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Handhelds Microsoft Portables Hardware

Surface Pro Sold Out; Was It Just Understocked? 413

Posted by timothy
from the ladies-and-gentleman-just-a-few-left dept.
TechCrunch is one of the many outlets to report that Microsoft's Surface Pro tablet computer sold out on its first day of wide availability. Business Insider points to Reddit threads complaining that "selling out" was largely a product of not having all that many in stock to begin with, in some cases not even enough to cover pre-ordered devices.
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Surface Pro Sold Out; Was It Just Understocked?

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  • by hsmith (818216) on Sunday February 10, 2013 @07:22PM (#42853861)
    I think the Surface is a terrible device, but It will be interesting to see reaction to this vs reaction to the Nexus ordering issues.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by OpenSourced (323149)

      And Nexus 10 too. How long is it to be "Temporarily" out of stock? I guess until there are better options on the market and nobody is interested anymore. It seems like a curious marketing system, but hey! I'm no MBA.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        You mean that Nexus 10 which is shown as "In Stock" at Google's Shop?

        • by Frosty Piss (770223) * on Sunday February 10, 2013 @07:50PM (#42854091)

          You know, it's silly to even have this type of "story" at Slashdot since it is a TROLL to began with. It does not matter what happens with Surface, since it's a Microsoft product, good bad or great, it will not get an unbiased review here.

          • by icebike (68054) on Sunday February 10, 2013 @08:02PM (#42854173)

            You know, it's silly to even have this type of "story" at Slashdot since it is a TROLL to began with. It does not matter what happens with Surface, since it's a Microsoft product, good bad or great, it will not get an unbiased review here.

            Exactly so. Much hated and despised and derided here on slashdot. Yes its heavy, thicker, and has a shorter battery life and costs more.
            So what? It still meshes perfectly with your existing software.

            Surface Pro will sell, because most businesses can simply write it off of their taxes, an put it immediately to use without having to first rewrite all of their corporate apps to run on IOS or Android, or Surface RT.

            With Surface PRO, you install your existing apps and go. Its that easy, and all of a sudden the shop floor has inventory management (or whatever) without having to leave workstations all over the place.

            I actually expect it to outsell Surface RT, because even though those apps written in C++ can (allegedly) be cross compiled for RT, not every company has access to the source of the commercial products they use, and not every company wants to jump through Microsoft's hoops to get their software released for RT.

            • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 10, 2013 @10:08PM (#42854891)

              I actually expect it to outsell Surface RT, because even though those apps written in C++ can (allegedly) be cross compiled for RT, not every company has access to the source of the commercial products they use, and not every company wants to jump through Microsoft's hoops to get their software released for RT.

              Except that ALL apps on Windows RT have to programmed for the WinRT api (no Win32). To put it simply, that means metro only. Even if you had the source code, you would have a huge amount of work to do rewriting the UI. Its not a recompile. The Surface RT is DOA.

            • by c (8461) <beauregardcp@gmail.com> on Sunday February 10, 2013 @10:11PM (#42854903)

              Surface Pro will sell, because most businesses can simply write it off of their taxes, an put it immediately to use without having to first rewrite all of their corporate apps to run on IOS or Android, or Surface RT.

              Er... is this before or after they downgrade the O/S to Windows 7, or possibly even XP?

              It's running Win8, which means 90% or corporate IT shops are going to eye it with tremendous suspicion, if not outright hostility, and unless your job title is a TLA starting with "C" and end with "O", odds are you're not even going to get a Surface Pro through the door.

              There are probably business users who'd find one of these things useful, but I highly doubt it'll be any with their own corporate applications.

            • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@NOspaM.gmail.com> on Sunday February 10, 2013 @10:36PM (#42855047) Journal

              Actually it will NOT sell except to a few niches like taking inventory and here is why: Business runs on OLD SOFTWARE. Check any business, be they large or small, and look at the age of the software. Business has tons and tons of old software because the cost of replacing it all would be insane and "if it ain't broke?".

              What does that have to do with Surface pro? simple what UI was all that old software written for? A mouse and keyboard. ever try to use mouse and keyboard software on a touchscreen? sucks big hairy balls as the software either has too small a target to hit or it doesn't know WTF you are trying to do and it becomes a guessing game to figure out WTF it'll take to get what you want in using the touchscreen.

