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Microsoft hopes to boost Surface sales by expanding retail availability

post #1 of 57
Thread Starter 
A lack of retail presence is reportedly "killing" the Microsoft Surface, which has prompted the company to expand availability of its iPad-competing tablet beyond Microsoft's own stores.

Panos Panay, general manager of the Surface project, revealed that Microsoft's tablet will go on sale at North American retailers this week, according to The Telegraph. Availability is also expected to expand to third-party stores in Australia this month, while more countries will follow suit soon after.

No retailers were specifically named by Panay, but Staples separately announced it will begin stocking the Surface as of today.

Up until Wednesday, the Surface has only been available in Microsoft's retail and online stores, and there were signs that consumer interest in the Surface has been limited.

One survey conducted on Black Friday found that the Microsoft Store at Mall of America in Minneapolis saw 47 percent less traffic than the Apple Store across from it. While the Apple Store had an average of 17.2 items purchased per hour, just 3.5 items per hour were bought from the Microsoft Store, and none of them were of the new Surface tablet.

Surface


Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer made headlines last month when he said sales of the Microsoft Surface had gotten off to a "modest" start.

The Surface runs a new Windows RT operating system that cannot run legacy Windows applications. Windows RT is largely driven by the touchscreen-friendly Metro interface, though a traditional Windows desktop interface can also be accessed. Initial reviews of the device praised the hardware design, but the software was characterized as a letdown, particularly when compared to Apple's iOS ecosystem.
post #2 of 57
Right. Because up to now, anyone who wanted a Surface couldn't buy one.

/s

Of course, they hope retail shoppers will confuse it for a real Intel PC and buy one.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #3 of 57
Translation: "We made a HUGE mistake in initially only allowing the Surface to be sold in our stores."
Edited by Gazoobee - 12/12/12 at 7:28am
post #4 of 57

They finally made that big a$$ table fit in your hand, and people still don't want it. Well I guess it can take up shelf space at your local retail stores.

post #5 of 57

Ah yes, THIS has been the problem, availability in other retailers! They must have been hearing from many retailers of hordes coming in asking for Surfaces. I NEED A SURFACE! WHERE ARE THEY!?
 

post #6 of 57

What's wrong with MS's strategy???

 

Everything!

"...The calm is on the water and part of us would linger by the shore, For ships are safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."
- Michael Lille -
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"...The calm is on the water and part of us would linger by the shore, For ships are safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."
- Michael Lille -
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post #7 of 57
I think they are borrowing from Android's handbook... pump out stock to thousands of retailers and let the world know how much product you've shipped instead of how much product you SOLD to consumers.
post #8 of 57

Tells you something about the success of their own stores.
 

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post #9 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by macminiwii View Post

They finally made that big a$$ table fit in your hand, and people still don't want it. Well I guess it can take up shelf space at your local retail stores.


Soon... a free Surface tablet with every couch, washer, dryer, stove... whatever... that you buy.

 

Maybe they'll rebrand it with a cheap sticky label so that people won't know it's a Surface.

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post #10 of 57
funny, the story a couple weeks ago was they were cutting orders by half. And now they are expanding its retail presence. Translation: They have a a ton of excess inventory to move and they need to get it in front more eye balls in a hurry
post #11 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheUnfetteredMind View Post

Ah yes, THIS has been the problem, availability in other retailers! They must have been hearing from many retailers of hordes coming in asking for Surfaces. I NEED A SURFACE! WHERE ARE THEY!?
 

LOL. You mean you haven't seen those long lines outside of retail stores for this thing. Surely you jest!..lol.gif

This tablet is never shown in "Portrait" mode lol.

post #12 of 57

I work with a guy who is anti-Apple and prays to the Microsoft gods.  He pre ordered 2 and was bragging how wonderful they are, and how innovative Microsoft is with their smart keyboard.

 

Last week I asked him if he still liked the Surface.  He had already returned them.

 

If people like him are returning it, Microsoft has bigger problems than "Modest Sales"

post #13 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by AJMonline View Post

I work with a guy who is anti-Apple and prays to the Microsoft gods.  He pre ordered 2 and was bragging how wonderful they are, and how innovative Microsoft is with their smart keyboard.

