Microsoft Surface sales underwhelm, at an estimated 1.5 million units

Microsoft has sold about 1.5 million Surface tablets, and about two-thirds of those are Surface RT, according to unofficial sales estimates

Microsoft's Surface RT and Surface Pro haven't made much of a dent in the tablet market, according to unofficial sales estimates.

So far, Microsoft has sold roughly 1.5 million Surface devices, Bloomberg reports, citing three unnamed sources "with knowledge of the company's sales." The split in sales is reportedly more than 1 million units for the Surface RT and about 400,000 units for the Surface Pro.

If accurate, those sales figures fall short of some analysts' estimates, and possibly Microsoft's own estimates. Microsoft had reportedly ordered 3 million Surface RT tablets, Bloomberg's sources said, and UBS analyst Brent Thrill had projected Microsoft would sell 2 million of them in the December quarter alone. Other analysts forecast lower sales, with Detwiler Fenton expecting RT sales to top out at 600,000 in the fourth quarter.

Microsoft shrugs

Microsoft has downplayed the need for strong Surface sales, and the company's own expectations don't seem as high as those of industry analysts. Last July, before the launch of Windows 8, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said the company "may sell a few million" Surface tablets in the product's first 12 months. Unless sales pick up from now until July, it's unlikely that Microsoft will hit that mark, but it could come close.

In any case, Microsoft has stressed that Surface is more about setting an example for PC makers than about dominating sales. "I'm super-glad we did Surface," Ballmer told MIT Technology Review last month. "I think it is important--and not just for Microsoft but for the entire Windows ecosystem--to see integrated hardware and software."

The question, then, is whether PC makers will feel compelled to play along and launch more interesting Windows 8 tablets and hybrids. It's hard to see that happening as companies like Samsung and Acer publicly voice their dissatisfaction with Windows 8 sales, and as they look to other options like Android and Chrome OS. Instead, they may be drawn by lower licensing costs, which could result in a glut of low-priced touchscreen Windows 8 devices--a far cry from the clever, high-end design of the Surface.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Microsofttabletshardware systemsSurface

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jared Newman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Brand Post

PC World Evaluation Team Review - MSI GT75 TITAN

"I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it."

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?