million Units

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @01:45PM (#42193601)

    With the surface pro's battery life at an estimated 4 hours. We can expect that to fail as well.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @02:37PM (#42194315)

      The bigger problem with pro is that it's 900 fucking dollars to start with!

      • by Trashcan Romeo (2675341) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @02:48PM (#42194491)
        Microsoft-level quality is expensive. [Yes, that was sarcasm.]
        • by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @03:14PM (#42194833) Homepage Journal

          I would have thought Microsoft had recovered all the expense of developing the BSOD by now.

        • That isn't sarcasm (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Groo Wanderer (180806) <charlie.semiaccurate@com> on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @03:28PM (#42194973) Homepage

          You have obviously not used Windows lately, or any other Microsoft product if you say such abjectly ignorant things. You may laugh, but those of us who have to support Microsoft products know the truth, and how wrong you are. Microsoft-level quality products are indeed expensive, and for good reason too, do you have any idea how much it costs to support this crap? How hard it is to keep up and running? Clean it up after the latest security breach? Preventing breaches is a fools errand, give it up.

          All this costs money, lots and lots of money. Initial purchase price may be low compared to everything but FOSS, but that is only the beginning. If you calculate TCO, you will see exactly how expensive this poorly coded pile of outdated security holes really is. It ain't cheap.

                -Charlie

          [Yes, this may look like sarcasm, but sadly it is not]

  • The actual reason (Score:4, Insightful)

    by slashmydots (2189826) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @01:49PM (#42193655)
    I think the actual biggest reason for this is people who wanted a tablet already got a different product from Samsung or Motorola or Apple and they're not going to spend all that money again just to switch. MS came into the game WAY too late.
    Also we're at the verge of a netbook-caliber tablet crash where everyone realizes they all suck and stop buying them. They're too fragile, they don't have a DVD drive, they're harder to type on, the screen is tiny, they get dirty with fingerprints, they don't run 99% of software ever written, everything they do on it is designed to cost money, the browsers don't display pages correctly, the battery life is a lie, most don't have USB flash drive capabilities, they don't work with the majority of printers, and it's difficult to do meaningful work on them in any way shape or form. That's actually slightly more cons than netbooks and they went from boom to flop in approximately 2 years.
    • by jeffmeden (135043) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @01:55PM (#42193747) Homepage Journal

      I think the actual biggest reason for this is people who wanted a tablet already got a different product from Samsung or Motorola or Apple and they're not going to spend all that money again just to switch. MS came into the game WAY too late.

      Also we're at the verge of a netbook-caliber tablet crash where everyone realizes they all suck and stop buying them. They're too fragile, they don't have a DVD drive, they're harder to type on, the screen is tiny, they get dirty with fingerprints, they don't run 99% of software ever written, everything they do on it is designed to cost money, the browsers don't display pages correctly, the battery life is a lie, most don't have USB flash drive capabilities, they don't work with the majority of printers, and it's difficult to do meaningful work on them in any way shape or form. That's actually slightly more cons than netbooks and they went from boom to flop in approximately 2 years.

      Your post mostly makes sense (especially the frustration of being in an ecosystem where the tablet purchaser is merely a commodity whose eyeballs will be sold to the highest bidder)... what the fuck is a DVD drive? I remember old, slow, failure prone round plasticky things but the last time i had a need for one in ANY computing related task was probably more than 5 years ago... Are you talking about that?

      • by rsborg (111459)

        Your post mostly makes sense (especially the frustration of being in an ecosystem where the tablet purchaser is merely a commodity whose eyeballs will be sold to the highest bidder)... what the fuck is a DVD drive? I remember old, slow, failure prone round plasticky things but the last time i had a need for one in ANY computing related task was probably more than 5 years ago... Are you talking about that?

        I have a DVD drive in my year-old Lenovo. I hate it everytime I startup the computer and am reminded of a device I have yet to use, and will probably never use (this is a work laptop - everything is pre-installed or downloaded - My home macbook has AppStore or downloaded everything as well). I hate it every time I accidentally push the "eject" button while putting it in my backpack. I just hate it taking up space and reminding me of 90's technology that no longer serves a useful purpose (DVDs? If you're

      • Re:The actual reason (Score:4, Informative)

        by Trepidity (597) <.delirium-slashdot. .at. .hackish.org.> on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @02:21PM (#42194101)

        There's still a lot of film/TV stuff that's available on DVD but not via online streaming, at least legally.

