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Microsoft Surface Struggles to Ship A Million Units

Unknown Lamer posted about a year ago | from the tim-cook-hexed-ballmer dept.

Handhelds 375

zacharye writes "While some see potential in Microsoft's Surface tablet, most industry watchers appear to have written off the device at this point. Orders were reportedly cut in half following a slow launch, and Microsoft's debut slate has been hammered time and time again by reviewers and analysts. The latest to pile on is Boston-based brokerage firm Detwiler Fenton, which estimates that when all is said and done, Microsoft will have sold fewer than 1 million Surface tablets in the slate's debut quarter." Still better than 25,000.

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375 comments

Told (1, Informative)

serkit (2358056) | about a year ago | (#42193575)

They sure got told.

Re:Told (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42193765)

Would you please stop posting on Slashdot. You never have anything of value to offer, and quite frankly it is a waste of resources to store your posts. Most likely you should refrain from interacting with other human beings overall.

Thanks in advance!

Fire Sale? (1, Offtopic)

cayenne8 (626475) | about a year ago | (#42194333)

Hey..wonder if MS will have a 'fire sale' on these tablets like HP Touchpad did awhile back....I wouldn't mind one for like $50-$100.....maybe put Linux on it or Android...?

:)

failure round 2 incoming (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42193601)

With the surface pro's battery life at an estimated 4 hours. We can expect that to fail as well.

Re:failure round 2 incoming (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42194315)

The bigger problem with pro is that it's 900 fucking dollars to start with!

Re:failure round 2 incoming (1, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#42194339)

With the surface pro's battery life at an estimated 4 hours. We can expect that to fail as well.

Well TFA (regardless of how badly the summary is written) IS about Surface (both models). So I'm a bit confused about the meaning of "fail as well".

The Surface tablet that is out is the RT version, The one that is coming is the full x86 compatible version.

Quoting TFA:

The Surface device currently on the market runs Windows RT, a version of Windows 8 designed for devices powered by ARM architecture, which dominates the mobility segment. While Windows RT looks exactly like Windows 8, it can’t run Windows programs built for x86 processors, limiting users to what they can download from the built-in Windows Store app hub.

And there is the problem. The Windows Store has very little to offer for the ARM version, and the market is small enough that there will be trouble attracting developers for several years.

Meanwhile the X86 version (Surface Pro) is going to priced fairly high, BUT has the attraction of running just about any software that will run on Windows 8 Desktop (which is just about any existing Windows packages). So in, IMHO, that tablet, the Surface Pro, will sell quite well, especially in the corporate world. I wouldn't count Microsoft out just yet.

I haven't read a bad review of it (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42193623)

Other than slashdotters crying the blues about windows 8 changing the start menu, I've yet to see a complaint about the slate tablets, other than the app store for it not being matured.

Re:I haven't read a bad review of it (4, Informative)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about a year ago | (#42193805)

Then you're not paying attention. Most of the reviews [engadget.com] I've seen say the OS is fine and Metro/Modern works okay for a tablet, it can be frustrating to use without a touchscreen on a desktop. So while Win 8 will probably work on older hardware, it might be best to wait to get it when consumers can get hardware with touch.

Re:I haven't read a bad review of it (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about a year ago | (#42194257)

GP said:

I've yet to see a complaint about the slate tablets

So he was specifically talking about bad reviews of Surface and friends, not bad reviews of Win8 in general. Of course, all Win8 tablets have touch, and Metro there makes perfect sense.

At the same time, there are plenty bad reviews of Surface (specifically) around. It's relatively heavy and bulky for what it is.

Re:I haven't read a bad review of it (5, Insightful)

Tridus (79566) | about a year ago | (#42194009)

Who cares?

The only review that matters in the end is what the market thinks. The market doesn't seem to be buying. Saying "the professional reviewers liked it!" is loser talk.

Re:I haven't read a bad review of it (1)

not already in use (972294) | about a year ago | (#42194143)

The only review that matters in the end is what the market thinks. The market doesn't seem to be buying. Saying "the professional reviewers liked it!" is loser talk.

You act like people gravitate toward superior products, as opposed to the product with superior marketing. Microsoft is still fighting the deeply ingrained stigma that their products just aren't cool. People are more interested in fitting in than they are making objective decisions regarding the quality of the thing they will be consuming.

The actual reason (4, Insightful)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year ago | (#42193655)

I think the actual biggest reason for this is people who wanted a tablet already got a different product from Samsung or Motorola or Apple and they're not going to spend all that money again just to switch. MS came into the game WAY too late.
Also we're at the verge of a netbook-caliber tablet crash where everyone realizes they all suck and stop buying them. They're too fragile, they don't have a DVD drive, they're harder to type on, the screen is tiny, they get dirty with fingerprints, they don't run 99% of software ever written, everything they do on it is designed to cost money, the browsers don't display pages correctly, the battery life is a lie, most don't have USB flash drive capabilities, they don't work with the majority of printers, and it's difficult to do meaningful work on them in any way shape or form. That's actually slightly more cons than netbooks and they went from boom to flop in approximately 2 years.

Re:The actual reason (4, Insightful)

jeffmeden (135043) | about a year ago | (#42193747)

I think the actual biggest reason for this is people who wanted a tablet already got a different product from Samsung or Motorola or Apple and they're not going to spend all that money again just to switch. MS came into the game WAY too late.

