updated 07:22 am EST, Thu November 29, 2012
Microsoft reported to have cut Surface RT orders in half
Upstream supply chain sources have revealed that Microsoft has reduced its orders for the Surface with Windows RT by half. If true, it dovetails with comments made by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer who revealed that the Surface RT had achieved 'modest' sales' on launch. Although there were signs of sell-outs on launch, it is possible that users are taking a 'wait and see' approach, particularly as the launch of the Surface with Windows Pro is looming.
As we detailed in our four star review of the Surface RT, the 10.6-inch touchscreen device offers an innovative approach to the tablet space by attempting to create a genre bending device that is a hybrid of a tablet and a notebook. It achieves this by combining a unique touch-capable keyboard cover with a dual UI that features a traditional Windows desktop combined with a more tablet friendly live-tile UI.
Unlike tablets powered by Intel x86 processors that run a full version of Windows 8, an ARM-based Nvidia Tegra quad-core processor clocked at 1.3GHz powers the Surface RT. It is also incapable of running legacy desktop applications for Windows, although Microsoft has bundled a free version of Office 2013 RT to help users make the most of the Surface RT in notebook mode.
At a shareholder meeting yesterday, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer admitted that his company could have been "more proactive"in addressing the tablet space after the Surface RT was launched nearly a full two years after the iPad hit the market. While Ballmer told stockholders that "We see nothing but a sea of upside," as it moves forward with its current strategy of making both software and hardware, its first device may not be faring as well as its internal projections may have indicated.