              But this comes down to the core of what MSFT has a serious problem with and why they need to try to stop aping Apple and Google and ape IBM instead. You see Apple and Google? Its all Apple and Google software on Apple and Google hardware and backwards compatibility don't mean shit to them, this is the exact opposite of the MSFT situation where ALL they have going for them is backwards compatibility. Nobody buys MSFT OSes to look at the wallpaper, they buy it because they have an assload of older software not written by MSFT they need to run and all that software, billions of dollars worth, wasn't designed for touchscreens.

              Apple is ultimately a consumer electronics company, no different than those that sell TVs or consoles. Google is an ad company that don't have to worry about anything other than making sure the browser takes you to Google, MSFT is a 30 year old company with a shitload of software written by others that had damned well better "just work" and it just won't on a slab. This is why IBM makes a better company to ape, sell services to go with that software, but Ballmer can click his heels and say "There is no place like Cupertino" all he wants and he will never turn MSFT into Apple, its just two different business models that just don't work together.

              • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 10, 2013 @11:33PM (#42855379)

                Having worked in IT at two wholesale outfits, I doubt it'll even do for inventory taking.

                Warehouses aren't very friendly with electronics, devices get dropped or stuff gets dropped on them, there's always dust, so every fan is extra time spent on servicing (and Surface has two).

                You need it as cheap, rugged and light as possible - Surface is neither. You can ease "rugged and light" requirement, say, if you put it on some kind of cart with a stand - and then you don't need Surface again, because you can just put a cheap laptop on that stand.

                I just can't see where it makes sense. In places where "it can do what a laptop could do!", you can get cheaper laptop, why Surface? In places where "it's a tablet, but it runs full Windows with all legacy applications!", there are no legacy application for use in those places, they're either still on Windows CE, or they're already on iOS/Android.

                • by hairyfeet (841228)

                  I was just trying to find a place it would make sense, I have been told it may make sense in doctor's offices but frankly I've serviced several doctor's offices and the touchscreens they got from a previous vendor? they never use the things as the hand sanitizers they have to use all day quickly make the screens nasty.

                  But I figured that if i could name a positive at least it wouldn't look like I was trying to bash but honestly one simple fact leads me to believe the Surface pro is full of fail and it is th

              • IBM's business model is selling expensive long service life machines to large companies that plan on being around for a long time, that need absolute reliability.(or at least it used to be). They never were able to adapt the type of market that is consumer products so their forray with the PC failed.

                Apple's business model is to make microcomputers and microcomputer based devices socially acceptable to those who don't use them often. Being in the US of A, its not socially acceptable to look intellegent beyon
              • These would normally sell to the same outfits that use Windows Tablet Edition, except they all started migrating to iPad last year: Health Care.

                The health care industry loved the convertible Tablet PC because doctors could still scrawl on something with a pen, but now it doesn't have to be collated and typed by some assistant or intern in order to get into the digital records. They love this new generation of tablet even more because it's not a massive brick of hardware for the same functionality, and you

    • I'm pretty sure this happens at every apple release. They run out of stock, and it's a huge success. I suppose the definition of success and understock (and all things related) is quite variable.

      I can't help wonder if microsoft just judged the market acceptance of the product just right and was ... expecting this sort of statement, controversy and ... free advertising (I'm such a cynic).
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        This happens at every release. Period. Apple just gets better, spinnier press coverage.

      • by Swampash (1131503) on Sunday February 10, 2013 @08:30PM (#42854347)

        Yeah, but Apple runs out of stock when it sells fifty million things in the first 48 hours after launch. Microsoft announcing "SOLD OUT" because it only sent one single unit to the retailer is a little bit different.

        • Consider that the Microsoft-branded units are probably limited, and not profitable. Watch Acer, Asus, MSi, and plentiful HP, Lenovo, Dell, come in and handily backfill the "demand".

          This is about the sillyest news story I've seen in a while. Microsoft's rewarding its hardware partners with "running out".... that is, if they had intended to be a major vendor in tablet Windows 8 form factors at all.

    • by erroneus (253617)

      The Nexus 4 was a pain in the butt to get... at least for me it was. But it was largely due to jack-holes like one of my co-workers who bought multiples so that he could sell them at a premium price. I missed the first round due to other money priorities but the second round I was more prepared for. Even so, Google was having all sorts of trouble but they got it worked out after a few hours of online hell.