 

Last week I asked him if he still liked the Surface.  He had already returned it.

 

If people like him are returning it, Microsoft has bigger problems than "Modest Sales"

Wow. This is serious for MS this may be another ME, Vista problem

post #14 of 57

Welcome to the Microsoft Surplus.
 

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post #15 of 57
I think that in another 6-12 months Microsoft is going to be forced to come to terms with the very painful reality that their phone and tablet strategy has been a complete failure. At that point, MS will have to swallow its pride and accept Apple's app store terms in order to sell Office on iDevices. Otherwise, MS will be totally cut out of the future of growth in the personal computing market. Maybe this can only happen with Ballmer being fired.

My hope is that MS will also decide to stop just living off their past successes and actually start trying to make some killer apps for the 21st century. For example, Microsoft Word is an app designed primarily to create documents that will be printed on paper. That's so last century! What we need are apps that are as easy to use and widely accessible as Office but that are aimed at creating content for tablets and the web.

The 1980s version of MS would have been one of the first companies to make first class apps for the iPad (MS was there early for the Mac, even though MS sold DOS at the time). That was because Bill Gates was smart enough to realize that it would take years for MS to catch up with the Mac, and that in the meantime, the best way to learn how to copy the Mac was to write software for it. Ballmer has done the exact opposite and he's failing miserably.
post #16 of 57

I think they're following the Blackberry Playbook's playbook. Soon it'll be a firesale and all the "analysts" will declare it a success and the iPad's days are numbered.

either that or "ET: The Game" will have company in a landfill somewhere.

post #17 of 57
So, Microsoft will try increasing its sales by increasing the number of stores that do not sell the Surface?

Hilarious! 1biggrin.gif
post #18 of 57
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post
Translation: "We made a HUGE mistake in initially only allowing the Surface to be sold in our stores."

 

I love it. It's the exact opposite problem Apple had at the exact same time last decade.

 

Microsoft can't sell anything when it's in their own stores. Apple couldn't get anything sold when it wasn't in their own stores.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #19 of 57

Another thing... these  cant count as sales as long as they sitting in a Microsoft store, but if they push them out into the channel of Best Buy and etc, doesn't that count as sale even if no ones buy it?

post #20 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkichline View Post

I think they are borrowing from Android's handbook... pump out stock to thousands of retailers and let the world know how much product you've shipped instead of how much product you SOLD to consumers.

You're right. There aren't any Androids sold. They are all sitting in the shelves, in the warehouses, in the boats, in the planes, in the assemblers warehouses, ... anywhere, but not on the street.

 

It's very well known that only iOS devices sell. But please, do continue spreading the word.

post #21 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by macminiwii View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheUnfetteredMind View Post

Ah yes, THIS has been the problem, availability in other retailers! They must have been hearing from many retailers of hordes coming in asking for Surfaces. I NEED A SURFACE! WHERE ARE THEY!?
 

LOL. You mean you haven't seen those long lines outside of retail stores for this thing. Surely you jest!..lol.gif

This tablet is never shown in "Portrait" mode lol.

 

I have yet to see an ad showing the Surface actually being used to do something! (clicking, swiping and dancing aside)

 

How about an ad showing the wonderful productivity using Word or Excel?

"...The calm is on the water and part of us would linger by the shore, For ships are safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."
- Michael Lille -
Reply
"...The calm is on the water and part of us would linger by the shore, For ships are safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."
- Michael Lille -
Reply
post #22 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

What's wrong with MS's strategy???

Everything!

Or nothing, as they don't seem to have one!
Quote:
Originally Posted by macminiwii View Post

LOL. You mean you haven't seen those long lines outside of retail stores for this thing.

I though those were the return lines.
Quote:
Originally Posted by macminiwii View Post

Wow. This is serious for MS this may be another ME, Vista problem

At least they are still in their comfort zone, this being familiar terrain and all.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post

I think that in another 6-12 months Microsoft is going to be forced to come to terms with the very painful reality that their phone and tablet strategy has been a complete failure. At that point, MS will have to swallow its pride and accept Apple's app store terms in order to sell Office on iDevices. Otherwise, MS will be totally cut out of the future of growth in the personal computing market. Maybe this can only happen with Ballmer being fired.

