Microsoft's Surface demand is 'disappointing,' says analyst

If analysts are right, the reason Microsoft is being coy about Surface tablet sales is because they are more subdued than even Microsoft's own conservative predictions.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Contributing Writer

Why is Microsoft being so coy about producing numbers regarding how many Surface tablets have been sold since they hit the shelves? According to one analyst, it is because sales have been, "disappointing."

FBR Capital Markets analyst Craig Berger made the comments, who, in a note to clients, went on to say that sales, have "underwhelmed expectations."

Given that Microsoft was only expecting to shift between 3-5 million Surface tablets this quarter in the first place, if Berger is right then even these prosaic expectations were too high.


In stark contrast to Microsoft's difficulty in shifting Surface tablets, Apple sold three million iPads in the first weekend alone following the release of the iPad mini and the iPad 4.

According to Bloomberg, other analysts are equally pessimistic regarding Surface sales, with Bob O’Donnell of IDC quoted as saying that: "You can hardly even find one, so even if you wanted to buy it, it would be difficult," and Wes Miller, of Directions on Microsoft saying that, "when Microsoft is stealthy about numbers, that usually means something."

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I have two theories as to why Surface sales are falling short of expectations. The first is that at $599 for the tablet and they keyboard, Surface comes across as too expensive, especially compared to the $499 price tag for the iPad 4, or $329 for the iPad mini. The solution to this problem is simple: Microsoft should drop the price.

After all, if IHS iSuppli is right and the Surface is more profitable than the iPad then there's enough room for Microsoft to do this.

The other factor putting a damper on Surface is the negative press that Windows 8 has and continues to attract, especially the new user interface, which usability experts have slammed it, calling it "confusing," and "disappointing" for "both novice and power users."

It looks like Microsoft is having a hard time making the shift from the PC era of yesteryear into the post-PC era of today.

Image source: Microsoft.

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