      Did they sell out because of small numbers? If that were so, I probably wouldn't have gotten one in

    • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@NOspaM.gmail.com> on Sunday February 10, 2013 @10:19PM (#42854949) Journal

      If they purposely understocked the Nexus to make it look hotter than it was then they need to be called out on it, just as we are seeing sites call MSFT out for understocking to try to make Surface look like less of a fail.

      We already know SurfaceRT and Win 8 have bombed HARD, not only did MSFT not get the traditional Xmas bounce like they have had for every previous release for ages but sales actually went down 12%, and we've seen the WinPhone fail, MSFT blaming the OEMs because they wouldn't build $1000 WinTabs to join the Ultrabooks in the big pile of unwanted shit, look we ALL know the score here. But as a small shop owner there is one thing that made my mind up for anything Win 8 not to be had in my shop (The first since WinME) and that was the fact I had a beautiful Athlon triple system running win 8 for nearly 7 months and not ONE offer, not one. Nobody wanted it. I put win 7 on? It sold in 3 days.

      Will they sell SOME Surface pro units? Sure, there is a Zune owners club you know, in today's market you can find a small niche for just about any product. Look at what WinXP and Win 7 tablets sold and that will probably be what Surface pro sells, but at the end of the day Ballmer is bound and determined to make Windows a "premium" brand and that just isn't gonna happen, it would be like doing a re-release of the Pinto and having it priced to compete with Ferrari, it just ain't gonna happen. If he believes in metro so much he should spin it off and let THAT be the premium brand and Windows be the regular brand, but at the end of the day it just isn't gonna work this way. after all WHAT is the selling point of Surface pro? "You can use all your windows programs on it!". Really, so it is magically gonna make those millions of programs that were designed around a keyboard/mouse UI work on a touch UI?

      While I don't own any Apple products, I think they are overpriced and have too much control by Apple, i have to give credit where credit is due and they were SMART to not jam OSX on a tablet and call it an iPad. Trouble for MSFT is X86 backwards compatibility is really their only selling point. Nobody buys Windows because they LIKE MSFT or want to stare lovingly at a WinFlag, they buy it because they have a ton of software NOT written by MSFT they want to run. Apple didn't have that problem as the biggest apps like iTunes were owned by Apple. So at the end of the day while I'm sure they'll sell a few it sure as fuck isn't gonna "save the company" or be any kind of "iPad/Android killer" and they can lowball the units all they want, at the end of the day i predict it'll be another Zune.

  • by kh31d4r (2591021) on Sunday February 10, 2013 @07:27PM (#42853907)
    Isn't that the definition?
    • by MrEricSir (398214) on Sunday February 10, 2013 @07:40PM (#42854001) Homepage

      The question is whether or not it's a marketing strategy. Was someone at Microsoft wise enough to say "Hey, Apple and Nintendo made headlines by limiting supply..."?

      • The question is whether or not it's a marketing strategy. Was someone at Microsoft wise enough to say "Hey, Apple and Nintendo made headlines by limiting supply..."?

        Or maybe Oprah bought some for her friends?

      • Yep (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Sunday February 10, 2013 @08:59PM (#42854547)

        Some things sell out because they just can't make enough. The company has made as many as it can and put them all out to retail, and they all sell. However other things sell out because the company deliberately limits production/distribution to make them scarce.

        I can work too. People seem to have an irrational need to own things if they are told they can't have it. So paradoxically it can work to increase sales in the long run. People are told "you can't have this" and that makes them want it, even though they didn't before.

        Look at the massive run on firearms/magazines what with the proposal for new gun legislation. These people were perfectly happy with what they had prior to this, but suddenly they get told "you can't have this" and they want to rush out and buy it.

        • turn it around: MS didn't have enough made since, I'm thinking they didn't believe in the concept enough to invest in a bigger manuf run.

          they COULD have made any amount they wanted. consumer electronics are not hard to get made and when you are MS, you can name your partner (or partners) and demand anything you want.

          this is 100% intentional. they didn't make enough since they wanted to test the waters, first. and also 'impress' people with fake under-supplies.

      • by transporter_ii (986545) on Sunday February 10, 2013 @09:06PM (#42854583) Homepage

        Market strategy isn't working well for MS. In what I'm reading, Surface RT did 750,000 to maybe a million in 3 months. Asus is pushing a million a month for the Nexus 7. Rumor has it that the Surface RT had a very high return rate, as well.

