Microsoft sees "a few million" Surface tablets sold in coming year

Microsoft apparently has some fairly low goals in mind when it comes to the initial sales of its ecently revealed Surface tablet. Today, as part of his keynote speech at the 2012 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, the company's CEO Steve Ballmer told the crowd in Toronto that the goal is to sell "a few million Surface PCs" in the next year.

While "a few million" gives Microsoft some elbow room when it comes to the Surface's first year of sales, it also shows that the company doesn't expect the Surface to be a massive hit out of the gate. By contrast, Apple sold 10 million units of the first iPad during its launch year of 2010. Part of the reason for the low sales estimate may be that Microsoft has yet to state that it will sell the Surface at retailers other than its own Microsoft Store locations and online. That could keep the availability of the Surface very limited at first.

Microsoft may also not want to cut into the sales of its many third party PC hardware partners who will be coming out with their own Windows RT and Windows 8 tablets. As we reported earlier, Microsoft now expects the RTM versions of both operating systems to be ready by the first week of August, with a commercial launch in late October.

Via: ZDNet.com
Source: Microsoft Worldwide Developer Conference keynote

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HJohn, here is some news for you, you Microsoft hating loon. "FEW" could mean a lot of things. Likely as far as we know, MS may only be planning to make a "few million". Also, they could sell a "few million" moe devices than what you THINK it means. They could sell 5M which would be a few considering Dell sells 10M computers per year.
Here let me help you. They could sell 20M the first year and that could be consider quite a "few million".

What you asume that means and what it actually means is just stupid.
What it means TO YOU is Microsoft is sayign they will only sell a small amount. What it says to me is they expect to sell a few million and that the number could excceed it own expectations.

Maybe MS is just trying to be nimble. Microsoft has 1.2B users of Windows that are known. For a company that came into the business 5 years behind Apple, they kicked Apple's ass.

Apple has onluy sold 130M Mac's in its lifetime which can be considered a "few million" considering, Windows PC's sell at a rate of about 250M per year.

Dude, you seem to lack common sense.

a few million wouldn't be bad to sell right off I suspect it will be far more and it most likely will be made available in the Embers the big gift shopping time of the year and they wil have under estimated demand , a guess might be before Christmas Surface could be a viral sale Item of the year ..

Just never know, the demand is there now for this technology in mid range cost for sure .

^Agreed, though I'm more-over worried over market strategy, the majority rule for Apple's dominance, is the dependent rule of marketing (basically, simple, yet effective). With the wide range of devices marketed from commercial campaigning, the mass majority consists of techno/electronic genre, and flashy imagery surrounding the product, out of no completion of the profundity of the product. In my perspective, market strategy is the key to higher revenue/sales, and if Microsoft fairly accomplishes this task, I would say those predictable sale numbers might see a bit of a slight rise, statistically speaking.

Let's face it. Apple has a monopoly on its iPad line of products. Microsoft on the other hand needs to compete with its partners. However, if we are counting the OS here (in this case Windows RT), like you do on the iPad, than you can't just count the surface, but also the other tablet makers. I still have a feeling that Nokia will be a wildcard here that still needs to show its hands. I am expecting a surprise from Samsung also. So counting all these devices... I think the sales numbers will be in the 2 digits couple of million. And only then can you compare it with the iPad to conclude if it is a failure or not (windows RT devices, that is).

ramonsjc said,
It will be easy to sell millions of tablets. $399 for the RT $599 for the pro with a standard black keyboard.

I am very skeptical about your pricing.....

I very well could be wrong... but i see a "couple million" unit sales from a huge company that is "trying to launch a platform" as failure. For the people who think the "windows label" alone will sell the item you would figure it should sell tens of millions... I would assume it should sell well, but... not well enough...

rippleman said,
I very well could be wrong... but i see a "couple million" unit sales from a huge company that is "trying to launch a platform" as failure. For the people who think the "windows label" alone will sell the item you would figure it should sell tens of millions... I would assume it should sell well, but... not well enough...

they are launchine the platform, the OS. They are also releasing a product that will run that OS and be part of that platform just the same as the menu OEM partners that will launch theirs, all part of the same 'platform'. When you combine the figures a few million from only one device out of many is good, remember the iPad is one device, this platform will be many giving choice. A single device doesn't need to do megga well, so long as the platform as a whole does

you would be surprised by the amount of everyday people that go to a best buy or future shop or something similar wanting to buy a tablet with windows, these are gonna be big sellers for both Microsoft and oems alike.

Seeing how this isn't going to be a widespread release and limited to MS stores (retail and online) then a few million is the realistic goal. If a company meets it's sales goals or does better than them I'd say it's a success. No one expects to put up iPad numbers, it's been out for quite some time and people know it. Something new like the Surface has to build the brand up. Something like 2-4million to start off on this type of "restricted" release would be a reasonable start. You have to remember that the Surface is just a pair of Win8/WinRT devices in a larger group, to MS they don't have to sell 10-20million for the year on their own, that's why they have OEM partners. It's all about the OS licenses sold also.