    • Re:The actual reason (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Jeng (926980) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @01:56PM (#42193757)

      I think that a majority of the Surfaces sold so far are developers looking for a reference system.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @02:01PM (#42193823)
        You can get a Nobel Peace prize for "not being George W Bush", but apparently people aren't standing in line to buy "not an iPad".
      • by ackthpt (218170)

        I think that a majority of the Surfaces sold so far are developers looking for a reference system.

        Or they don't read reviews. There are a staggering number of people who make completely uninformed purchases.

        Probably well meaning parents getting their kid or college student on in the hopes they will find a use for it (door stop, hold up plant, coaster, etc.)

        Some people will buy anything as a toy to tinker with.

        And then there's probably a few who genuinely want one because they think it will be an easy switch from their laptop.

        Considering the price, I don't even pay attention to it because I can build a

        • by jon3k (691256)
          I'm surprised, I actually assumed there would be at LEAST a million Microsoft fanboys who would buy one. I don't mean that in a derogatory way, there's Apple and Android fanboys too. I just thought the Microsoft faithful alone would push it well beyond the 1m mark. And I supposed it might still, given a little more time.

          Maybe everyone is holding out for the Surface Pro?
          • Re:The actual reason (Score:4, Interesting)

            by ackthpt (218170) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @03:36PM (#42195047) Homepage Journal

            I'm surprised, I actually assumed there would be at LEAST a million Microsoft fanboys who would buy one. I don't mean that in a derogatory way, there's Apple and Android fanboys too. I just thought the Microsoft faithful alone would push it well beyond the 1m mark. And I supposed it might still, given a little more time.

            Maybe everyone is holding out for the Surface Pro?

            I think the Microsoft Fanboy is a dying breed. Not simply because they've been burned a time or two, but because Microsoft is so incredibly late to this dance there's only so many wallflowers who haven't accepted iPad or Android in the interim and are now rather unwilling to jump ship for an unknown.

            Microsoft really needed to come out with a strong contender, but it's overpriced, new interface/behavior and then the boot dropped when the battery life of the Pro became its Achilles' heel.

            Ballmer must be done throwing chairs and is now moving on to throwing engineers around his office.

    • Re:The actual reason (Score:5, Interesting)

      by falcon5768 (629591) <Falcon5768 AT comcast DOT net> on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @01:59PM (#42193799) Journal

      "Also we're at the verge of a netbook-caliber tablet crash where everyone realizes they all suck and stop buying them."

      Nope not going to happen, and there is a VERY good reason. Netbooks sucked SPECIFICALLY for everything you listed, tablets dont specifically because they dont pretend to be a full computer. People who buy them know this isnt a computer replacement for real work, but a supplement. Netbooks were trying to bill themselves as a computer replacement but they are really just a POS.

      That being said 99.9% of what most people use a computer for is easily handled by tablets. I do my email, surf the web, work on music, type papers and reports, and play some pretty good games on mine, all activities I did at home with my laptop but no longer need my laptop for. In fact since getting a iPad I literally ONLY use my laptop for work, and even there if in a pinch could SSH into my servers and work on them through command line if need be but would prefer my laptop over doing that.

      So no, that crash isnt going to happen and anyone thinking it will is smoking some pretty good crack

      • by fons (190526) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @02:18PM (#42194055) Homepage

        I agree. Tablets fit with the changed computer behaviour.

        Computers and laptops are made for a desk and for work. But when I come home from work, i don't want to work anymore. I want to use my computer as entertainment (facebook, newssites, youtube, ...). Also, I don't want to sit at a desk but comfortably on a couch.

        My laptop/netbook is not ergonomic to use on the couch, and my phone is too small. So i use a tablet.

        Tablets are here to stay. And they will become the remote (or hub or whatever) for your tv.

      • by future assassin (639396) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @02:30PM (#42194215) Homepage

        they dont pretend to be a full computer. People who buy them know this isnt a computer replacement for real work,

        BS just look at all the hipster photographers trying to justify using their iPads as some sort of computer like image work flow tool and storage machine, meanwhile buying extra sd cards for dirt cheap gives you 100x more storage capacity then some 64gb tablet.