        A separate report from IDC on the entire tablet industry in the last quarter doesn't even show Microsoft in the top five in the list of companies that had the most shipments of tablets. The report claims that Microsoft shipped "just shy of 900,000 units into the channel." Apple had the most tablet shipments for the quarter at 22.9 million units, followed by Samsung with 7.9 million units and Amazon with 6 million tablets.

        Amazon is beating out Microsoft? I bought a Nexus 7 and I can't really recall seeing much advertising for it at all. I'm seeing MS advertising left and right.

        • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Sunday February 10, 2013 @10:49PM (#42855101) Journal

          This is tangential to your overall point; but Amazon's strategy seems to be not no advertising; but rather advertising a new way to buy Amazon stuff to existing Amazon customers. You see some chatter about the e-ink models(though less now, since they aren't trying to sell an entire product category to the non-techies); but the tablets are largely invisible unless you go to amazon.com, at which point you'll see references to the things all over the place.

          Given the reports about Amazon's negligible margins on the hardware, and their aggressive re-skinning and integration with their own store of stock Android, it seems likely that they mostly care about taking existing Amazon customers and turning them into better Amazon customers, while the other players are more interested in moving units across the board.

    • But if, for example, you only started out with 10 that's not a great accomplishment.
  • O RLY? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Sunday February 10, 2013 @07:28PM (#42853919)

    Am I the only one here who's first thought was: "Well, if that's their story, they better stick to it..." ?

  • by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Sunday February 10, 2013 @07:28PM (#42853925)

    I want this thing running linux before the month is out. I'd even settle for Windows 7. Just... not the Windows 8 abomination. Anything but that.

    If it weren't for the price, I rather like the idea of an x86 high-spec tablet. The android offerings have to make a lot of compromises to keep weight down and battery life up. The Surface pro doesn't: It's a lap-burning battery-sucking brick with processing power to rival a laptop. That's the type of tablet I want.

    • by ACluk90 (2618091) on Sunday February 10, 2013 @07:34PM (#42853967)

      Windows 8 is actually great for tablets. Have you tried it? And I seriously do not get why you hate the device's performance - get the RT version if you want long battery life and low specs. Or just any other table.

      Of course I would still like to see linux running on it.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Windows 8 is actually great for tablets. Have you tried it? And I seriously do not get why you hate the device's performance - get the RT version if you want long battery life and low specs. Or just any other table.

        Of course I would still like to see linux running on it.

        Lifelong Apple user and yes, I agree. Tried Window 8 on a touch screen equipped 12" laptop. It's actually quite nice although I can see how somebody who is married to the mouse and the old start button would not like it any more than an entrenched Gnome 2 user liked the switch to Gnome 3. I didn't mind so much, Apple regularly shakes up their UI and I've gotten used to things changing. I like the sliding tiles concept of Windows 8 but I have to say prefer the Gnome 3 idea of pressing a button, getting an ov

    • by Secret Agent Man (915574) on Sunday February 10, 2013 @07:34PM (#42853973) Homepage

      So you'd settle for Windows 6.1 over Windows 6.2?

      I know people hate Metro on their desktops, but is there a reason it's so despised on what is its intended device use: a touch screen device?

      Outside of Metro, what's different between 8 and 7 (especially in tablet form)?

      • Its as simple as, i dont like it being foisted upon me. The Apple Mac store is an unobtrusive part of my mac. The Microsoft store is front and center and forced. If Metro existed without being forced to be used, it would have much less hate directed towards it. We all see it for the trojan horse it is.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          Number of programs/apps I can run on a Surface Pro outside of the official app store: Lots (i.e. however many Windows 7 can.

          Number of programs/apps I can run on an iDevice outside of the official app store: 0

          You're not obligated to use the app store at all, and you're not obligated to use the Metro interface any more time than you spend in a start menu.

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by Anonymous Coward
            [1:124] Syntax error, ")" expected but "line break" found.
            Compilation aborted.
      • Just zealotry (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Sunday February 10, 2013 @09:04PM (#42854573)

        A lot of people on Slashdot decided Windows 8 was supposed to be bad. So now it is to them, regardless of any facts. They haven't actually used it to any significant degree, if at all, they just hate on it because they think they are supposed to hate it.

