Microsoft Wastes $1.5 Billion (€1.1 Billion) on Windows 8 and Surface

The company’s advertising efforts don’t seem to pay off

Back in October when Microsoft officially released the new Windows 8 and the Surface RT, the company also started what it called “the biggest advertising campaign ever,” with a budget of $1.5 billion (€1.1 billion) prepared just for marketing purposes.

Fast forward one month and a half and we get plenty of unofficial statistics that point to a disappointing sales performance of both the Surface RT and Windows 8.

According to research firm NPD Group, sales of Windows devices dropped 21 percent after Windows 8’s debut, while sales of Windows 8 units accounted for only 58 percent in the same timeframe.

If we are to trust the analysts, it’s not all about advertising, as Microsoft has clearly struggled to let everyone know that Windows 8 and the Surface RT are alive and kicking.

When it comes to the Surface, the lack of distribution is killing the product, market researcher DFG said, while pricing is also playing a decisive role when it comes to buying a new tablet. Microsoft needs to cut $200 (€150) off the Surface price to make sure that it sells well in the next months.

“Lack of distribution is killing the product. [The lack] of retail exposure at Best Buy and others is severely depressing sales,” the firm said.

And according to the latest rumors in the industry, Microsoft has already acknowledged that limited distribution has significantly affected tablet sales, so it plans to use third-party stores to expand into new markets.

As for Windows 8, Microsoft claims it has already sold 40 million copies in the first month on the market, although some sources familiar with the matter have hinted that its new OS actually missed internal sales projections.

Of course, we don’t know for sure whether the 40 million units sold actually match internal sales projections or not, but statistics prove that Windows 7 took off a lot faster than its successor.

In the end, one thing is for sure: Microsoft’s marketing blitz, the one supposed to generate 1.6 billion impressions, is yet to pay off. And without any sales figures, everyone in the industry has no other option than to agree with this.

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