      • by fuzznutz (789413) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @03:28PM (#42194971)
        Microsoft dealt netbooks the death blow with their "reference platform" for Windows Starter Edition. You couldn't have more than 2GB of memory with only 1GB installed and still get the super duper netbook discount for Windows. You couldn't have a screen larger than 10.2". Only single core CPUs were allowed. This stagnated the netbook market at the same time when full sized laptop prices were dropping and hardware was improving while people shifted away from desktops.

        Why would anyone buy a crippled netbook for $250-$300 over a cheap laptop with a real version of Windows, optical drive, multicore processor for $300 - $350? The weight and battery life weren't worth the drawbacks for $50. I was shopping for a netbook for my daughter to take to school during this time and opted to get a laptop instead.

        Microsoft disrupted the natural market with their license demands in an attempt to kill Linux on netbooks. Unfortunately for them, the iPad shifted the market for low power computing out of their sphere of influence.
    • by garcia (6573) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @02:02PM (#42193837) Homepage

      Funny, aside from your incorrect assessment about webpage rendering (at least on the tablets I have tried), I don't want any of those things on a tablet. That's why I have a laptop.

      When I'm taking transit (plane or bus) or sitting on the couch and I don't want to pull out my laptop, I don't see any problem with these genre of devices at all.

      Apparently you're not the target market and that is just fine.

    • Re:The actual reason (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Missing.Matter (1845576) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @02:06PM (#42193889)

      They're too fragile, they don't have a DVD drive, they're harder to type on, the screen is tiny, they get dirty with fingerprints, they don't run 99% of software ever written, everything they do on it is designed to cost money, the browsers don't display pages correctly, the battery life is a lie, most don't have USB flash drive capabilities, they don't work with the majority of printers, and it's difficult to do meaningful work on them in any way shape or form.

      Ironically, Windows tablets did all of this and more before the iPad was introduced. I still think the reason they sold so poorly is that they cost so much and sacrificed too much performance for the touch screen. My Latitude XT retailed for over $2000 for a base model in 2008. Today's tablet PCs are a whole different breed: they don't cost much more than a regular laptop, they're just as powerful, and Windows 8 has many touch friendly features to make using them as a tablet enjoyable. This time around, it looks like Microsoft is seeing more demand [neowin.net] for them as well.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by rezalas (1227518)
        I don't believe they are selling poorly. They've sold around 1 million units, and they've only been out for around 1 month. It sounds great to say "less than 1 million units in a quarter!" but the truth is they haven't even been out for a quarter, not even half a quarter. But lucky for slashdot plenty of people are around to make accusations based on incomplete information and an extreme bias against a company that actually produces something (unlike most of the posters).
    • by gstoddart (321705) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @02:12PM (#42193965) Homepage

      They're too fragile, they don't have a DVD drive, they're harder to type on, the screen is tiny, they get dirty with fingerprints, they don't run 99% of software ever written, everything they do on it is designed to cost money, the browsers don't display pages correctly, the battery life is a lie, most don't have USB flash drive capabilities, they don't work with the majority of printers, and it's difficult to do meaningful work on them in any way shape or form.

      I think you're looking at this through the lens of being focused on doing 'meaningful' work -- the vast majority of people using tablets are using them for passive entertainment and the like.

      I type a few emails on my tablet, not extensive word processing, spreadsheets, or writing code. I watch digital copies of movies that I get when I buy the Blu Ray. I don't care about 99% of the software ever written. I've never had to spend money on stuff, I just don't bother. I easily get my 10 hours of battery life as advertised. And I've never found myself needing either a USB flash drive or to print from it. These just aren't things I do with that device -- I have access to lots of other computers for that stuff.

      It's a device I'm more likely to use from an easy chair, the sofa, a lawn chair, an airplane, or occasionally even a hammock. It's entertainment, with some decent connectivity for when I'm on the road. it's en eBook reader, a video game, and can get me some useful information if I can get to wifi, which is pretty easy. And, I can use Google Voice to call the wife instead of paying hotel rates for long distance. It also gets used for those quick google searches in the living room you'd otherwise not bother getting up to do.