        You'll see the FUD crew out in full force about it. My favourite is that it is a "walled garden" and you can only run apps from the MS store. That is, of course, completely false. It runs anything Windows 7 ran. However the point isn't to spread information, but FUD to try and scare people away from using it.

        I'm certainly not a fan, since I think the look is a step backwards and Metro is retarded for the start menu, but I don't hate it. Get a start menu replacer and it works quite well.

        • Re:Just zealotry (Score:5, Insightful)

          by ArsonSmith (13997) on Sunday February 10, 2013 @10:51PM (#42855117) Journal

          You'd be right about that for me when vista came out. I never bothered to try it, heard it was bad, was fine on XP so just stayed there. After 7 had been out a while I realized that XP was a dead end and finally upgraded to 7. I tried 8 several times and I have to say it is somewhere just north of completely unusable. It is about as stupid as the office ribbon has been. Two years of trying to use that every freaking day and I still hate it every time I have to open an office app or look at email in outlook. Which I guess if nothing else it has forced me to do much more stuff in a cygwin xterm in plain text.

          Stupid stupid stupid. Sorry.

        • Just projection (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Uberbah (647458) on Monday February 11, 2013 @12:00AM (#42855507)

          So now it is to them, regardless of any facts. They haven't actually used it to any significant degree, if at all, they just hate on it because they think they are supposed to hate it.

          Or...they have used it, or have seen the qualitative and/or qualitative reviews showing just why Windows 8 is a piece of shit. How it's not internally consistent, how mundane tasks are now hidden behind multiple layers of obscurity, and generally user hostile.

          But let's pretend a spade isn't a spade, and that it's all just a bunch of Haterz whining on the Intertubes. Were you pushing the same storyline when Windows ME was released? How about Bob?

          • And do use it. I run Windows 8 on my work desktop full time. I'm our Windows support lead. So I have a pretty good feeling for it. I think it was a step backwards in terms of looks and usability. It's flat look is silly, particularly since the DWM is present and more powerful than ever. The start screen is also a very bad choice. While it is not hard to use, it is clumsy to use, it is worse than the start menu which is replaced.

            However that really isn't such a big deal. Technically it is a very good OS. It

          • I tried Windows 8. I was asked to help someone set up dual boot with Linux Mint. It went something like this...

            Tried booting on the CD... Booted Windows. Shutdown (knew how from a Youtube review)

            Tried restarting into the BIOS to set boot order.. Somehow started Windows Update.. Don't have a clue how, but did. This was at church and not at home.. No net connection was setup. Could not find how to exit, minimise, or swap tasks to check for setting the WiFi access point at the church to enter the passw

        • by Microlith (54737)

          You'll see the FUD crew out in full force about it. My favourite is that it is a "walled garden" and you can only run apps from the MS store. That is, of course, completely false. It runs anything Windows 7 ran. However the point isn't to spread information, but FUD to try and scare people away from using it.

          Only on the Desktop, which Microsoft wants to deprecate and has made secondary to the Modern environment, which is absolutely a walled garden on both ARM and x86.

        • Re:Just zealotry (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Deathlizard (115856) on Monday February 11, 2013 @02:06AM (#42856075) Homepage Journal

          Don't forget, they like calling anyone who likes Win8 or Surface Pro a MS Marketing Shill.

          Frankly, the Surface Pro is one of the most powerful tablets for the price. Especially considering it has a Wacom Digitizer that's close to Cintiq level specs. Frankly, I could care less about three hour battery life, or two pound weight if it does absolutely everything my desktop can do with little to no compromise. And as for Windows 8, if it drives you so nuts, you could wipe the drive, turn off EFI and install whatever OS you want on the thing.

          I just find it interesting that people bashed the Surface RT because it didn't have Desktop Specs, and now they're bashing the Surface Pro because it doesn't have Tablet Specs.

    • I want this thing running linux before the month is out.

      First big hurdle - is there even a Linux that's built for touch input?

      Second hurdle - all sorts of custom drivers, including I'd imagine the driver for the keyboard/trackpad cover. It's not bluetooth and I don't think it's standard USB either.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I want this thing running linux before the month is out.

        First big hurdle - is there even a Linux that's built for touch input?

        Yeah, it's called Android. You living under a rock?

        Second hurdle - all sorts of custom drivers, including I'd imagine the driver for the keyboard/trackpad cover. It's not bluetooth and I don't think it's standard USB either.

