The Surface is Microsoft’s first tablet in history, but it doesn’t really matter that much because Windows 8 plays a more important role for the Redmond-based technology company, thinks Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix.
The PC industry is also critical for Microsoft, as millions of devices running Windows 8 are estimated to be sold next year. So “it kind of doesn’t matter how successful Surface is. But it does matter a lot if Windows 8 successful,” Hasting told Dow Jones reporters and editors according to AllThingsD.
“They’ve got 350 million PCs that will be sold next year, and they’ll all have Windows 8 on them. So there’s a huge installed base for people to write Windows 8 applications. And then that kickstarts the application cycle that makes it valuable,” he explained.
“Surface is a tactic to spur people on, to get Windows 8 really successful,” he continued.
Microsoft is yet to release official sales figures for the new Windows 8 operating system, but according to sources familiar with the matter, company executives already call it a disappointing product.
CEO Steve Ballmer said in a public statement that Microsoft managed to sell 4 million Windows 8 upgrades in just a single weekend, pointing out that many more are expected to be sold before year-end and in early 2013.
The Redmond-based technology company, however, blames the collapsing PC industry for Windows 8’s slow sales debut, as it claims that the lack of devices running its new operating system prevents consumers from making the move to the new OS.
Users, on the other hand, suggest that it’s the major GUI update that affects sales of the operating system, as plenty of them actually find Windows 8 confusing. Windows 8 is the first Windows version that dumps the traditional Start Menu in favor of a brand new Start Screen.
“So, as the company succeeds with Windows 8, that takes away a big fear — if they do. And if they don’t, it’s a different battle,” Hastings concluded.