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Businesses Handhelds Microsoft Hardware

Microsoft Makes Another "Nearly Sold Out" Claim For the Surface Line 262

Posted by timothy
from the superficial-seems-about-right dept.
Microsoft made some confident sounding claims about sales of its first-generation Surface tablets before it became clear that the tablets weren't actually selling very well. So make what you will of the company's claim that the second version is "close to selling out." As the linked article points out, the company has "fallen short of offering any real explanation as to just how “close” to selling out the Surface 2 and Pro 2 really are – nor have they indicated how many were on hand to order in the first place."
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Microsoft Makes Another "Nearly Sold Out" Claim For the Surface Line

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  • Who cares about? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by faragon (789704) on Sunday October 06, 2013 @01:53PM (#45051925) Homepage
    Metro interfece is nice, but useless without software.
    • by AliasMarlowe (1042386) on Sunday October 06, 2013 @02:02PM (#45052003) Journal

      Metro interfece is nice, but useless without software.

      Microsoft interfeces? Sounds like shitty interfaces to me!

      • Re:Who cares about? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by girlintraining (1395911) on Sunday October 06, 2013 @02:08PM (#45052043)

        Microsoft interfeces? Sounds like shitty interfaces to me!

        They are still bitter that they had the idea for a tablet long before Apple, but when they announced it, it was to a big yawn. When Apple did it, everyone pissed themselves like excited dogs, and then when Microsoft tried again... everyone said they stole the idea from Apple. Microsoft usually can see the train coming long before it arrives. For some reason though, they rarely manage to get on the train. Execution and follow-through has always been a problem for the organization; Especially now that the CEO is a dancing monkey-man who knows the price of everything but the value of nothing.

        Kind of sad, really. Apple continues to gain marketshare and is making more money with it's 1 out of 8 people using Apple products than Microsoft is with 7 out of 8 using their OS. How incompetent do you have to be to lose when you've got 8 times the marketshare? :\

        • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Sunday October 06, 2013 @02:15PM (#45052093) Homepage

          Microsoft usually can see the train coming long before it arrives.

          Microsoft's train of thought is still boarding at the station.

          • Microsoft's train of thought is still boarding at the station.

            I'm not sure their thinking process [prostockdetectors.com] qualifies as a train. I'd say that looks more like the rail equivalent of the short bus.

            • How far can this train metaphore express itself?
              • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 06, 2013 @02:54PM (#45052349)

                I'm not sure, but the end of the line must be coming soon.

                • I'm not sure, but the end of the line must be coming soon.

                  Meanwhile, Balmer was seen walking nearby, complaining about how this stairway never seemed to end, and how poorly designed it was because the banister was so low.

                • by Dupple (1016592)

                  Not until they have moved their proprietary software to another platform...

        • by rjstanford (69735) on Sunday October 06, 2013 @02:25PM (#45052175) Homepage Journal

          They are still bitter that they had the idea for a tablet long before Apple, but when they announced it, it was to a big yawn.

          Having the idea is, sadly, the easy part (and Microsoft was far from the first - check out Sun's future doodles from a few decades ago). Its getting all the pesky details right and having a solid combination of hardware, software, and demand that's tricky. That's what Apple is far better at than the current Microsoft.

        • by Capt.Albatross (1301561) on Sunday October 06, 2013 @02:34PM (#45052241)

          Microsoft usually can see the train coming long before it arrives.

          In my reading of its history, Microsoft has spent a good deal of its existence catching up with one train or another. Two notable examples: GUIs and the internet.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by linebackn (131821)

            Microsoft usually can see the train coming long before it arrives.

            In my reading of its history, Microsoft has spent a good deal of its existence catching up with one train or another. Two notable examples: GUIs and the internet.

            That is what it looks like in retrospect, but to put it metaphorically, Microsoft was already on a different train hoping it would take them where THEY wanted to go.

            In the case of the Internet, they were on the train headed for making their proprietary MSN service the one true ultima

            • MSN was after Microsoft already had the idea of the internet. See "The Road Ahead" for a demonstration of how badly they missed it.
              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by Anonymous Coward

                You need to go back farther than that. .- They bought DOS from that guy in Seattle. Well, what would later become DOS anyway, still not their product to start with .- The GUI came from Xerox PARC, but they actually "stole" it after Apple had licensed the thing and worked with MS to make software for it. .- They bought Word, Excel and PowerPoint from other companies.

                MS cash cows were not their products to start with... though they've "refined" them over the years, improved the integration between the product

                • by inicom (81356)

                  Just thought I'd add to that: Microsoft had Xenix before DOS. They were on the Unix car and jumped off.

        • Re:Who cares about? (Score:5, Informative)

          by mysidia (191772) on Sunday October 06, 2013 @02:57PM (#45052365)

          They are still bitter that they had the idea for a tablet long before Apple, but when they announced it, it was to a big yawn.

          ATT ran a series of advertisements in the early 1990s [youtube.com]. In which they featured a pen-based computer "sending a fax from the beach" and a computer in a car giving turn-by-turn directions.

          Before the advent of modern cellular technology, wireless data, and GPS.