        Maybe you're right, but do you really think they'd reinvent all these wheels just for spite?

      • I want this thing running linux before the month is out.

        First big hurdle - is there even a Linux that's built for touch input?

        Well, besides Android (which has been mentioned), I'm pretty sure Ubuntu is prepping a phone implementation of a linux OS... and if that's not customized for touch interaction, I'll eat my socks.

      • by gmuslera (3436)
        Unity with all its faults seem to be meant for (big fingers) touch input. But if i have to pick a environment/distribution for a touch device, probably would go for Meego/Mer, KDE Plasma Active (this with ubuntu can be installed [ruedigergad.com] in the Nexus 7, after all), or even Open WebOS. Some of them are full distibutions, others could be installed over standard distributions probably.
    • It's a lap-burning battery-sucking brick with processing power to rival a laptop. That's the type of tablet I want.

      You and very few other people! I mean, what's the point, exactly? Why not get a similarly light ultrabook? The whole idea of a tablet is that it's light, the batterly lasts all day, and the UI is oriented around touch. I mean, there are things about the iPad that drive me nuts (particularly file-handling, or rather the way it tries abstract away file-handling completely) but it gets all tha

    • by foobsr (693224) on Sunday February 10, 2013 @08:00PM (#42854155) Homepage Journal
      I want this thing running linux before the month is out.

      https://plus.google.com/106631699076927387965/posts/4fcZhWrKyg3 [google.com]

      "Linux Mint on the Surface Pro. WiFi and touch don't work out of the box, but pen and Type Cover work great. "

      There you are.

      CC.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 10, 2013 @08:41PM (#42854425)

        I want this thing running linux before the month is out.

        "Linux Mint on the Surface Pro. WiFi and touch don't work out of the box, but pen and Type Cover work great. "

        WiFi and touch don't work? If they get the graphics card and printer not to work, this thing will be as good as my Linux desktop!

    • I want this thing running linux before the month is out.

      Why?

      • Why did man go to the moon?

        Because someone said it's impossible and most of all, because it is there.

        Now return your geek card, please.

    • by nojayuk (567177)

      Win 8 Pro has Client Hyper-V and the Surface Pro hardware is theoretically capable of supporting it so you could run Linux in a VM if you want to play with it.

  • by John Hasler (414242) on Sunday February 10, 2013 @07:30PM (#42853937) Homepage

    a standard marketing technique? That makes it possible to be "Amazed and pleased at the huge demand that has far exceeded our expectations!"

    • It is a standard technique, but a better one is to follow it up a few days later with a gigantic number of sales that validates their expectations that have been exceeded. That's the best way to proceed. In this case, however, we may not have reason to expect numbers like that.

      Instead, the alternative path is that they could try pulling an Amazon/BlackBerry by saying something like, "Sales are 50% higher than expected" or wait a few weeks and then announce that "Sales have tripled in the last few weeks", wi

  • Microsoft also "sold out" of the Surface RT on launch day as well... and that thing has sold poorly after it's initial launch. They were originally expecting to sell 2 million units in Q4 2012, and they only sold about half of that.

    It seems that this tactic has become a common way for Microsoft to generate some additional post launch hype for their products. I wonder how many times they can get away with it before the mainstream press catches on...

    • by jamesl (106902)

      "Sold out" online only. In fact it "sold out" online weeks (from memory) before the launch date.

      ... and that thing has sold poorly ...
      Define "poorly." Quote numbers sold and source for your data. You don't know. I don't know. Only Microsoft knows and so far, they aren't talking.

      And finally ... the conjecture that MS wants to "generate some additional post launch hype" by pissing off a bunch of potential customers is just ignorant.

  • Color me skeptical (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wytten (163159) <wytten@nOspaM.cs.umn.edu> on Sunday February 10, 2013 @07:57PM (#42854131) Homepage

    All the pro-Surface stories I've seen over the last few months don't pass the sniff test.
    They all give me the impression that MS marketing is pulling out all the stops for this one,
    sensing serious implications if they fail.

  • by PPH (736903)

    .. flying car dealerships are still back ordered for the foreseeable future.