Also we're at the verge of a netbook-caliber tablet crash where everyone realizes they all suck and stop buying them. They're too fragile, they don't have a DVD drive, they're harder to type on, the screen is tiny, they get dirty with fingerprints, they don't run 99% of software ever written, everything they do on it is designed to cost money, the browsers don't display pages correctly, the battery life is a lie, most don't have USB flash drive capabilities, they don't work with the majority of printers, and it's difficult to do meaningful work on them in any way shape or form. That's actually slightly more cons than netbooks and they went from boom to flop in approximately 2 years.

Your post mostly makes sense (especially the frustration of being in an ecosystem where the tablet purchaser is merely a commodity whose eyeballs will be sold to the highest bidder)... what the fuck is a DVD drive? I remember old, slow, failure prone round plasticky things but the last time i had a need for one in ANY computing related task was probably more than 5 years ago... Are you talking about that?

Re:The actual reason (1)

rsborg (111459) | about a year ago | (#42194053)

Your post mostly makes sense (especially the frustration of being in an ecosystem where the tablet purchaser is merely a commodity whose eyeballs will be sold to the highest bidder)... what the fuck is a DVD drive? I remember old, slow, failure prone round plasticky things but the last time i had a need for one in ANY computing related task was probably more than 5 years ago... Are you talking about that?

I have a DVD drive in my year-old Lenovo. I hate it everytime I startup the computer and am reminded of a device I have yet to use, and will probably never use (this is a work laptop - everything is pre-installed or downloaded - My home macbook has AppStore or downloaded everything as well). I hate it every time I accidentally push the "eject" button while putting it in my backpack. I just hate it taking up space and reminding me of 90's technology that no longer serves a useful purpose (DVDs? If you're watching recent movies, they're BluRays anyway).

I could have written this same comment 3 years ago as well.

Re:The actual reason (3, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | about a year ago | (#42194101)

There's still a lot of film/TV stuff that's available on DVD but not via online streaming, at least legally.

Re:The actual reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42194309)

the last time i had a need for one in ANY computing related task was probably more than 5 years ago

You know all that software I bought and paid for already that came in boxes...

everything they do on it is designed to cost money
This is the biggest thing that will eventually kill the iPad. Either cheaper alternatives (less than 100 bucks), or lower priced items (ie free without adverts).

People are cheap. It is why everyone went bonkers over netbooks. They were small and crap but very cheap in comparison to a full blown laptop.

Digital delivery is cool and all. It is the one thing that WinCE did horribly and why MS has no market share in it. However remember above all else people are cheap and feel ripped off buying something more than once. Vendor lockin will eventually kill itself. People will get tired of the 30% tax every bit of software out there has...

Remember a few short years ago if you didnt have a blackberry you were extremely 'uncool'. It is the slate form phone/pad that is having its day. People are cheap and also fickle. In 2-3 years we will be talking about the different 'cool'.

I have 1 tablet. My wife uses it about 1-2 times a month. I can count on one hand the number of times I have used it (and I am the one that wanted to buy it). I know I am not alone. At this point pretty much everyone who wants a pad has one or something close. The rest of the population is looking at them like 'wtf' I have an excellent laptop that does all of that and more.

Right now they are a popular toy (much like the netbook). Give it 2-3 years and we can see if it went from toy to extension.

The slate which is x86 actually looks slightly interesting to me. But will end up as a toy...

Re:The actual reason (4, Interesting)

Jeng (926980) | about a year ago | (#42193757)

I think that a majority of the Surfaces sold so far are developers looking for a reference system.

not on anybody's christmas list (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42193823)

You can get a Nobel Peace prize for "not being George W Bush", but apparently people aren't standing in line to buy "not an iPad".

Re:The actual reason (2)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year ago | (#42194161)

I think that a majority of the Surfaces sold so far are developers looking for a reference system.

Or they don't read reviews. There are a staggering number of people who make completely uninformed purchases.

Probably well meaning parents getting their kid or college student on in the hopes they will find a use for it (door stop, hold up plant, coaster, etc.)

Some people will buy anything as a toy to tinker with.

And then there's probably a few who genuinely want one because they think it will be an easy switch from their laptop.

Considering the price, I don't even pay attention to it because I can build a decent desktop system and have enough left over to buy a Galaxy III

Re:The actual reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42193769)

Agreed. I still have my original iPad, and while the Surface with its "integrated" keyboard would be nice, the biggest appeal would be local storage and having the semi-crappy Office Suite. My iPad battery is slowing dying so rather than getting a "new" iPad, I might get something else.

Re:The actual reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42193811)

I'm glad I'm not the only one. It seems with every software and app update to my original iPad, it crashes more and becomes slower. Safari, netflix, youtube, MLB at bat, various games... all these apps crash constantly and it's getting pretty frustrating.

Re:The actual reason (5, Interesting)

falcon5768 (629591) | about a year ago | (#42193799)

"Also we're at the verge of a netbook-caliber tablet crash where everyone realizes they all suck and stop buying them."

Nope not going to happen, and there is a VERY good reason. Netbooks sucked SPECIFICALLY for everything you listed, tablets dont specifically because they dont pretend to be a full computer. People who buy them know this isnt a computer replacement for real work, but a supplement. Netbooks were trying to bill themselves as a computer replacement but they are really just a POS.

That being said 99.9% of what most people use a computer for is easily handled by tablets. I do my email, surf the web, work on music, type papers and reports, and play some pretty good games on mine, all activities I did at home with my laptop but no longer need my laptop for. In fact since getting a iPad I literally ONLY use my laptop for work, and even there if in a pinch could SSH into my servers and work on them through command line if need be but would prefer my laptop over doing that.

So no, that crash isnt going to happen and anyone thinking it will is smoking some pretty good crack

Re:The actual reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42194027)

I've been doing 95% of my computing needs on an iPad. If they added access to the files/folders it would push it to 99%.