God I hope not. Nothing better than a gold old Ballmer Bashing thread!
Quote:
My hope is that MS will also decide to stop just living off their past successes and actually start trying to make some killer apps for the 21st century. For example, Microsoft Word is an app designed primarily to create documents that will be printed on paper. That's so last century! What we need are apps that are as easy to use and widely accessible as Office but that are aimed at creating content for tablets and the web.

The 1980s version of MS would have been one of the first companies to make first class apps for the iPad (MS was there early for the Mac, even though MS sold DOS at the time). That was because Bill Gates was smart enough to realize that it would take years for MS to catch up with the Mac, and that in the meantime, the best way to learn how to copy the Mac was to write software for it. Ballmer has done the exact opposite and he's failing miserably.

It is indeed strange that a company doing, more or less solely, software and yet don't release anything useful. They seem to be so lost it's embarrassing to watch. I wonder how its employees feel, with the companies failure after failure. Do they get payed so much it's still enticing to stay there?
post #23 of 57

The MS supporters I've talked to are ALL holding out hope for the PRO, but they also hedge their bets with comments like "Samsung's Pro Tablet versions are already out and are fantastic".  From what I've gathered, the Surface and really all Windows based tablets are nothing more than a small screen laptop meant to be used in landscape mode using a keyboard and mouse - and that's a positive that you can connect any of the 400 million usb devices to it.  Great...

post #24 of 57
NOW they think of this

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #25 of 57
How idiotic was the decision to sell it only in their stores? How many do they have, a couple dozen at most?
post #26 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by AJMonline View Post

I work with a guy who is anti-Apple and prays to the Microsoft gods.  He pre ordered 2 and was bragging how wonderful they are, and how innovative Microsoft is with their smart keyboard.

 

Last week I asked him if he still liked the Surface.  He had already returned them.

 

If people like him are returning it, Microsoft has bigger problems than "Modest Sales"


Wow. Anecdotal, but wow. My classmate is going to buy one next month. The Pro. Can't wait to see his assessment (he may like it).

post #27 of 57

Because selling it at a lot more places would have been a good thing.

post #28 of 57

The first obvious question is why MS didn't distribute the Surface RT through all the retail chains from the start to drive sales. with a reported initial production of 2 million, they certainly had plenty. or was the actual number made much smaller than that?  i think that is likely true. and in any event, they had to get it into the market in time for the crucial Holiday season, ready or not.

 

it is hard to believe that even MS thought it could sell large numbers via its own 60 retail stores and web orders only. new products need hands-on try outs. but maybe MS wanted to use the Surface launch to pull more people into its retail stores because they aren't as busy as hoped. i think that is likely true too.

 

it is certain MS believed there would be stronger demand for the Surface RT, thanks to their massive ad budget if no other reason. they are obviously blind to its basic flaws that limit sales, or they would not have allowed them (same is true for Windows 8), and must have imagined its mere "newness" would have propelled it ahead of Android tablets at least for the not-iPad market.

 

the only reason i can think of, tho, for the iPad-level pricing - which makes it impossible for the Surface to complete with Android tablets for the not-iPad market - is MS assumed it had a solid base of millions of MS fans who would pay extra to be "early adopters" of this hot new MS product. and then it could drop the price next year. could even MS think the Surface RT would compete well head-to-head with the iPad itself? are they that self-delusional in Redmond?

 

and lastly, they didn't see the iPad mini coming - which turned out to be the "RT Killer."

 

the one MS viewpoint that would unify all of the above is that of the "marketing guy" that runs MS - Ballmer. wow, what a strategic genius.

post #29 of 57
They should put a red ring on it. It's Microsoft hardware.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #30 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

NOW they think of this

The pent up demand for the Surface and Windows RT was going to drive people into their stores, didn't you know? "If Apple can make people line up for product launches," Microsoft figures, "hey, why can't we? We're Microsoft!"

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #31 of 57

and next comes the Surface Pro. a high-priced half-ultrabook half-tablet gadget for power users who want to run the full Windows 8 OS with a touch UI only on a hand-held device.

 

except almost none of the third party desktop Windows apps they actually need to use are ready for a small screen touch UI, and won't be for quite a while. but it's got Office!