  • Microsoft has deep pockets and deep connections with numerous hardware suppliers and could have stocked tens of millions of these devices, if they'd wanted to do so. Apple often does this prior to their product launches and has provided what is effectively a blueprint on how to do these sorts of things. There is no magic to it. You spend a lot of money making devices. You spend a lot of money on air freight -although arguably Microsoft had so much lead time, regular sea shipments would have been enough,

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I finally came to the realisation that I had a genuine use for a tablet. Reading academic papers on the train and the like. I tried to buy a Nexus 10 but it wasn't available anywhere. So I had a long hard think about it and in the end I bought an Acer W510, an x86 atom-based tablet running full-fat Windows 8.

    Obviously I'm going to immediately draw all sorts of ire here on Slashdot but that can't be helped. The problem I had was that there really just wasn't much difference in price between a high-end Androi

  • by ArcadeMan (2766669) on Sunday February 10, 2013 @08:10PM (#42854221)

    VG Cats #214 [vgcats.com].

  • Many of you accuse Microsoft of understocking, and yet when it doesn't continue to sell a whole lot of units, you laugh at their sales? Maybe they just know roughly how many they expect to sell, and stock accordingly? That it sells out on the first day seems to draw unnecessary ire. You weren't really interested in buying it anyways, so why the hell do you care so much?

    Really, it's almost as if many of you gain some kind of strange exhilaration from laughing at and faux outrage at Microsoft's missteps. Real

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I think I've finally figured it out. One way of getting modded up on /. is to write a long, disorganized post that seems to be both sides of the topic being discussed, so that nobody can figure out where you stand, but you sure sound passionate about it.

    • by oGMo (379)

      Many of you accuse Microsoft of understocking, and yet when it doesn't continue to sell a whole lot of units, you laugh at their sales?

      You seem to think this is some form of contradiction or hypocrisy. Yet it is not: the reason they're accused of understocking is because they're being accused of creating the illusion of demand; when they are laughed at for low sales, it is because this false demand is exposed.

    • by bmo (77928) on Sunday February 10, 2013 @08:46PM (#42854469)

      >Maybe they just know roughly how many they expect to sell, and stock accordingly?

      That just means that Microsoft doesn't believe in its own product.

      If you really believe that your product will sell and people will stand in line for it, like they stood in line for Windows 95, and you've got the cash, you should at least make enough to fill the pre-orders and a couple of month's retail orders. It's not like Microsoft is hurting for cash for manufacturing and it's not like they don't have millions to throw at marketing research to find out the actual demand. There are so many things wrong with this "shortage" it doesn't pass the sniff test.

      >Really, why?

      Schadenfreude is fun. If you step on the backs of people with your boots on the way up, expect kicks on the way down. They deserve all the derision they get.

      --
      BMO

  • The stock was limited to what was shown on that spiffy commercial, which was all that were made.

  • To me it sounds like the company that made it not only did poor market research, they also don't seem to believe in their own product if they don't trust it to sell and hence produce only a small number of them because they themselves thought it would sit on the shelf.

    Enough reason for me to steer clear of it. Or at the very least I'll watch the market for a while now and if, and only if, they sell large numbers in the foreseeable future, I could believe that they are willing to support it for a while after

  • Shipping... (Score:5, Informative)

    by rcolquhoun (659601) on Sunday February 10, 2013 @09:51PM (#42854809) Homepage

    Just thought would mention, normally for new product releases there are at least 2 distinct batches to arrive in stores.

    First is air freighted typically not many units(often on pallets), second about a month later for the US, are standard shipping containers with the vast bulk of the supply. Air freighted products quite a bit more expensive (i looked at costs a couple of years ago and it was >5x).

    If have just spent large $ on a production run, want to get some return as soon as possible but don't want to wreck quite often tight margins by air shipping too much and have it sit around for the month it takes the bulk to arrive. By selling out early can quite often get publicity and pre-orders to help shift the volume arriving later without having to discount the initial price too much.

  • by El Cabri (13930) on Sunday February 10, 2013 @11:54PM (#42855481) Journal

    Best Buy ordered 64000 units, but only 23000 were delivered.

  • by Shavano (2541114) on Sunday February 10, 2013 @11:58PM (#42855495)
    Margins on these things tend to be pretty thin (and sometimes negative at product introduction), so the last thing you want is to have a bunch of inventory that's not moving. So at product introduction, you make fewer than your low-side estimate of your first month's sales. Then, once you see how it's received in the market, you either ramp up production or you don't.

Stupidity, like virtue, is its own reward.

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