Microsoft Surface: Sales Very Slow, Report Suggests

Dennis Faas's picture

Reports indicate that Microsoft has sold just 1.5 million Surface tablet computers since the device launched late last year. Surprisingly, it appears consumers prefer the newer and more expensive Surface Pro to the cheaper Surface RT.

The Bloomberg financial news agency says three separate sources have provided it with Surface sales figures. Though not confirmed by Bloomberg, it appears these sources may be Microsoft staff.

The sources claim the company has sold just 1.5 million Surface tablets so far, including 1.1 million Surface RTs and 400,000 Surface Pros. (Source:

It's actually the sales figures for the Surface RT that are more disappointing. The model runs a limited version of Windows 8 and can only run software downloaded directly from Microsoft's own app store.

Surface RT Falls Short Of Sales Hopes

The Surface RT was aimed at the general consumer market, particularly people who couldn't afford an Apple iPad but wanted a reliable brand name and system.

Bloomberg's sources say Microsoft initially manufactured around 3 million units of the Surface RT, indicating that the firm believed sales would be much higher. One analyst had forecast that it would hit the 2 million sales mark by the end of December 2012.

Expensive Pro Version Selling Better

Despite the lower figure, sales are actually looking a little better for the Surface Pro, the more expensive model that runs a fully-featured version of Windows 8.

While the Surface RT has been on sale since October 2012, the Surface Pro only launched last month. With 400,000 sales, the Surface Pro is selling at roughly twice the pace of the Surface RT.

The figures have prompted speculation that Microsoft might eventually pull the plug on the Surface RT device. That will become even more likely if developers don't put more effort into creating dedicated applications for the Surface RT.

At the moment, there are roughly six times as many apps available for the iPad. (Source:

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