Microsoft replenishes its Surface 2 tablet stock

Microsoft replenishes its Surface 2 tablet stock

Summary: Microsoft's second-generation, ARM-based Surface 2 devices are again available via the Microsoft online store. Those looking for Surface Pro 2s, docking stations or power covers: There's no new word on availability.

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When will Microsoft get more Surface 2s and Surface Pro 2s in stock?

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It's a question I'm getting increasingly regularly on Twitter and via email -- along with questions about when Microsoft will replenish supplies of its Surface docks and finally start offering its promised Surface power keyboards.

The short answer to these stocking questions is I have no real idea. The longer answer, when asking about the timetable for more Surface stock, via a Microsoft spokesperson:

"The public response to Surface has been exciting to see. It is our primary goal to get Surface 2, Surface Pro 2 and new Surface accessories into the hands of all people who want the most productive tablets on the planet. We’re actively working with our manufacturing teams and retail partners to get Surface in customers’ hands as soon as possible."

On January 20, however, it seemed as though Microsoft managed to replenish stock of its second-generation, ARM-based Surface 2 devices. Both the 32 GB and 64 GB Surface 2s are now showing up as being "in stock" on the MicrosoftStore.com site, as reported today by Neowin.net. Other retailers carrying the devices, including Staples, Best Buy and Microsoft's own stores have had very limited quantities of the Surface 2s available from time-to-time, as Neowin noted recently.

I'm still seeing most of the Surface Pro 2 devices (other than the 512 GB version) still showing as "out of stock" on the MicrosoftStore.com site. There's seemingly no way to sign up to be notified when any of the Microsoft Surfaces are back in stock or to order them from Microsoft online once they are out of stock.

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The Surface docking station also is listed as being out of stock on the MicrosoftStore.com site. (The docking station was briefly in stock in limited quantities before Christmas.) I can't find a listing on the MicrosoftStore.com site for the Surface power cover, but there is one on the Microsoft.com site that notes the $199.99 cover with battery is still due in "early 2014." Microsoft officials aren't sharing information beyond the statement I noted at the start of this post as to when either of these peripherals will be available.

Many believe that Microsoft is being overly cautious about making too many Surfaces after writing down nearly $1 billion worth of Surface RTs last year. Many also believe the company has been overcautious in making Surfaces available via its reseller channel, though recent reports (including this one in CRN from December) and recent job postings make it seem that Microsoft is still planning to make Surfaces available through resellers in the coming months.

This week should be an interesting one for those attempting to discern whether Microsoft made too few of its second-generation Surfaces, or if demand for them was off-the-charts (or some combination of both). While some consider product sell outs to be proof of strong demand, sell outs resulting in users losing the patience to wait, especially around the holidays, is not a plus. 

Microsoft officials shared some information about its Surface sales during its last earnings call, noting that the company sold $400 million worth of Surfaces, and double the number of Surface devices it had sold the previous quarter. It will be interesting to see what the Softies say, if anything, during the company's Q2 FY 2014 earnings call on January 23, about Surface supply and demand.

Topics: Microsoft Surface, Microsoft, Tablets, ARM, Business Intelligence

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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31 comments
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  • College Computer

    I know 3 students who asked me what type of laptop they should get for college. 2 bought a Surface Pro, 1 bough bought Surface RT. I think running Office was most important, being able to use USB devices was second, and keyboard was third. I think the Surface devices are the closest match to a laptop replacement. I also know 2 more people that bought the Surface RT for $199 on black Friday. I know iPad and Android devices are more abundant but Surface Pro is just a better more versatile device if you can afford it.
    Sean Foley
    • Yup, they are fantastic as School PC's

      As I've said before, our kids use them in HS as School PC's and one of them got upgraded to the Surface 2 for Christmas. All day battery life, ultra portable and plenty of power for the purpose. Not being able to install crapware is a huge plus as well. Ever support a teens PC? Yup, perfect.
      Oknarf
      • Too late

        MS missed the holyday season big time. I truly don't understand this company anymore. Last year they were not able to sell the Surface they had produced and this year, they we were not able to respond to the demand. My friend got tired of waiting and bought a Dell tablet instead.
        gbouchard99@...
        • If not too Late, definitely a misled opportunity.

          It does seem rather dumb to not keep a product in stock over a major shopping holiday. I was lucky enough to pick up a 256 GB pro just after Christmas, but noticed they sold out a few hours after I got my order in.

          It will be interesting to see some sales figures, I think the Pro 2 is a fantastic device and think Microsoft finally has a compelling product to counter mobile based tablets. Some of us still have a need to be productive. My Android tablet went to my son as Soon as I got the Surface.
          PC987
    • why wouldn't someone just got a laptop?

      To this day, I still don't get the surface RT. It just does less than an ordinary laptop.
      Mac_PC_FenceSitter
      • How does the not apply to an iPad or Android tablet as well?

        You could make that same statement about nearly any tablet running a mobile operating system, but people enjoy those.