Bottom line, MS sells a few million surface devices and then the other OEMs each sell a few million of their models and when you add it up at the end of the year you find out Windows tablets outside the iPad, I'd call that a success.

GP007 said,
Seeing how this isn't going to be a widespread release and limited to MS stores (retail and online) then a few million is the realistic goal. If a company meets it's sales goals or does better than them I'd say it's a success. No one expects to put up iPad numbers, it's been out for quite some time and people know it. Something new like the Surface has to build the brand up. Something like 2-4million to start off on this type of "restricted" release would be a reasonable start. You have to remember that the Surface is just a pair of Win8/WinRT devices in a larger group, to MS they don't have to sell 10-20million for the year on their own, that's why they have OEM partners. It's all about the OS licenses sold also.

Bottom line, MS sells a few million surface devices and then the other OEMs each sell a few million of their models and when you add it up at the end of the year you find out Windows tablets outside the iPad, I'd call that a success.


+1000

Apple sells 500,000 its a massive hit (not talking about iPad, just any product in general), MS sells a "few" million and its no big deal... love it

neufuse said,
Apple sells 500,000 its a massive hit (not talking about iPad, just any product in general), MS sells a "few" million and its no big deal... love it

like??? Show a product which sells only 500k and is a massive hit. Apple TV have sold more that 500k and is still considered failure by many apple fans.

Huh? Apple sells far more than that. Their marketing is incredible, and therefore their sales are really successful. Microsoft's marketing is terrible.

andrewbares said,
Huh? Apple sells far more than that. Their marketing is incredible, and therefore their sales are really successful. Microsoft's marketing is terrible.

That's because microsoft still thinks real companies don't have to market their products. Probably because so far it's been true.

NastySasquatch said,

That's because microsoft still thinks real companies don't have to market their products. Probably because so far it's been true.


All of that was meant to be sarcastic or a joke, right?

neufuse said,
Apple sells 500,000 its a massive hit (not talking about iPad, just any product in general), MS sells a "few" million and its no big deal... love it

Without giving context or naming a specific product, this is just an attempt to troll. Adding "just any product in general" means nothing. I don't understand how you can compare the sales of any Apple product to Microsoft Surface, i.e. multiple products in multiple markets to one product, to establish whether a product is a success or not. Regardless, as still1 said, perhaps you could name an Apple product selling 500K/year that is considered as a "massive hit"?

A "few million" sales in a year in the tablet market isn't substantial. But to be fair, that'll be enough to drive Microsoft's OEM partners to release great Windows 8 tablets too.

still1 said,

like??? Show a product which sells only 500k and is a massive hit. Apple TV have sold more that 500k and is still considered failure by many apple fans.


Just to prove you wrong, Album sales. LOL

As far as devices, I can't think of any.

NightCrawlerInfinity said,

Just to prove you wrong, Album sales. LOL

As far as devices, I can't think of any.


ha.. Albums are not Apple products. they are non apple creations

"While "a few million" gives Microsoft some elbow room when it comes to the Surface's first year of sales, it also shows that the company doesn't expect the Surface to be a massive hit out of the gate."

WTF? Seriously, John? You don't consider a few million units sold "a hit"?

No, John's correct. You have to compare sales to competitors, and what he did was valid.

Like if you looked at sales of a redesigned Honda Accord... it only sold 1 million in a year while a new redesigned Toyota Camry sold 15 million. The Accord would be considered a failure.

ahhell said,
"While "a few million" gives Microsoft some elbow room when it comes to the Surface's first year of sales, it also shows that the company doesn't expect the Surface to be a massive hit out of the gate."

WTF? Seriously, John? You don't consider a few million units sold "a hit"?

Well, after media is saying that Nokia selling around 2 million WP7 devices in the last quarter was bad and Nokia is doomed, selling just a few million tablets next year is deffinitely not a hit.

andrewbares said,
No, John's correct. You have to compare sales to competitors, and what he did was valid.

Like if you looked at sales of a redesigned Honda Accord... it only sold 1 million in a year while a new redesigned Toyota Camry sold 15 million. The Accord would be considered a failure.

Normally that would be true but consider this... if a company has only sold 100,000 a year at any given point and then they sell a couple million would you not consider that a success or even a hit? Normally you could say the competition but you have to in this context judge by the company's previous records.

ahhell said,
WTF? Seriously, John? You don't consider a few million units sold "a hit"?

It's all relative. At the end of the day it's competing with the iPad. You would expect Microsoft's dominance in the OS market to give it a huge advantage. I just hope it doesn't end up as the next Zune.

ahhell said,
"While "a few million" gives Microsoft some elbow room when it comes to the Surface's first year of sales, it also shows that the company doesn't expect the Surface to be a massive hit out of the gate."

WTF? Seriously, John? You don't consider a few million units sold "a hit"?


agree. And in that case, since Apple only sells 3MMac's per quarter, I guess that means it isn't a really big hit.

John is a troll. I never liek his articles. They are awlways anti-microsoft. What a hater.