To achieve this goal, the Softies are going to be increasing retail spending, according to Thurrott's report. Last fiscal year (ending June 30, 2013), Microsoft spent $241 million on its retail Windows efforts. This year, that amount will jump to $405 million, according to Thurrott's information. Of that $405 million, $131 million will be spent on incentives and offers, with the remaining $274 million going toward direct marketing and operating expenses.
Microsoft also is going to try to move the public perception meter about Windows devices. The idea is to make the Windows experience a "loved part of people's lives," not just something functional and utilitarian. Yes, this is all part of Microsoft's push to increase its appeal to consumers, since they've already got many business users sewn up.
I'm assuming Windows tablets here means not only Surfaces but also Windows tablets from other vendors. I'm not sure what Microsoft's desired mix might look like here.
Microsoft has not released publicly the number of Surface sales it has made to date. Surface revenues (which are reported into Windows client) for Microsoft's most recent quarter were $400 million. Microsoft officials said they sold double the number of Surfaces this quarter that they did in the previous calendar quarter. (Note: We don't know what either of those numbers are.) Surface RT sales were better than anticipated, officials said, while some potential Surface Pro customers held off, waiting for the Surface Pro 2.
One way Microsoft can sell more Windows tablets is to hurry up and get those promised Microsoft stores inside Best Buy up and running. I stopped by a couple of New York City's biggest Best Buy retail stores this week. The situation is not pretty. There's still nowhere for those interested in Windows PCs and tablets and the new Surfaces to go to do side-by-side comparisons.