        Surface RT has some advantages other tablets don't have and the reverse is true.
        Emacho
        • In all fairness to iPads and Android Tablets

          they do have apps that can sort of replicate the features of a full blown PC OS like Windows. Having said that, even Windows RT, as an OS, is well infront of Android and iOS.
          kunalnanda
          • with all due respect to your opinion

            at least iOS is ahead in ALL fronts. Surface having problems with battery, acessories, software patches delivery, etc...
            This is saying a MCITP:EA that is recently getting tired of all the bugs and malfunctions and problems and misfortunes MS produces: I am DAILY at my bosses office trying to FIX them. MS are not only disgracing themselves, they are disgracing me in my recent decisions, after 15 years of my dedication.
            moodjbow
          • Not sure what your problems are...

            My Surface RT runs just fine, plenty of battery, etc. The only thing better on the iOS as far as functionality is you can put a iPad to sleep and the battery will last for weeks (like the thinness of the Mini and Air also).

            I have had iPads that start acting up and generally I just reset them to factory defaults and that seems to fix them, same with RT.

            And this is from a MDM admin with an bachelors in CS and masters in IS.
            Rann Xeroxx
          • That was my point.

            Great comments kunalnanda. That is how I would put it also. iOS/Android have more apps available right now, but the WindowsRT operating system has more functionality of a laptop than the previous two.

            Which begs the question, if a laptop is a better choice than WindowsRT why does that not apply to an iPad or Android as well?
            Emacho
  • Caution is stupid...

    Microsoft is dumb to keep people waiting for their tablets. There are just too many other options for consumers. It's better they take a write-down (they've got the money) than lose a sale.

    I'm not saying they need to $1 billion worth of excess stock, but surely there is a happy medium where they can meet demand and not have 2 million left over, right?
    cybersaurusrex
    • That $1 Billion

      issue that is always bandied about is a little misunderstood. The write off is lost "profit" if they would sell them all at retail price. It's a number for investors. They probably broke even on the first round. Is it what they wanted? Of course not. But they would have been, and would be, better off selling at a lower price point from the beginning. That's the way it is when you are trying to break into an established market.
      stano360
  • Android well established for Office

    Microsoft and the few W8 OEMs who cared, got completely swamped by all the Nexus Android devices in the last holiday season. No marketing, and so no interest in W8 tablets in the few stores (John Lewis) W8 devices were being sold alongside the throngs for Android and iPad.

    I think Microsoft has already given up on consumer market. Certainly here in Europe.

    Really weird.
    JulesVerny
    • Wrong

      Though Microsoft not doing crazy sales in Europe but you can buy products in major stores now than when it was launched
      jonnybr
  • Are the Surface patches working yet?

    Is the Surface still having the problem with the screen dimming beyond visibility? And the battery draining even when the unit is off? Don't think I could risk spending money on such a value loss product.
    FrankInKy
    • Death to FUD

      Your comment is exactly why most people dismissed the Surface last time around. I have had my Surface RT for over a year now and I have never had any of the problems you mentioned about the screen or the battery. It was and remains a great device that I make good use of on a daily basis. I do not mean to suggest that your comment is not sincere, but my experience with the Surface suggests that you may have been the victim of FUD.

      All it takes is someone eager to write unfounded statements to create fear, uncertainty, and doubt for readers so that they choose to wait on their purchase of a great device to help make that device a failure in the marketplace. It doesn't mater that the problem is fictitious. Last year such comments were like a flood and scared almost everyone away from purchasing the Surface. At least this year there are enough brave Surface users to respond to such "problems" and rumors so that it is not so easy for the lie to sound like truth. Most people have concluded that Surface failed last year, but such was not caused by the device itself. The Surface is awesome. What killed it was bad marketing/pricing by Microsoft (caused by fear of OEM retaliation) and FUD by the status quo.

      I do not feel that the Surface is perfect, but it is far and away the best tablet designed for productivity. It is light, thin, and long-lasting and very nearly an ideal laptop replacement, especially for those who need MS Office capability. I rejoice every day that I do not need to carry my heavy laptop around anymore.
      Curtis Quick
      • Here's one link for you

        http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/01/20/surface_pro_2_power_fix/
        FrankInKy
        • Exactly...

          As your own link clearly states the problem did not exist in the first place but was intoduced in a faulty update. The update was pulled so if you buy the device now you wont get those problems. And its already fixed anyway even if you did...

          Yes it was a mistake from MS but they dont really do that much mistakes as some people think. But the mistakes are unacceptable because we have used to long release cycles and perfect quality from MS. Now that their release cycles are smaller they make more mistakes which is normal. And of course it is these days cool to report every small mistake they do.

          Every time Google makes a mistake it is considered normal development and its no problem because the fix comes fast anyway. They have to make a mistake that affects millions or tens of millions people before they are widely reported.
          Asgardii
          • Wow

            You must have been primed and ready to blow up
            FrankInKy
    • I don't have those issues.

      From what I remember, only a few users were actually affected by those problems.


      Anyhow, we know you hate Microsoft.

      Can't you just stick in your Apple, Android, Linux, or whatever articles of tech you belong to?

      Go to a Linux articles and troll Owl'net or something, just stop coming to these to infest them with FUD you found on Google.

      I don't care whether you're a paid shill or not (and I'm not assuming you are), just stop coming to these articles.
      ForeverCookie