          Apple started working on the Newton in the 1980s, and the product was released 1998-ish. Years before Microsoft had the idea of the Tablet PC in ~2000.

          There were a number of simplistic tablet-like devices and PDAs that came out in the 80s, as well, from various other manufacturers, such as the "Pencept", the so called "Pen computing" fad; the GRIDpad, the Momenta pentop, NCR 3125 Pen computer, HP OmniGo 100, DEC Lectrice, Palm Pilot.

          • by Scoth (879800)

            Microsoft released Windows for Pen Computing somewhere around Windows 3.1 (1991ish?). The Pen addons continued through the 9x releases. Granted it's not really a tablet initiative by Microsoft personally, but they dabbled in it. It worked reasonably well, and was a full real copy of Windows. They pretty much suffered the same limitations as later Tablet PCs (and today's tablets), though. Mousing was great, any sort of data input was a giant pain and pretty much required an addon keyboard.

          • Re:Who cares about? (Score:5, Informative)

            by RR (64484) on Sunday October 06, 2013 @04:56PM (#45053025)

            Apple started work on Newton in the 1980s, released it in 1993, and discontinued it in 1998.

            But the idea for tablets has been around since computers gained user interfaces. The most famous is Alan Kay's Dynabook [wikipedia.org] from 1972.

            Pen-driven and portable computers come in waves. There was the GRiDPad generation in the 1980s (roughly ending with Windows for Pen Computing). There was the EPOC generation in the 1990s (from which we get the Microsoft product, WinCE). There was the TabletPC generation, promoted by Bill Gates but sabotaged by the Office division. Now we're in the iOS and Android era.

          • To be fair about the GPS thing, it was operational by 1993 (ads are 93-94) and given the success of LORAN, it was pretty clear that the ability to precisely locate one's self would be extremely useful to civilians (though this was before Clinton declared that it would officially be a "dual use system"). Toss in a little bit of Moore's Law and it was reasonable to expect that it wouldn't be too long before you could store road information, compute a route, render it in real-time, and synthesize audio to desc

        • Re:Who cares about? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by RMingin (985478) on Sunday October 06, 2013 @03:03PM (#45052399) Homepage

          You know, I keep hearing this, but MS's vision for tablet computing was very, very different. I actually owned several examples of MS's tablet PCs, and then owned a first gen iPad. I now have a Nexus 10, in case anyone wondered.

          The Tablet PC (TPC) was big, heavy, had horrible battery life, and almost always was a convertible laptop as well. They pictured the laptop becoming a portrait orientated clipboard lookalike, with the full processing power, heat, noise, etc of the laptops of the day.

          Apple launched the iPad and it was thinner, lighter, cooler-running and longer-lasting than any major laptop of the time. Laptops were just starting to hit the 5 pound mark and still be usable, iPad was around 1 pound. laptops were still pushing 15-16" displays very hard, the iPad was right around 9 inches diagonal. Laptops were generally between 1 and 2 hours run time, the iPad did anywhere from 8 hours on up, depending on how you had power management set up.

          Sure, the broadest strokes of your statement are true. Microsoft announced tablet PCs years before Apple and everyone yawned. However, it wasn't (only) because it was from Microsoft. It was because the idea was premature, and the MS version we were sold sucked rather hard.

          • by mysidia (191772)

            The Tablet PC (TPC) was big, heavy, had horrible battery life, and almost always was a convertible laptop as well. They pictured the laptop becoming a portrait orientated clipboard lookalike, with the full processing power, heat, noise, etc of the laptops of the day.

            That's what the technology was capable of the time --- you needed the CPU power, to run the applications, therefore you needed all the thermal management that comes along with it.

            Apple's tablet came at a later time, when CPUs had greatly

          • by Scoth (879800)

            with the full processing power, heat, noise, etc of the laptops of the day.

            This was where they failed for me. I had a couple different Fujitsu Stylistics, and overall I loved it. OneNote was great for notes, and had pretty decent handwriting recognition. I could run any Windows application, and overall it did great. I could sync notes across devices and access them anywhere. It was pretty impressive stuff for ~2000. But the big downfall was the jet engine fan and battery life. I'd be in a quiet classroom or office meeting, and the fan would kick on. I'd get That Look from people a

          • by Kjella (173770)

            That's still not counting the biggest reason it sucked so hard and that was that it had a touchscreen but it wasn't designed to use with your fingers. I had one demonstrated to me and there was hardly anything you could get done without the stylus because the interface required pinpoint precision, which made it more like a laptop with a very awkward mouse. As far as I can recall it wasn't multi-touch either which was fine for the stylus but means you couldn't do pinches and stretches nor fast typing. I reme

        • Re:Who cares about? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Bert64 (520050) <bert@noSPam.slashdot.firenzee.com> on Sunday October 06, 2013 @03:51PM (#45052699) Homepage

          The problem is they are too tied to the idea of tying everything to windows...

          They put windows on a tablet, and the interface of both the os and its applications were unsuitable for tablets, making them awkward to use and thus undesirable. Apple didn't tie their tablet to osx, they made a different systems designed for a touch interface and it sold.