I'd still like better multitasking b/c safari reloading tabs is a pita.

Would love to have a larger screen (12"-13") with the same weight. I hope IGZO will make this possible. I doubt that will happen since it would eat into macbook sales but it depends on whether they'd get more volume and profit from a larger iPad. I would certainly pay $200 more for a larger iPad with even higher resolution screen.

Re:The actual reason (5, Insightful)

fons (190526) | about a year ago | (#42194055)

I agree. Tablets fit with the changed computer behaviour.

Computers and laptops are made for a desk and for work. But when I come home from work, i don't want to work anymore. I want to use my computer as entertainment (facebook, newssites, youtube, ...). Also, I don't want to sit at a desk but comfortably on a couch.

My laptop/netbook is not ergonomic to use on the couch, and my phone is too small. So i use a tablet.

Tablets are here to stay. And they will become the remote (or hub or whatever) for your tv.

Re:The actual reason (3, Funny)

future assassin (639396) | about a year ago | (#42194215)

they dont pretend to be a full computer. People who buy them know this isnt a computer replacement for real work,

BS just look at all the hipster photographers trying to justify using their iPads as some sort of computer like image work flow tool and storage machine, meanwhile buying extra sd cards for dirt cheap gives you 100x more storage capacity then some 64gb tablet.

Re:The actual reason (1)

Lynchenstein (559620) | about a year ago | (#42193829)

I'd love to check one out. But I'll be damned if I'm going to pay for something based on some greasy tech blog reviews and a few press shots. As there's no MS store within 2 hours of me, there's very little chance I'll be able to buy one. HOWEVER, if MS could put these on the shelves at Best Buy, FutureShop (I'm in Canada, eh) or London Drugs, I'd happily fondle it and maybe even buy it.

Also...while I'm sure MS would love to sell a bajillion of them, I understand these were developed as a way for MS to show it's hardware partners a thing or two about product design or something. I doubt they expected the RT models especially to fly off the shelves.

My wife really wants a Surface Pro, however, and what she wants she usually gets.

Re:The actual reason (1)

erp_consultant (2614861) | about a year ago | (#42194061)

Try the local Best Buy. The store near me had one on display. By the looks of it you won't have to worry about them selling out ;-)

When I tried it out the Metro interface didn't seem bad at all. It's pretty responsive.

Re:The actual reason (5, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | about a year ago | (#42193837)

Funny, aside from your incorrect assessment about webpage rendering (at least on the tablets I have tried), I don't want any of those things on a tablet. That's why I have a laptop.

When I'm taking transit (plane or bus) or sitting on the couch and I don't want to pull out my laptop, I don't see any problem with these genre of devices at all.

Apparently you're not the target market and that is just fine.

Re:The actual reason (3, Interesting)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about a year ago | (#42193889)

They're too fragile, they don't have a DVD drive, they're harder to type on, the screen is tiny, they get dirty with fingerprints, they don't run 99% of software ever written, everything they do on it is designed to cost money, the browsers don't display pages correctly, the battery life is a lie, most don't have USB flash drive capabilities, they don't work with the majority of printers, and it's difficult to do meaningful work on them in any way shape or form.

Ironically, Windows tablets did all of this and more before the iPad was introduced. I still think the reason they sold so poorly is that they cost so much and sacrificed too much performance for the touch screen. My Latitude XT retailed for over $2000 for a base model in 2008. Today's tablet PCs are a whole different breed: they don't cost much more than a regular laptop, they're just as powerful, and Windows 8 has many touch friendly features to make using them as a tablet enjoyable. This time around, it looks like Microsoft is seeing more demand [neowin.net] for them as well.

Re:The actual reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42193905)

Also we're at the verge of a netbook-caliber tablet crash where everyone realizes they all suck and stop buying them. They're too fragile, they don't have a DVD drive, they're harder to type on, the screen is tiny, they get dirty with fingerprints, they don't run 99% of software ever written, everything they do on it is designed to cost money, the browsers don't display pages correctly, the battery life is a lie, most don't have USB flash drive capabilities, they don't work with the majority of printers, and it's difficult to do meaningful work on them in any way shape or form. That's actually slightly more cons than netbooks and they went from boom to flop in approximately 2 years.

With the exception of the fingerprints/dvd issue, the Surface Pro [microsoft.com] solves all of those issues. If you're right, it looks like Microsoft might be on to something.

Re:The actual reason (5, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#42193965)

They're too fragile, they don't have a DVD drive, they're harder to type on, the screen is tiny, they get dirty with fingerprints, they don't run 99% of software ever written, everything they do on it is designed to cost money, the browsers don't display pages correctly, the battery life is a lie, most don't have USB flash drive capabilities, they don't work with the majority of printers, and it's difficult to do meaningful work on them in any way shape or form.

I think you're looking at this through the lens of being focused on doing 'meaningful' work -- the vast majority of people using tablets are using them for passive entertainment and the like.

I type a few emails on my tablet, not extensive word processing, spreadsheets, or writing code. I watch digital copies of movies that I get when I buy the Blu Ray. I don't care about 99% of the software ever written. I've never had to spend money on stuff, I just don't bother. I easily get my 10 hours of battery life as advertised. And I've never found myself needing either a USB flash drive or to print from it. These just aren't things I do with that device -- I have access to lots of other computers for that stuff.

It's a device I'm more likely to use from an easy chair, the sofa, a lawn chair, an airplane, or occasionally even a hammock. It's entertainment, with some decent connectivity for when I'm on the road. it's en eBook reader, a video game, and can get me some useful information if I can get to wifi, which is pretty easy. And, I can use Google Voice to call the wife instead of paying hotel rates for long distance. It also gets used for those quick google searches in the living room you'd otherwise not bother getting up to do.

