As far as Windows 8 tablets go, Microsoft’s Surface seemed like a hit. It sold out in less than a day on Microsoft’s online store. Since then, there’s been no sign as to how well the device is performing, until yesterday when Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer spoke on the record about its performance.
Speaking to French daily Le Parisien, Steve Ballmer said that sales for Surface “are starting modestly.” Ballmer attributed the slow sales to the fact that Surface is only available through the company’s own online store and its relatively few retail stores in the US. Beyond the initial broad statement, Ballmer refused to go into exact sales numbers.
Ballmer did address the supply shortages consumers saw in the first week, and said it was a good sign. Microsoft is now working to fix its supply problems, but said that an increase in capacity was always part of its strategy. The company had reportedly ordered five million units, and had hoped to sell them all within the fourth quarter. It’s not known if modest sales equate to five million units, but we’ll know for sure once Microsoft releases its fourth quarter earnings results.
Of course, a lot of consumers are waiting on the Intel-powered Windows 8 Pro Surface before they buy into Microsoft’s tablet/laptop hybrid. Ballmer told the paper that the Windows 8 Pro Surface will be launching within three months of the Windows RT Surface. He didn’t mention a price, but he said in the past that the price would be comparable to that of an Ultrabook.
It could be argued that the potential high price of the Windows 8 Surface could turn off a lot of consumers, but the same things were said about the $499 price tag of the Windows RT Surface. We’ll just have to wait and hope that Microsoft comes in under $1,000 on its potentially more popular Surface model.[h/t: CNET]