      I would argue that you can basically say smart phones are essentially useless for all of the identical reasons you list (and I'd be just as wrong as you), and I bet you have a smart phone. They have all of the same limitations you cite, and yet people have smart phones everywhere you look. I refuse to pay the data plan for a smart phone, so a tablet with wifi is a better fit for me. A smart phone and a tablet are essentially the same thing with a slightly different size.

      There is no universal way to decide the utility of a device, and different people do different things. It may be true that a tablet doesn't cover your needs, but you need to understand that your needs are probably not typical.

      I've had a tablet for about 2.5 years now, and I get a lot of use out of it. I don't use it to do my job or any serious work, but for all of those other little things, it's a convenient device with a more suitable form factor.

      The vast majority of people when using computers much of the time are NOT doing 'meaningful' work -- they're surfing the web, watching You Tube videos, sending a few emails, and playing games.

      Seriously, stop making categorical statements as if they were facts instead of just your opinion .. because I can say quite firmly that for me, my tablet doesn't suck, and was money well spent on a device I actually use. Just as I'm sure you can equally say that, for you, it's not a device you'd find a good fit for your needs. Neither is anything other than a subjective evaluation.

      I've taken my iPad on about 12 trips by now, and about 8-10 of those I also had my laptop. My laptop sits in the bag in case I need access to something, and has been used exactly once while on the road over the last two years. But my iPad sees 2-4 hours/day of use when I travel.

      So, maybe you need to recognize the fact that for many of the people who have bought tablets, it is a better fit than a netbook or a full laptop would be.

    • by obarthelemy (160321) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @02:12PM (#42193971)

      I think you're impressively wrong:

      1- Netbooks were made to stagnate by Intel and MS. Buyers never had any reason to upgrade, or rather, update, so once everyone vaguely interested got one, the market just died. I'm still happily using my Compaq Mini from 3-4 yrs ago, what's on sale right now isn't significantly better. Now, if I could get more RAM, a bigger screen, an i3... I'd probably upgrade. But MS and Intel have decided I shouldn't be able to.

      2- On the contrary, tablets are evolving incredibly fast. I'm on my 4th tablet in 2 years, and actually just sold it to upgrade. And I think I'll stay on the upgrade treadmill for a while, which, coincidentally, let's my "handee-downs" get on it, too.

      3- What matters is not that 99.999% of software ever written doesn't run: it's that 90% of the software you actually need does. I can do emails, RSS/Greader, Web, ebooks, video, music, kill-the-time games, even some Google Docs in a pinch. Sure, everyone is missing some apps. But not that many.

      4- You can get a keyboard, a mouse, SD cards and even USB sticks in most cases. What's your gripe ?

    • Not even "Oprah Tweeting Her Love For Microsoft's Surface From Her iPad" can help them sell a million units lol
    • by Tridus (79566) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @02:19PM (#42194067) Homepage

      Realistically, anybody in the tablet market for something by Samsung or most of the other Android makers isn't in the market for a Surface due to price. The Surface is priced at the top of the market and totally ignores the rest of it. Most Android tablets are not priced at the top of the market.

      You can get a Nexus 7 for what, half of what a Surface RT costs? Realistically the target Surface market in terms of pricing is also the target iPad market, and taking on the iPad with a product tied in consumers minds to the less than stellar reviews of Windows 8 isn't exactly an easy task. It's no wonder they're getting smoked.

    • by bobstreo (1320787)

      I think the actual biggest reason for this is people who wanted a tablet already got a different product from Samsung or Motorola or Apple and they're not going to spend all that money again just to switch. MS came into the game WAY too late.

      Also we're at the verge of a netbook-caliber tablet crash where everyone realizes they all suck and stop buying them. They're too fragile, they don't have a DVD drive, they're harder to type on, the screen is tiny, they get dirty with fingerprints, they don't run 99% of software ever written, everything they do on it is designed to cost money, the browsers don't display pages correctly, the battery life is a lie, most don't have USB flash drive capabilities, they don't work with the majority of printers, and it's difficult to do meaningful work on them in any way shape or form. That's actually slightly more cons than netbooks and they went from boom to flop in approximately 2 years.

      Nah that's untrue, Mac's have the same issues.

