Microsoft is yet to release some official sales figures for the Surface RT, the company’s first tablet in history, but analysts and retailers around the world reveal that the device had a pretty slow start.MKM Partners analyst Israel Hernandez estimates that Microsoft sold a total of 1 million units of the Surface RT, but emphasized that its overall sales performance is rather disappointing.
The limited distribution and the lack of support for legacy Windows 8 applications are cited as the two main reasons for a very weak debut, according to Hernandez.
“We believe Surface RT, the ARM-based tablet running Windows 8, has been nothing short of a disappointment, given an uncompetitive price point relative to lower cost tablets such as the Kindle Fire and iPad Mini, a flawed rollout and distribution strategy, a lack of compelling applications with no backwards compatibility with x86-based Windows applications, and consumer disinterest in the new touch-based interface,” he told Barron's.
Surface RT sales, on the other hand, may also be affected by the imminent launch of the Surface Pro, the second tablet in the Surface family that’s going to run Windows 8 Pro with support for desktop applications.
The device is expected to be released in weeks, according to Panos Panay, the man in charge with the Surface division at Microsoft, as production has already started.
The Surface with Windows 8 Pro will be sold in two different models, with pricing to begin at $899 (€675) for the 64 GB version. A second flavor with 128 GB of storage will cost $999 (€750), according to pricing information released by Microsoft in December.
Even though the Redmond-based tech giant is yet to announce the release date for the Surface Pro, our sources have hinted that Microsoft plans to debut the device on January 29, together with some other new products, including the Office 2013 productivity suite.