BY | December 16, 2012

It may be shocking for Microsoft and equally sad news for Windows 8 fans. But the reality is the fact that Surface RT tablet sales is going down while Google Nexus 7 and iPad Mini sales boom

Microsoft’s Surface tablet was expected to be a roaring success in the market. And why not, it was coming loaded with Microsoft’s much needed Windows Office –though truncated –and given the fact that it was in huge demand by everyone who preferred to do some or the official work from his or her tablet, this was certain to succeed.

But alas, things don’t really go in one single direction as we expect them to move. We can presume anything about the tastes of people, but the final arbiters are people themselves and not the people at the helm of huge conglomerate.

For Redmond based software giant it was a rude shock out of the slumber and shock was so much devastating that the company was forced to reduces the number of Surface RT tablets that it had ordered its OEM partners by as much as 50 percent. The supply chain data suggest that this drastic step was taken because of the fact that sales were almost sluggish and there was no chance of it going up if basics didn’t change.

Microsoft had originally estimated that they would be selling 4 million units, but now they have reduced the order to their OEM partners to 2 million units. Analyst suggests that Surface tablet is not bad in performance or value but sales related issues contributed in dipping the sales down. The entry-level Surface RT costs you $499 without the membrane keyboards. If you add the keyboard in your specifications then it would cost an additional $100. That means the minimum you need to spend in order to get the complete Surface experience is $599, a $100 more than the cheapest fourth-generation iPad. Many would consider this optional keyboard as unique aspect of the tablet which gives both hybrid tablet/PC experiences. Many analysts feel that functionally it’s a good additional feature but the pricing (an extra $100) is not worth and eventually would turn down lot of people off.

One thing that has gone against the Microsoft’s Surface RT tablet is the fact that surprisingly, the RT cannot run many mainstream Windows software though Windows RT as it is nearly identical to Windows 8.  Windows RT is a pared down version of Windows 8. Windows RT can run only whatever apps are available on Microsoft’s app store. There’s no Facebook. No Twitter. No Dropbox, Angry Birds, Spotify, or Pandora. Developers go where the money is and above all where users are, and there simply aren’t enough people using Windows RT right now to draw them in. Even if they were there they wouldn’t be able to make enough money, so the economic concerns don’t really make any sense for them to work hard and lose on their work.

On the other hand after analyzing web trafficking data, Chitika Insights (search-targeted advertising network and research firm) found that the company’s rivalry such as Google Nexus, Samsung, Apple are generating more web trafficking  then that of Microsoft Surface users. The recent announcement of Microsoft to increase its sales base its Surface tablet at Staples and Best Buy, the US retail Outlets could be the reaction to the low sales. As the data suggests the low sales base could be the reason for the depressed sales. In addition, the company has also indicated that other retailers in UK may start selling it besides Microsoft own outlets and website. Also it will be sold at the same price at what Microsoft retailers are selling.

The move can be considered as strategic initiative and may achieve what it intends to by allowing other retailers that will lead to more physical interaction of customers with the tablets and hence good experience will turn into purchasing. Overall if Microsoft manages in modifying current price points and value offered to consumers and enlarge the sales base then certainly help in filling Microsoft’s pocket.

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  • joe taylor

    Windows tablets and phones will never catch on the way Android has..