I would argue that you can basically say smart phones are essentially useless for all of the identical reasons you list (and I'd be just as wrong as you), and I bet you have a smart phone. They have all of the same limitations you cite, and yet people have smart phones everywhere you look. I refuse to pay the data plan for a smart phone, so a tablet with wifi is a better fit for me. A smart phone and a tablet are essentially the same thing with a slightly different size.

There is no universal way to decide the utility of a device, and different people do different things. It may be true that a tablet doesn't cover your needs, but you need to understand that your needs are probably not typical.

I've had a tablet for about 2.5 years now, and I get a lot of use out of it. I don't use it to do my job or any serious work, but for all of those other little things, it's a convenient device with a more suitable form factor.

The vast majority of people when using computers much of the time are NOT doing 'meaningful' work -- they're surfing the web, watching You Tube videos, sending a few emails, and playing games.

Seriously, stop making categorical statements as if they were facts instead of just your opinion .. because I can say quite firmly that for me, my tablet doesn't suck, and was money well spent on a device I actually use. Just as I'm sure you can equally say that, for you, it's not a device you'd find a good fit for your needs. Neither is anything other than a subjective evaluation.

I've taken my iPad on about 12 trips by now, and about 8-10 of those I also had my laptop. My laptop sits in the bag in case I need access to something, and has been used exactly once while on the road over the last two years. But my iPad sees 2-4 hours/day of use when I travel.

So, maybe you need to recognize the fact that for many of the people who have bought tablets, it is a better fit than a netbook or a full laptop would be.

Re:The actual reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42193969)

The big differnece is that netbooks were always niche products even at their peak and never reached the sales figures of the current tablet market. Also, most of your cons are mostly irrelevant for the vast majority of consumers such as DVD drives and not being able to run legacy software. Basically you're rehashing the "No wireless. Less space than a Nomad. Lame." geek argument.

Re:The actual reason (4, Insightful)

obarthelemy (160321) | about a year ago | (#42193971)

I think you're impressively wrong:

1- Netbooks were made to stagnate by Intel and MS. Buyers never had any reason to upgrade, or rather, update, so once everyone vaguely interested got one, the market just died. I'm still happily using my Compaq Mini from 3-4 yrs ago, what's on sale right now isn't significantly better. Now, if I could get more RAM, a bigger screen, an i3... I'd probably upgrade. But MS and Intel have decided I shouldn't be able to.

2- On the contrary, tablets are evolving incredibly fast. I'm on my 4th tablet in 2 years, and actually just sold it to upgrade. And I think I'll stay on the upgrade treadmill for a while, which, coincidentally, let's my "handee-downs" get on it, too.

3- What matters is not that 99.999% of software ever written doesn't run: it's that 90% of the software you actually need does. I can do emails, RSS/Greader, Web, ebooks, video, music, kill-the-time games, even some Google Docs in a pinch. Sure, everyone is missing some apps. But not that many.

4- You can get a keyboard, a mouse, SD cards and even USB sticks in most cases. What's your gripe ?

Re:The actual reason (2)

helix2301 (1105613) | about a year ago | (#42194043)

Not even "Oprah Tweeting Her Love For Microsoft's Surface From Her iPad" can help them sell a million units lol

Re:The actual reason (4, Insightful)

Tridus (79566) | about a year ago | (#42194067)

Realistically, anybody in the tablet market for something by Samsung or most of the other Android makers isn't in the market for a Surface due to price. The Surface is priced at the top of the market and totally ignores the rest of it. Most Android tablets are not priced at the top of the market.

You can get a Nexus 7 for what, half of what a Surface RT costs? Realistically the target Surface market in terms of pricing is also the target iPad market, and taking on the iPad with a product tied in consumers minds to the less than stellar reviews of Windows 8 isn't exactly an easy task. It's no wonder they're getting smoked.

Re:The actual reason (1)

bobstreo (1320787) | about a year ago | (#42194319)

I think the actual biggest reason for this is people who wanted a tablet already got a different product from Samsung or Motorola or Apple and they're not going to spend all that money again just to switch. MS came into the game WAY too late.

Also we're at the verge of a netbook-caliber tablet crash where everyone realizes they all suck and stop buying them. They're too fragile, they don't have a DVD drive, they're harder to type on, the screen is tiny, they get dirty with fingerprints, they don't run 99% of software ever written, everything they do on it is designed to cost money, the browsers don't display pages correctly, the battery life is a lie, most don't have USB flash drive capabilities, they don't work with the majority of printers, and it's difficult to do meaningful work on them in any way shape or form. That's actually slightly more cons than netbooks and they went from boom to flop in approximately 2 years.

Nah that's untrue, Mac's have the same issues.

Raspberry Pi (5, Interesting)

doconnor (134648) | about a year ago | (#42193659)

Sounds like the a tiny, caseless computer for hackers and wannabe hackers designed mostly by volunteers is going to outsell a flagship product from one of the most powerful companies in the world.

Film at 11 ... (5, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#42193663)

Microsoft has no clue what users actually want, film at 11.

When is Microsoft going to learn to make a truly consumer-oriented device other than the XBox? Not with support for Office (that takes up most of your space apparently), not with support for Outlook, but to do the things people are using other tablets for.

Every time they release a product, the marketing is so heavily geared to Office/Outlook/Exchange I have to wonder if Microsoft is aware of the fact that loads of people use computers for things that don't involve their business applications.