    • by Amouth (879122)

      The Netbook market went from boom to flop because CPU manufactures didn't want to cannibalize their normal market and pulled production back, and the OS vendors didn't want to supply something light weight enough to be run on it. End the end to get something netbookish, that was current you where back to the cost of a low end laptop, so why bother? yes it went flop, but it wasn't because the consumers realized it didn't do what it wanted, but rather the suppliers realized people wanted it more than the hi

    • by OldSport (2677879)

      Don't forget that there are other makers of quality Windows RT tablets as well. I demo'd the Surface in Boston, was relatively impressed, and then saw the Asus VivoTab RT -- generally has the same specs, good battery life, and comes with a *free* keyboard dock that not only turns it into a laptop with proper tactile feedback on the keys, but adds another 8 hours to the battery life. All for the price of a Surface sans any accessories. Not a hard choice to make.

      Apple's got it nailed because they're not co

    • I think the actual biggest reason for this is people who wanted a tablet already got a different product from Samsung or Motorola or Apple and they're not going to spend all that money again just to switch. MS came into the game WAY too late.

      I agree. MS did enter the tablet arena late. But, if you remember, MS also entered the gaming console late as well. MS has the resources to stick with a product, even if it isn't initially successful. After all, look how they have stuck with the Windows Phone OS. MS isn't going to hold a fire sale any time soon. Besides, most people who are interested in a Windows tablet are holding out for the Pro version.

      Also we're at the verge of a netbook-caliber tablet crash where everyone realizes they all suck and stop buying them. They're too fragile, they don't have a DVD drive, they're harder to type on, the screen is tiny, they get dirty with fingerprints, they don't run 99% of software ever written, everything they do on it is designed to cost money, the browsers don't display pages correctly, the battery life is a lie, most don't have USB flash drive capabilities, they don't work with the majority of printers, and it's difficult to do meaningful work on them in any way shape or form. That's actually slightly more cons than netbooks and they went from boom to flop in approximately 2 years.

      I have to disagree with the though that tablets will suddenly become passe. What will happen is

  • Raspberry Pi (Score:5, Interesting)

    by doconnor (134648) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @01:49PM (#42193659) Homepage

    Sounds like the a tiny, caseless computer for hackers and wannabe hackers designed mostly by volunteers is going to outsell a flagship product from one of the most powerful companies in the world.

  • Film at 11 ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gstoddart (321705) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @01:49PM (#42193663) Homepage

    Microsoft has no clue what users actually want, film at 11.

    When is Microsoft going to learn to make a truly consumer-oriented device other than the XBox? Not with support for Office (that takes up most of your space apparently), not with support for Outlook, but to do the things people are using other tablets for.

    Every time they release a product, the marketing is so heavily geared to Office/Outlook/Exchange I have to wonder if Microsoft is aware of the fact that loads of people use computers for things that don't involve their business applications.

    If your marketing is focused on how I can do spreadsheets and connect to my corporate Exchange server, then you have no idea of what it is I'd be looking to use this kind of device for. Because I don't want either of those features.

    It just always seems Microsoft is so focused on their business tools, that the result is too much focus on that. And it always seems like they launch a product after someone else has been successful with it, and then miss some of the attributes of the other product which make it successful in the first place.

    • by TheLink (130905)
      Maybe they think they can sell lots of units by having HQ buy it for employees, rather than having the employees wanting to buy it for themselves.

      Sure worked well for RIM. ;)
      • The Surface Pro maybe but not the Surface. The Surface does not do well in a corporate environment and has disadvantages over even an iPad.
    • by jeffmeden (135043)

      Microsoft has no clue what users actually want, film at 11.

      When is Microsoft going to learn to make a truly consumer-oriented device other than the XBox? Not with support for Office (that takes up most of your space apparently), not with support for Outlook, but to do the things people are using other tablets for.

      Every time they release a product, the marketing is so heavily geared to Office/Outlook/Exchange I have to wonder if Microsoft is aware of the fact that loads of people use computers for things that don't involve their business applications.

      If your marketing is focused on how I can do spreadsheets and connect to my corporate Exchange server, then you have no idea of what it is I'd be looking to use this kind of device for. Because I don't want either of those features.

      It just always seems Microsoft is so focused on their business tools, that the result is too much focus on that. And it always seems like they launch a product after someone else has been successful with it, and then miss some of the attributes of the other product which make it successful in the first place.

