Microsoft may have a good reason for not disclosing sales numbers for its Surface Windows RT; general concensus is that it is selling quite slowly. One estimate suggests that only one million were sold in Q4 2012. One factor working against the Surface is its relatively high cost – it starts at US$ / CA$ . The upcoming Surface Windows 8 Pro tablet will likely face a similar challenge with its price starting at US$999/CA$1019. That does not mean that Microsoft is ready to give up on the Surface. Calling it “one part of the overall Windows 8 story,” it instead plans to offer more models covering a wider number of price points.
Asked about goals for the Surface on yesteray’s earnings call, Peter Klein, Microsoft’s CFO, said:
Our goal is to continue to build that business to highlight the incredible power of Windows 8 in an interesting set of devices. We are going to expand geographically. We are going to expand the product line up. We are going to expand retail distribution and capacity. So we look forward to continuing the growth of that business.
He later added that Microsoft was looking to offer “a greater variety of devices at a bigger variety of price points.” No further details were given about these future devices. earlier rumours have suggested we could see three new Surface models including a smaller Surface RT 2 with an 8.6-inch display, a larger Surface Pro model with an 11.6-inch display and a “Surface Book” with a 14.6-inch display and a 22nm Intel “Haswell” chip. At first glance, only the first appears set to have a lower price point than current models, sugesting that Microsoft may look to its hardware partners to drive down the cost of Windows tablets while the Surface ones remain more of a premium device.