If your marketing is focused on how I can do spreadsheets and connect to my corporate Exchange server, then you have no idea of what it is I'd be looking to use this kind of device for. Because I don't want either of those features.

It just always seems Microsoft is so focused on their business tools, that the result is too much focus on that. And it always seems like they launch a product after someone else has been successful with it, and then miss some of the attributes of the other product which make it successful in the first place.

Re:Film at 11 ... (1)

TheLink (130905) | about a year ago | (#42193853)

Maybe they think they can sell lots of units by having HQ buy it for employees, rather than having the employees wanting to buy it for themselves.

Sure worked well for RIM. ;)

Re:Film at 11 ... (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about a year ago | (#42194223)

The Surface Pro maybe but not the Surface. The Surface does not do well in a corporate environment and has disadvantages over even an iPad.

Re:Film at 11 ... (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | about a year ago | (#42193947)

Microsoft has no clue what users actually want, film at 11.

When is Microsoft going to learn to make a truly consumer-oriented device other than the XBox? Not with support for Office (that takes up most of your space apparently), not with support for Outlook, but to do the things people are using other tablets for.

Every time they release a product, the marketing is so heavily geared to Office/Outlook/Exchange I have to wonder if Microsoft is aware of the fact that loads of people use computers for things that don't involve their business applications.

If your marketing is focused on how I can do spreadsheets and connect to my corporate Exchange server, then you have no idea of what it is I'd be looking to use this kind of device for. Because I don't want either of those features.

It just always seems Microsoft is so focused on their business tools, that the result is too much focus on that. And it always seems like they launch a product after someone else has been successful with it, and then miss some of the attributes of the other product which make it successful in the first place.

If Microsoft wanted the surface to be successful, they would have put it in the hands of corporate purchasing and said "ban iPads from your wifi network, give these out, and your workers will be productive again!". They got the features right for what any enterprise would want it to do, they just don't get that consumers looking to blow $500 don't give a crap about productivity. their BOSS does.

Re:Film at 11 ... (2)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#42194131)

They got the features right for what any enterprise would want it to do, they just don't get that consumers looking to blow $500 don't give a crap about productivity. their BOSS does.

And what percentage of tablets have been purchased by consumers instead of companies? I'm betting it's a significant chunk, and probably the lion's share.

Microsoft really needs to understand the spreadsheets and Exchange aren't what most consumers are looking to do.

Those "I'm a PC I'm a Mac" ads had it pretty well nailed, it's not all about making TPS reports ... it's about fun and entertainment. And Microsoft keeps planting themselves firmly on the boring business stuff, when there's a huge market of people looking for these things for other purposes.

Re:Film at 11 ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42193951)

See, that actually makes sense to me to market it that way. Get the guys who make the decisions to get tablets for everyone in their workplace. People get used to the win8 tablet and just decide that they also want it for their home.

Re:Film at 11 ... (1)

Tridus (79566) | about a year ago | (#42194093)

Except that the iPad started making its way into the workplace when bosses saw their kids playing with them and said "I want one of those instead of that bulky PC."

this and win8 enough to get rid of balmer? (3, Funny)

Dan667 (564390) | about a year ago | (#42193667)

at this point it may not matter. microsoft may already be mortally wounded like Motorola was a couple of years ago.

"mortally wounded" Microsoft (1)

Dystopian Rebel (714995) | about a year ago | (#42194081)

at this point it may not matter. microsoft may already be mortally wounded like Motorola was a couple of years ago.

I don't love Microsoft, its tools, its "solutions", its idiotic advertising, or Squirts Ballmer, but you need to evaluate reality more accurately.

Microsoft is a large, rich, powerful company with a MONOPOLY. They have a pinhead for a Chief Executive Orificer and they are having difficulty finding new successes in a difficult economic climate. They are not alone. BUT... It would take catastrophic global circumstances on a scale yet unseen to wound Microsoft mortally.

FUD (4, Interesting)

MetalliQaZ (539913) | about a year ago | (#42193669)

As much as I'd love to bash on Microsoft for a while, I must say that there seems to be some FUD floating around here. You have reviewers generally praising the hardware and the OS while at the same time advising readers to stay away because of the struggling App ecosystem. Good luck attracting developers that way.

Seems to me that MS could drop the price to make it a loss-leader and watch them fly off the the shelves, if they wanted.

Re:FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42193759)

I've played with the surface and I really like it. But there is a reason I don't already own a tablet: they just don't represent much of a value to my life since I already have a macbook pro and a work laptop.

I would mainly use it as a glorified e-reader.

The surface has potential but most people who would buy a tablet... have.

At 200 though they would fire sale the hell out of them and be plentifully available, which would kick-start the apps ecosystem.

Re:FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42194311)

Microsoft doesn't need to do that to kickstart the apps ecosystem; that's what Windows 8 is for.

Re:FUD (2)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about a year ago | (#42193945)

Well, considering that Surface RT is not backwards compatible, that sounds like good advice. I can't imagine all the confusion that will occur when your average consumer buys one and then realizes that they can't install their current Windows software. Then they go to the app store and realize that there may not be a suitable replacement. I think MS should not have named it Windows RT to avoid any confusion. This had the same ingredients as the Vista ready/capable fiasco.

Re:FUD (1, Interesting)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about a year ago | (#42194121)

at the same time advising readers to stay away because of the struggling App ecosystem. Good luck attracting developers that way.