      If Microsoft wanted the surface to be successful, they would have put it in the hands of corporate purchasing and said "ban iPads from your wifi network, give these out, and your workers will be productive again!". They got the features right for what any enterprise would want it to do, they just don't get that consumers looking to blow $500 don't give a crap about productivity. their BOSS does.

      • by gstoddart (321705)

        They got the features right for what any enterprise would want it to do, they just don't get that consumers looking to blow $500 don't give a crap about productivity. their BOSS does.

        And what percentage of tablets have been purchased by consumers instead of companies? I'm betting it's a significant chunk, and probably the lion's share.

        Microsoft really needs to understand the spreadsheets and Exchange aren't what most consumers are looking to do.

        Those "I'm a PC I'm a Mac" ads had it pretty well nailed, it's

  • by Dan667 (564390) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @01:49PM (#42193667)
    at this point it may not matter. microsoft may already be mortally wounded like Motorola was a couple of years ago.
    • at this point it may not matter. microsoft may already be mortally wounded like Motorola was a couple of years ago.

      I don't love Microsoft, its tools, its "solutions", its idiotic advertising, or Squirts Ballmer, but you need to evaluate reality more accurately.

      Microsoft is a large, rich, powerful company with a MONOPOLY. They have a pinhead for a Chief Executive Orificer and they are having difficulty finding new successes in a difficult economic climate. They are not alone. BUT... It would take catastrophic global circumstances on a scale yet unseen to wound Microsoft mortally.

  • FUD (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MetalliQaZ (539913) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @01:50PM (#42193669)

    As much as I'd love to bash on Microsoft for a while, I must say that there seems to be some FUD floating around here. You have reviewers generally praising the hardware and the OS while at the same time advising readers to stay away because of the struggling App ecosystem. Good luck attracting developers that way.

    Seems to me that MS could drop the price to make it a loss-leader and watch them fly off the the shelves, if they wanted.

    • Well, considering that Surface RT is not backwards compatible, that sounds like good advice. I can't imagine all the confusion that will occur when your average consumer buys one and then realizes that they can't install their current Windows software. Then they go to the app store and realize that there may not be a suitable replacement. I think MS should not have named it Windows RT to avoid any confusion. This had the same ingredients as the Vista ready/capable fiasco.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      at the same time advising readers to stay away because of the struggling App ecosystem. Good luck attracting developers that way.

      The store is actually fairing very well. Since launch, the number of apps have doubled [windows.com] (at about 26,000 now) and is increasing at a rate of about 20% per week. Many apps have passed the million download mark. The previous link also explains that some apps have even crossed $25k in revenue, which shifts their takeaway from 60% to 80% of revenue for life. This is very attractive to developers. Further, it looks like already the Windows store is outperforming the OSX appstore [neowin.net], which has been open for two year

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MightyMartian (840721)

      That's what they did with the Xbox division nearly a decade ago, and the division is still years from paying back the investment.

      Even Microsoft can't afford to float vast sums of money to buy market share forever, and what's more I doubt the investors will tolerate pissing billions away.

    • by tgd (2822)

      As much as I'd love to bash on Microsoft for a while, I must say that there seems to be some FUD floating around here. You have reviewers generally praising the hardware and the OS while at the same time advising readers to stay away because of the struggling App ecosystem. Good luck attracting developers that way.

      Seems to me that MS could drop the price to make it a loss-leader and watch them fly off the the shelves, if they wanted.

      There's both FUD and just plain stupidity.

      The Surface is available online -- where no one can touch it before buying -- and in about 30 Microsoft stores. Nowhere else. The bizarre thing is that anyone would've expected huge sales numbers. You basically have 30 places people can actually touch one before buying it. I'd also bet 99% of the people who will reply in this thread will have never laid a finger on one, either.

      These posts are just as ignorant as the (exactly opposite of reality) "ZOMG Windows8 isn't

  • Side note... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Shoten (260439) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @01:50PM (#42193679)

    As a refugee from HP, I have to say that I derive immense joy from the "at least they did better than HP" comment in this story. EXCELLENT! (And yes, I'm hugely into schadenfreude.) Now, I just have to wait a bit before I hit "preview" because it seems that any post that comes before all others is somehow considered inherently suspect, and gets modded down. (I suspect that if Einstein had posted E=MC^2 that way, it would have been modded "Troll," even if it were directly applicable to the topic being discussed.)

