Microsoft CEO Admits Surface Sales Only “Modest”

Everywhere you look these days you find ads for the Microsoft Surface, the company’s ambitious tablet-laptop combo. But perhaps it’s not clicking as much with consumers as the company hoped. In an interview with French newspaper LeParisien, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said sales thus far have been “modest.”

Despite the fact that Microsoft has blanketed the airwaves, magazines and more with Microsoft Surface ads–and the fact that the company has opened many pop-up stores to help push this device–shoppers now seem to be lukewarm on it after some early buzz and brief inventory shortages.

In our Surface review, we liked the industrial design of the slate, as well as the innovative Touch Cover keyboard. However, we also expressed concerns about the lackluster app selection in the Windows Store, as well as the confusion that comes with dealing with two different interfaces in the Modern UI and traditional desktop.

In the same interview Ballmer touted the impending arrival of the Windows Surface with Windows 8 Pro. That version of the device will offer a more powerful Core i5 processor and full HD screen, but it will also weigh a heftier 2 pounds, compared with 1.4 pounds for the fourth-generation iPad and 1.5 pounds for the Surface with Windows RT.

Ultimately, limited distribution could be hurting Microsoft the most. Yes, you can buy the Surface online, but the only place you can try one out in person is at one of Microsoft’s own stores. To really move the needle, Microsoft would likely need to go back on its promise not to compete head to head with its own partners in Best Buy and other retailers. And that would not sit well with companies like Acer, which already told Microsoft to “think twice” about bringing out the Surface.




AUTHOR BIO
Mark Spoonauer
Mark Spoonauer
Responsible for the editorial vision for Laptopmag.com, Mark Spoonauer has been Editor in Chief of LAPTOP since 2003 and has covered technology for nearly 15 years. Mark speaks at key tech industry events and makes regular media appearances on CNBC, Fox and CNN. Mark was previously reviews editor at Mobile Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc.
Mark Spoonauer on
Twitter Google+
LEAVE A REPLY
Name*
Email* (will not be published)
Website
*Indicates required field
Comments*
Submit Comments

  1. Joe Says:

    This article is misrepresenting the interview that Ballmer had in France. Ballmer said that Microsoft’s approach to Sales distribution were modest (exclusively to Microsoft Stores and the Online store).

FIND A REVIEW
Laptops
All Product Types Accessories Cars Digital Camcorders Digital Cameras eReaders GPS Laptops MP3 & Video Players Projectors Smartphones Software Storage Tablets / MIDs VoIP Wi-Fi
All Subcategories
All Subcategories All-Purpose Budget Business Desktop Replacement Gaming Multimedia Netbook Nettop Rugged Student Tablet PCs Ultraportable
Brand
Acer Alienware Apple Archos ASUS Averatec BenQ CTL Corp. Dell Digital Storm eMachines Emtec Everex Fujitsu GammaTech Gateway General Dynamics Getac Gigabyte Hercules HP HTC iBuyPower Intel Lenovo MSI Nokia Nvidia OCZ OLPC OQO Origin Panasonic Sager Samsung Sony Sylvania Systemax TabletKiosk Toshiba Verizon Viewsonic Viliv VooDoo Workhorse PC ZT Systems
Minimum Rating
Any Rating Editor's Choice 4.5 Stars 4.0 Stars 3.5 Stars 3.0 Stars
Screen Size
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 4 5 6 7 8 9
Resolution
1024x576 1024x600 1024x768 1200X800 1280 x 720 1280x1024 1280x768 1280x800 1366x678 1366x768 1440x1050 1440x900 1600x768 1600x900 1680x1050 1680x945 1920x1080 1920x1200 800x400 800x480
Weight Range
10.1 - 12.0 pounds 12.1 - 14.0 pounds 14.1 - 16.0 pounds 2 lbs 2 pounds and under 2+ lbs 2.1 - 4.0 pounds 4.1 - 6.0 pounds 6.1 - 8.0 pounds 8.1 - 10.0 pounds Over 16 pounds Under 2 pounds
more options
SUBSCRIBE