The store is actually fairing very well. Since launch, the number of apps have doubled [windows.com] (at about 26,000 now) and is increasing at a rate of about 20% per week. Many apps have passed the million download mark. The previous link also explains that some apps have even crossed $25k in revenue, which shifts their takeaway from 60% to 80% of revenue for life. This is very attractive to developers. Further, it looks like already the Windows store is outperforming the OSX appstore [neowin.net] , which has been open for two years, despite the fact that as of now, more people use OSX than Windows 8. The Windows store has twice as many apps, and daily download volume is 5x higher.

I think the success of the Windows store is an eventuality due to the sheer number of licenses Windows will sell just for being Windows. For the surface and other tablets, I think this is their lifeline, as their app ecosystem will increase regardless of how Surface or any other tablet sells.

Re:FUD (2, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | about a year ago | (#42194173)

That's what they did with the Xbox division nearly a decade ago, and the division is still years from paying back the investment.

Even Microsoft can't afford to float vast sums of money to buy market share forever, and what's more I doubt the investors will tolerate pissing billions away.

Side note... (3, Interesting)

Shoten (260439) | about a year ago | (#42193679)

As a refugee from HP, I have to say that I derive immense joy from the "at least they did better than HP" comment in this story. EXCELLENT! (And yes, I'm hugely into schadenfreude.) Now, I just have to wait a bit before I hit "preview" because it seems that any post that comes before all others is somehow considered inherently suspect, and gets modded down. (I suspect that if Einstein had posted E=MC^2 that way, it would have been modded "Troll," even if it were directly applicable to the topic being discussed.)

But yes...it does seem like this is the Zune all over again. Late to compete against a mature product that defines a market space, and by most accounts inferior to that main competitor...only the Zune was actually price-competitive if I recall correctly. At least with Windows Mobile, they've had multiple products to unsuccesfully compete against over the years...Palm, then Blackberry, then the iPhone.

Okay, it's been 5 minutes...someone MUST have posted SOMETHING by now...(hits 'Preview')

Re:Side note... (0)

Shoten (260439) | about a year ago | (#42193695)

Oh, DAMMIT! Came in first anyways??? Christ.

Re:Side note... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42193803)

Nope. You failed epically. You have a low id (lowest 10%) and are still wrapped up in first posts and moderation. Can you seriously just grow up?

Still enjoying my HP Touchpad (1)

Chirs (87576) | about a year ago | (#42193825)

I picked up a firesale Touchpad. I use it pretty much every day. It still works fine, the wireless charger is awesome, and dual-booting Android on it gives access to a bunch of current apps.

It's not perfect, but for $100 it's been a really useful device.

Re:Side note... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42194105)

I never understood the hate for Zune, personally. I had both a first-gen and an HD, and both were wonderful devices. Friends with iPods would use it and automatically ask "wait, what is this? I like it." Other than the leap year bug, I never had a problem with either one.

Not bad considering (1)

Lieutenant_Dan (583843) | about a year ago | (#42193681)

... that they're a late player in the tablet game and have had terrible experience with their smartphone OS.

Apple shifted two million in its first quarter.

Even the stupid playbook shifted a large number (shipped, not sold, half a million in Q1) and then its numbers went off a cliff [wikipedia.org] .

I think the Q2 numbers will be more insightful.

Re:Not bad considering (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about a year ago | (#42194171)

Yes but there is also a difference between "shipped" vs "sold". The Apple sold 2 million iPads in a market that was in its infancy as the demand was great enough that shipped=sold. While tablets existed before the iPad, it wasn't until the iPad that they were sold in any meaningful numbers. The Surface is struggling to "ship" a million units meaning there might be considerable pushback from retailers due to lack of demand.

good deal on Surface tablets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42193685)

Hopefully the price will fall to the floor so I can get my hands on one and throw Jelly Bean on it...

The Problem (4, Informative)

CastrTroy (595695) | about a year ago | (#42193709)

Most Honest reviews of the surface are actually pretty positive. I think the main problem is that it's $650 by the time you add the touch cover. And most of the reviews say you need the Type cover to get a really good experience, which is even more expensive. For the price you can get a decent ultrabook that runs all your old windows programs, and is about the same size. Only thing missing is touch, which although nice, isn't a must-have feature. Most people are probably awaiting the Surface Pro, if they are thinking of buying a surface at all, because then you can run all your old Windows Software. If you can't run your old software, you could just get an iPad or a Nexus 7/10.

Re:The Problem (3, Insightful)

NIK282000 (737852) | about a year ago | (#42193929)

I am one of the holdouts for the Pro but I did get my hands on the ARM version a few weeks ago at the only bloody MS Surface booth in Ontario. In the 5min I was holding it I managed to find everything I was looking for and didn't have any hiccups in responsiveness or performance. It is a shame that they are so late to the game but I don't think windows vista/7 would have worked as well in a tablet situation.
 
/not a shill, I just like MS hardware

Re:The Problem (1)

avandesande (143899) | about a year ago | (#42194011)

Just bought a decent full sized lenovo laptop brand new for 250$.... what are in these tablets that make them so expensive?

Re:The Problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42194345)

full sized

tablets

hurr durr

Re:The Problem (1)

sribe (304414) | about a year ago | (#42194189)

Most people are probably awaiting the Surface Pro,

BWAHAHAHAHA what a laugh!

if they are thinking of buying a surface at all

Oh. OK, I'll agree with that ;-)

Wasn't it only available online or in MS stores? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42193737)

I'm not about to buy a completely new product online without being able to see it firsthand and test it (especially from Microsoft, and especially when it's running a brand new OS with no service pack), and I'd never even heard of MS stores existing until the Surface was released (even though there's one in my city).

Seems like the failure was in marketing it, not in the product itself.

Re:Wasn't it only available online or in MS stores (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42194317)

I think I have seem more surface ads than I have seen for any other specific device in the past.