    But yes...it does seem like this is the Zune all over again. Late to compete against a mature product that defines a market space, and by most accounts inferior to that main competitor...only the Zune was actually price-competitive if I recall correctly. At least with Windows Mobile, they've had multiple products to unsuccesfully compete against over the years...Palm, then Blackberry, then the iPhone.

    Okay, it's been 5 minutes...someone MUST have posted SOMETHING by now...(hits 'Preview')

    • I picked up a firesale Touchpad. I use it pretty much every day. It still works fine, the wireless charger is awesome, and dual-booting Android on it gives access to a bunch of current apps.

      It's not perfect, but for $100 it's been a really useful device.

  • The Problem (Score:5, Informative)

    by CastrTroy (595695) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @01:52PM (#42193709) Homepage
    Most Honest reviews of the surface are actually pretty positive. I think the main problem is that it's $650 by the time you add the touch cover. And most of the reviews say you need the Type cover to get a really good experience, which is even more expensive. For the price you can get a decent ultrabook that runs all your old windows programs, and is about the same size. Only thing missing is touch, which although nice, isn't a must-have feature. Most people are probably awaiting the Surface Pro, if they are thinking of buying a surface at all, because then you can run all your old Windows Software. If you can't run your old software, you could just get an iPad or a Nexus 7/10.
    • Re:The Problem (Score:4, Insightful)

      by NIK282000 (737852) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @02:09PM (#42193929) Homepage Journal

      I am one of the holdouts for the Pro but I did get my hands on the ARM version a few weeks ago at the only bloody MS Surface booth in Ontario. In the 5min I was holding it I managed to find everything I was looking for and didn't have any hiccups in responsiveness or performance. It is a shame that they are so late to the game but I don't think windows vista/7 would have worked as well in a tablet situation.
       
      /not a shill, I just like MS hardware

    • Just bought a decent full sized lenovo laptop brand new for 250$.... what are in these tablets that make them so expensive?
    • by sribe (304414)

      Most people are probably awaiting the Surface Pro,

      BWAHAHAHAHA what a laugh!

      if they are thinking of buying a surface at all

      Oh. OK, I'll agree with that ;-)

  • I can't seem to recall any *new* MS product in recent memory that was actually "successful" at launch. MS doesn't really care enough about that; they don't care if their new product loses millions and millions of dollars, for years even. Their strategy is to just endure it, because they have massive amounts of cash and can afford to lose it. Eventually their presence in a market will turn into some kind of growth, and even success. Kind of how it was with the Xbox. It's what they've been trying with Bing to
    • by Andrio (2580551)
      I worded this wrong. I should clarify, when I said "new product" I was referring to a new market they try to get penetrate, specifically.
  • by DigitAl56K (805623) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @01:56PM (#42193755)

    The fact that after so many years of backwards-compatible Windows versions they launched their first tablet device with a desktop environment that wouldn't run anything other than Office was a huge "wtf" to me. So now in the first few months of it's life Microsoft have polluted the Surface brand as the little tablet that couldn't. I thought the Pro might still stand a chance in the face of this until I read the 64Gb edition would cost $900 and have a 4hr battery life. Ultrabooks, despite being slightly larger, seem to be much more capable for the same price. I don't know what Microsoft was thinking. They p'd off their hardware partners to launch this?

    • Ultrabooks, despite being slightly larger, seem to be much more capable for the same price. I don't know what Microsoft was thinking. They p'd off their hardware partners to launch this?

      Emphasis added. Size and weight is a feature for people considering an ultrabook, much more so than performance (across the board, ultrabooks are relatively crappy performers). I can do plenty on 4hrs battery, and if worse comes to worse I can always recharge. For a larger ultrabook, there's nothing I can do to take away the size and weight.

    • MS is seeing Apple made gads of money on hardware. MS has enough money to weather a few cycles of poor hardware sales. The lesson of which is never assume MS will be a faithful partner.
  • I have to admit that I haven't actually tried one out, but having looked at the specs and seeing the advertisements for it, I think MS has missed what made somethign like an iPad somewhat convenient. That is, there are no moving parts or pieces to carry around or break. On paper it seems like a good idea to have a built in stand, but at the sizes they are talking about a thin piece of plastic and a tiny hinge are inevitably going to snap off/break, and then what? Add to that a keyboard (haven't we alread
  • No 4g wireless. Less space than a laptop. Lame.