 

why MS believes anyone will buy this utterly crippled device instead of a W8 Ultrabook with a touch screen for optional use when it's handy ("best of both worlds") is beyond me. but i'm pretty sure about who insisted on it:

 

Bill Gates. jamming "full Windows" onto a tablet has been his fantasy for 10 years, and the Surface Pro is his wet dream.

 

So there we have it. the Surface RT is Ballmer's marketing-driven vision/boondoggle, and the Surface Pro is his protector's Holy Grail/last gasp.

 

this dynamic duo is more Gomez/Fester than Batman/Robin. when is the MS Board going to finally revolt? (or .... never).

post #32 of 57

Dear clueless douchecopters at Microstupid:

 

Get a clue. 

 

"Availability" is not your problem. It's "lack of interest."

 

(as you slide even further into irrelevance.)

post #33 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by macminiwii View Post

LOL. You mean you haven't seen those long lines outside of retail stores for this thing. Surely you jest!..lol.gif

This tablet is never shown in "Portrait" mode lol.

 

That is a GOLD comment there. GOLD, you hear me? GOLD!
post #34 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by macminiwii View Post

This tablet is never shown in "Portrait" mode lol.

I wonder if that means it doesn't have ClearType technology:

http://tamsppc.tamoggemon.com/2007/07/24/cleartype-and-landscape-mode-why-it-cannot-work/





post #35 of 57
has anyone tried surface? It's horrible. It's not usable. Apple wins.
post #36 of 57
Maybe Big Lots will carry them soon for $99.
post #37 of 57
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

[...] Windows RT is largely driven by the touchscreen-friendly Metro interface, though a traditional Windows desktop interface can also be accessed. [...]

 

Actually, you're forced to run in the "traditional Windows desktop interface" (essentially Windows 7) when you use Office RT.  Microsoft couldn't or wouldn't create a true touch-friendly version of Office for Surface.  The result is a disaster: Windows 7's interface was brought over just for Office, and you can't install any other apps for the "traditional Windows desktop interface."  No, that desktop exists only for Office RT.  Because it was the quickest, dirtiest way to get Office on to Surface.  A hideous kludge.

 

Microsoft is staying 100% true to form.  They push out something, anything, just to check that box off their marketing to-do list.  Then they cross their fingers and hope that they can fix everything by the 3.0 release.

 

(Source: Windows 8 desktop mode, Office 2013: touch-unfriendlyhttp://www.osnews.com/story/26327)

 

 

Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

[...] Initial reviews of the device praised the hardware design, but the software was characterized as a letdown, particularly when compared to Apple's iOS ecosystem.

 

 

Ironic.  Or is it?

 

Everyone thinks that Microsoft is a software company.  The "-soft" in their name implies as much.  But Microsoft is really in the Windows + Office business.  And they've focused so much of their corporate energy on maintaining Windows + Office market share that they never learned how to (profitably) develop anything else.  Maybe they just didn't want to.  Because if they had successfully forked Windows into a tablet version, it might have cannibalized legacy desktop Wintel PC sales.

 

And Microsoft has coasted on Intel's decades-long flogging of the ancient x86 architecture.  No need to optimize your code if you know that next year's Intel CPU will be fast enough to hide your sloppy programming.  All well and good as long as Intel keeps up with Moore's Law.  Until, of course, your entire hardware + software + services business model is disrupted by mobile.  Now, Microsoft is stuck with bloated legacy code that will be difficult or impossible to optimize for ARM-based low-power devices.  They've hit the wall.

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post #38 of 57
Ctl - Alt - Delete - Steve Bummer
post #39 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

I love it. It's the exact opposite problem Apple had at the exact same time last decade.

Microsoft can't sell anything when it's in their own stores. Apple couldn't get anything sold when it wasn't in their own stores.
Are u sure Apple can't sell anything outside their own stores? Seems to me their sales is healthy everywhere.
post #40 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

I wonder if that means it doesn't have ClearType technology:
http://tamsppc.tamoggemon.com/2007/07/24/cleartype-and-landscape-mode-why-it-cannot-work/



No, silly: the subpixels automatically rotate so ClearType magically works in portrait mode!

/s

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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