And I quote... (1)

BorisSkratchunkov (642046) | about a year ago | (#42193743)

debut slate

Debut slate for a surface tablet? The future potential is limitless and must be cultivated- tabula rasa, I say, gentlemen, tabula rasa.

This was to be expected (1)

Andrio (2580551) | about a year ago | (#42193749)

I can't seem to recall any *new* MS product in recent memory that was actually "successful" at launch. MS doesn't really care enough about that; they don't care if their new product loses millions and millions of dollars, for years even. Their strategy is to just endure it, because they have massive amounts of cash and can afford to lose it. Eventually their presence in a market will turn into some kind of growth, and even success. Kind of how it was with the Xbox. It's what they've been trying with Bing too, and then Windows Phone, and now Surface.

Part of me thinks this stratagy's effectiveness is starting to diminish though. The reason MS was able to afford throwing so much money at new products/services because their core businesses (Office and Windows) gave them effectively unlimited money to lose. But what happens when it's those core businesses that are under threat?

Re:This was to be expected (1)

Andrio (2580551) | about a year ago | (#42193789)

I worded this wrong. I should clarify, when I said "new product" I was referring to a new market they try to get penetrate, specifically.

Confusing the market (5, Insightful)

DigitAl56K (805623) | about a year ago | (#42193755)

The fact that after so many years of backwards-compatible Windows versions they launched their first tablet device with a desktop environment that wouldn't run anything other than Office was a huge "wtf" to me. So now in the first few months of it's life Microsoft have polluted the Surface brand as the little tablet that couldn't. I thought the Pro might still stand a chance in the face of this until I read the 64Gb edition would cost $900 and have a 4hr battery life. Ultrabooks, despite being slightly larger, seem to be much more capable for the same price. I don't know what Microsoft was thinking. They p'd off their hardware partners to launch this?

Re:Confusing the market (1)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about a year ago | (#42194183)

Ultrabooks, despite being slightly larger, seem to be much more capable for the same price. I don't know what Microsoft was thinking. They p'd off their hardware partners to launch this?

Emphasis added. Size and weight is a feature for people considering an ultrabook, much more so than performance (across the board, ultrabooks are relatively crappy performers). I can do plenty on 4hrs battery, and if worse comes to worse I can always recharge. For a larger ultrabook, there's nothing I can do to take away the size and weight.

Re:Confusing the market (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about a year ago | (#42194287)

MS is seeing Apple made gads of money on hardware. MS has enough money to weather a few cycles of poor hardware sales. The lesson of which is never assume MS will be a faithful partner.

New records at FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42193763)

Bye Slashdot!

Re:New records at FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42194003)

Slashdot used to be news for Linux users, but now it seems they've all left and Microsoft fanboys have taken their place. Since this is now a Microsoft fanboy site, I have to say Bye Slashdot too. I don't care how good a Microsoft product is, I'll never buy it. People expect me to buy Windows and Office and use Outlook/Exchange. If you step outside the Microsoft ecosystem you might like what you see, and you might enjoy the money you save.

Too Expensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42193777)

I went to the Microsoft Store, (yes it's just a rip off of the Apple store), and I actually liked the new tablets. They even have a keyboard attachment with real keys, instead of the default crappy one. The sales guy was telling me they should be selling far more, but price point was set too high.

Re:Too Expensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42193989)

I went to the Microsoft Store, (yes it's just a rip off of the Apple store), and I actually liked the new tablets. They even have a keyboard attachment with real keys, instead of the default crappy one. The sales guy was telling me they should be selling far more, but price point was set too high.

Was the (yes it's just a rip off of the Apple store) bit really necessary? Yes it looks like the Apple Store and that looks like the Sony Store, get over it.

Slate commercials (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42193851)

I have seen only two different commercials for the Slate.

The first one, the dancing, clicking one I do not mind. New product, people are overjoyed, very clicky. The commercial is overplayed, but the commercial is effective as getting customers/prospects to go look at the tablet.

The second commercial bothers me, the little girl using a paint application to "create" multiple painting, dancing around the room while doing so. Is this ad supposed to encourage me to buy yet another toy that is not as capable as the real thing? Come on, give the kid a set of water colors, pencils, or oil-paints; let her learn to use actual tools to create art.

I think MS has created a new thing, something that is slotted between a tablet and a laptop, but they need to explain why and how this benefits the customer, not come up with lame-oh ads.

moving parts? (1)

cyberworm (710231) | about a year ago | (#42193875)

I have to admit that I haven't actually tried one out, but having looked at the specs and seeing the advertisements for it, I think MS has missed what made somethign like an iPad somewhat convenient. That is, there are no moving parts or pieces to carry around or break. On paper it seems like a good idea to have a built in stand, but at the sizes they are talking about a thin piece of plastic and a tiny hinge are inevitably going to snap off/break, and then what? Add to that a keyboard (haven't we already seen how these things are falling apart at the magnetic hinge?) and the potential for something at this scale to be easily broken, and people are going to be turned off sooner than later. Where the other tablets have it right, is that there are no moving parts externally (or internally) to come unhinged, snap, break, fall apart, or otherwise create an issue. Though I guess that is what MS has ultimately been successful at: creating a service market, and not a well functioning product.

Re:moving parts? fragile? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42194005)

fragile?

You are complaining that a hinge on the back of a piece of glass might snap, you might give thought to what happens when an tablet/iPad/Surface falls from a height of more than 4 feet.

Your comment is based on not actually seeing a Surface or using one for a few days. yeah, it may break, but lots of people use laptops every day without being paralysed by the risk of something breaking due to the moving parts.