    In all seriousness, Microsoft is failing because they have been busy abandoning their core principles since Windows 7 was released. I'm fine with experimenting with new interfaces, but you have to leave options for people who are comfortable with your old UI paradigm or no one will bother to make the transition if you're not in the same yuppie fanboy market as Apple.

    Here's my advice, Microsoft: release 8.1, offer a "classic" shell, and stop pretending to be som

  • by Missing.Matter (1845576) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @02:07PM (#42193903)
    Surface has very limited geographic and retail distribution. It seems to me this is Microsoft's effort not to step on OEM partner shoes, who will be selling in Walmart, Best Buy, etc.
  • If you prefer a desktop UI on your desktop PC maybe it will be beneficial to the user experience in Windows 9 should the surface flop.
  • It doesn't help that they confused everybody with Win RT vs Win 8 as well as the fact that they told everybody that a better Surface (Pro) was coming a few months later.
  • Okay, the commercial isn't helping matters, as far as I can tell.

    While the tablet part looks great, the rest looks like a binder cover, and anyone that's every had a binder knows it doesn't stay nice and new looking very long.

    and worse, look at the keyboard. While it maybe better then typing on a screen, it looks like a toy keyboard.

    Then when the commercial is cutting out, you can see all the fingerprints on the surface of Surface, that there is the best use of Truth in a commercial. Because that is wha

  • by gestalt_n_pepper (991155) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @02:25PM (#42194155)

    Whatever dimwit argued that the Surface needed that "perception of value" should be fired, after being publicly humiliated and dressed like a duck while giving an apologetic speech on national TV. As a $249 loss leader distributed through Wal-Mart, it would have succeeded and at least gotten significant share while more expensive, un-lame versions with better displays, 4G, and so on. Microsoft can't compete on quality with Apple. What's left is either price, or a significant value add (e.g. free Verizon phone service for a year or free unlimited internet via some national hotspot company). Instead, they want.... more money. It's as if the effort was *intended* to fail.

  • The Surface commercial was an absolute joke, so I'm not surprised the product itself is rapidly becoming a flop. Dubstep, breakdancers, romantic old people, and crunk girl scouts don't make me want to buy a tablet. The director should have stuck to directing Justin Bieber's music videos. Even if you have to spend all day pandering to shrieking preteens, at least there's money in it.
  • ...not backwards compatible with even current gen applications for Windows. The built in version of office isn't really fully baked yet by Microsoft's own admission. Not really properly supported for enterprise use yet. Surface Pro which will suck too, but at least have some measure of backward compatiblity and enterprise support will launch soon.

    I can't for the life of me understand why its struggling.

    Microsoft blew this one hard.

  • I called this one right when they came out....http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3285997&cid=42159587

    For the life of me I can't see what the fascination is with all these tablets. I got a cheap-o Touchpad when the fire sale was underway and all I ever use it for is watching movies on the plane. Mainly because it's got better battery life than my laptop and I don't run the risk of the guy in front of me leaning back and crushing my screen. My smartphone does all the mobile online stuff I need to do.

    I wa

  • by Nethemas the Great (909900) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @02:40PM (#42194349)

    Anyone looking at Microsoft mobile solutions as a consumer product is looking at them wrong. These toys are meant to keep Microsoft relevant in the mobile business space. Write once, run Microsoft. Businesses don't need to hire ancillary dev teams to write their ancillary mobile apps they can utilize in-house talent and existing code bases. Even LOBs are going to be able to spill over into the mobile space since they won't be shackled to orange shield implementations that scare the CSOs. If businesses adopt Microsoft mobiles the hope is that consumers--used to their work devices--will find the familiarity attractive enough to stick with the brand.

    Time will tell if the strategy pays off. The ability to use C#/XAML and avoid the costs and penalties of HTML5/JavaScript is a very attractive proposition for businesses.

  • by lilfields (961485) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @06:17PM (#42197129) Homepage
    You can only buy the device in about 80 stores NATIONWIDE or on Microsoft Store's website, no shit it's sales are low. Put it in Wal-Mart, Best Buy, etc and it would probably triple sales. That's not say 3 Million is an impressive number, but it's just common sense that most people just don't know it exists.

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