Duh (1)

deanklear (2529024) | about a year ago | (#42193883)

No 4g wireless. Less space than a laptop. Lame.

In all seriousness, Microsoft is failing because they have been busy abandoning their core principles since Windows 7 was released. I'm fine with experimenting with new interfaces, but you have to leave options for people who are comfortable with your old UI paradigm or no one will bother to make the transition if you're not in the same yuppie fanboy market as Apple.

Here's my advice, Microsoft: release 8.1, offer a "classic" shell, and stop pretending to be something you're not. If you lose your enterprise clients, you're going to be the next BlackBerry. Stop putzing around with internal C-level paranoid delusions and get back to work helping businesses accomplish their computing tasks.

Why is this a surprise? (3, Interesting)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about a year ago | (#42193903)

Surface has very limited geographic and retail distribution. It seems to me this is Microsoft's effort not to step on OEM partner shoes, who will be selling in Walmart, Best Buy, etc.

Beneficial for the desktop future? (1)

synapse7 (1075571) | about a year ago | (#42193909)

If you prefer a desktop UI on your desktop PC maybe it will be beneficial to the user experience in Windows 9 should the surface flop.

Too little, too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42193911)

I waited for the iPad mini and when it was not what I wanted, I waited for Surface too. And when it was not what I wanted, I bought 3 Android tablets and a new Android phablet too.

The concept of running the exact same applications on all of them reminds me again how Microsoft abandoned the same feature. Also, pushing apps down from the play store rocks.

RT/8/Pro (2)

solidtransient (883338) | about a year ago | (#42193921)

It doesn't help that they confused everybody with Win RT vs Win 8 as well as the fact that they told everybody that a better Surface (Pro) was coming a few months later.

Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42194065)

http://www.nelson-haha.com

the commercial makes it look like a toy, imo (1)

Nyder (754090) | about a year ago | (#42194133)

Okay, the commercial isn't helping matters, as far as I can tell.

While the tablet part looks great, the rest looks like a binder cover, and anyone that's every had a binder knows it doesn't stay nice and new looking very long.

and worse, look at the keyboard. While it maybe better then typing on a screen, it looks like a toy keyboard.

Then when the commercial is cutting out, you can see all the fingerprints on the surface of Surface, that there is the best use of Truth in a commercial. Because that is what you will get, a smudged up dirty tablet screen.

that being said, as soon as I can get a $100ish 10" tablet so I can read comic books in it, I'm down. That is the only real use i have for a tablet, while I'm sure i can find other uses, it's the only reason I want one, and it's not enough of an need to spend much more then $100 for it.

Still pretty succesfull. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42194151)

1 million a quarter is still $2 billion in revenue a year. Not so bad for a a product in only 20 or so stores. That is also greater than 5% of the company. What a total flop. This is a first generation product selling at 25% of the total imacs sold, for some comparison. It isn't an ipad, but this isn't no HP either.

Couldn't have anything to do with the price, eh? (2)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about a year ago | (#42194155)

Whatever dimwit argued that the Surface needed that "perception of value" should be fired, after being publicly humiliated and dressed like a duck while giving an apologetic speech on national TV. As a $249 loss leader distributed through Wal-Mart, it would have succeeded and at least gotten significant share while more expensive, un-lame versions with better displays, 4G, and so on. Microsoft can't compete on quality with Apple. What's left is either price, or a significant value add (e.g. free Verizon phone service for a year or free unlimited internet via some national hotspot company). Instead, they want.... more money. It's as if the effort was *intended* to fail.

Microsoft Marketing is a JOKE. (1)

Revotron (1115029) | about a year ago | (#42194273)

The Surface commercial was an absolute joke, so I'm not surprised the product itself is rapidly becoming a flop. Dubstep, breakdancers, romantic old people, and crunk girl scouts don't make me want to buy a tablet. The director should have stuck to directing Justin Bieber's music videos. Even if you have to spend all day pandering to shrieking preteens, at least there's money in it.

Underpowered, Overpriced, and lacking apps... (1)

haplo21112 (184264) | about a year ago | (#42194289)

...not backwards compatible with even current gen applications for Windows. The built in version of office isn't really fully baked yet by Microsoft's own admission. Not really properly supported for enterprise use yet. Surface Pro which will suck too, but at least have some measure of backward compatiblity and enterprise support will launch soon.

I can't for the life of me understand why its struggling.

Microsoft blew this one hard.

Hate to say I told ya so.... (1)

erp_consultant (2614861) | about a year ago | (#42194295)

I called this one right when they came out....http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3285997&cid=42159587

For the life of me I can't see what the fascination is with all these tablets. I got a cheap-o Touchpad when the fire sale was underway and all I ever use it for is watching movies on the plane. Mainly because it's got better battery life than my laptop and I don't run the risk of the guy in front of me leaning back and crushing my screen. My smartphone does all the mobile online stuff I need to do.

I was at the local Best Buy the other day and there is a big display of tablets..iPad, Galaxy, Fire and a Surface. Not a single person was looking at the Surface. Maybe the price scared them off, who knows. So I decide to check it out. Decent display, although not as good as the iPad or Nexus. Seemed responsive enough. Metro seemed kind of cool. But I doubt they sold a single Surface that day.

The market seems split between cheap tablets (Fire, Nook, Galaxy 7) and the iPad. Microsoft is trying to present the Surface as some sort of fusion between the tablet and the ultrabook. It has some nice features but they just don't have the cachet of Apple so they can't get away with selling it at that price. Then you have the lower end tablets selling for half the price, or less. The Surface just doesn't make the short list.

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