          Similarly microsoft refuse to accept that windows is a poison pill, they seem to think that people love the brand and will buy anything thats branded as windows when in reality they are more like an incumbent monopoly telco - they have lots of customers in their core market because they are seen as the only game in town, but they are almost universally despised and people will actively avoid them when they have a choice.

          Windows is associated with crashing, unreliability, complexity and malware... Users now believe that these are inherent and unavoidable problems in the computer market, and don't want to bring these problems to their phones.

          • Re:Who cares about? (Score:4, Interesting)

            by FireFury03 (653718) <slashdot@nexus[ ]org ['uk.' in gap]> on Monday October 07, 2013 @03:33AM (#45056489) Homepage

            The problem is they are too tied to the idea of tying everything to windows...

            They put windows on a tablet, and the interface of both the os and its applications were unsuitable for tablets, making them awkward to use and thus undesirable. Apple didn't tie their tablet to osx, they made a different systems designed for a touch interface and it sold.

            Apple *did* use an existing platform on their tablets: iPhone OS. If they had come out with a tablet with a brand new platform then it probably would've been a flop - having no third party software would've been a big problem.

            What Apple did was create the iPhone - originally this ran *no* third party software at all (hell, even though it was marketted as a smartphone, it really wasn't - there were a very limited selection of built in apps and it didn't do many of the things people had come to expect from a smartphone). What they did get right was that they were about the first phone to incorporate a decent web browser - that appealed to the masses, even though the lack of "normal" smartphone features made it not appeal to a lot of the usual smartphone demographic.

            People started to jailbreak iPhones so they could build third party software, and a few years down the line Apple created their appstore and allowed official third party applications. By the time they started selling the iPad, they already had a big following of iPhone fanboys and a huge library of third party apps - these are the things that made the iPad worth having.

            Android tablets are basically the same story - by the time they became available there were already a *lot* of happy android phone users and a big library of third party software. When you're happy with your phone, buying a tablet that runs exactly the same OS and can run all your favorite apps is a much lower risk than something that is completely unknown to you.

            Similarly, MS have always wanted to keep their existing users and existing third party software library when they release a tablet - if they release a tablet with a brand new OS (which people are therefore not familiar with, making buying the device a bigger risk for them) and no third party software then they aren't going to sell well... which is *exactly* what they are seeing with Windows RT.

            MS's problem is that they completely missed the boat with phones, so now they have no "popular" platform to shove on a tablet except Windows itself, which is completely unsuitable. They also seem to be foolishly muddying the waters by using the "windows" brand on Windows RT, despite it not being at all compatible with Windows... I guess they're hoping they can sucker a few people into buying an otherwise unknown OS by misleading them to believe its something they are familiar with.

        • by Lumpy (12016)

          Because apple did it right.

          Honestly Microsoft tried the tablet 5 times before then and screwed it up every single time. Granted the first time back when Windows 3.1 for pen computing came out it was a technology problem.

          But everything that microsoft does is half assed, unless they BUY someone elses product and sell it as their own.. Like the Xbox.

        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          If Microsoft's attempt at a tablet wasn't so abysmal, people would have bought it. They're just not that good at interfaces.

        • by gtall (79522)

          "They are still bitter that they had the idea for a tablet long before Apple", not really. They took a thing that had no keyboard and bunged window onto and then expected people to use it for...what precisely? Apple took a small energy sipping processor and combined it with an app store and a gui that didn't smell like dog's breath.

      • by lennier1 (264730)

        It's actually the best description I've seen in a long time.

  • by master_kaos (1027308) on Sunday October 06, 2013 @01:54PM (#45051929)
    Nearly sold out! But the 1 was sold to Ballmer, as an expensive coaster.
    • Yea, I thought manufacturing was supposed to scale with demand, which is why almost no other companies make announcements every time a batch is consumed.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      Actually, Microsoft should give Ballmer a gold-plated Surface when he retires, and then retire the brand. "Good-bye, Mr. Ballmer, and please take your Surface with you." The Surface 1 & 2 were Ballmer's. The Surface 3, which is probably in development now, would also be his. The new CEO should just scrap the Surface 3 plans, and start again.

      Pick a small team of the best and brightest Microsoft hardware and software engineers, and task them with creating an astonishing new product. This must have s

  • by DavidinAla (639952) on Sunday October 06, 2013 @01:55PM (#45051943)
    Given the fact that Microsoft has shown a willingness to badly mislead on this subject, the company has zero credibility about it. It's possible they're being completely honest and accurate about it this time, but since we've seen them lie (or "mislead" to put it charitably) before, how can we know? This is common for many, many companies, but when a company starts down this road, we lose the ability to trust anything they say in the future.
  • If anything, a good marketer is worth her weight in gold. A story I once heard about the importation of fabric from India (Madras fabric, although no one in what was once called madras knows it as such.. it's just fabric there...) that it was cheap and durable, but the colors bled something awful when washed. Customers were returning clothing made from this fabric in droves for the "defect" of fading. The industry was losing their asses and turned to a marketer.. who turned it around by marketing the fad

    • by bitt3n (941736)

      If anything, a good marketer is worth her weight in gold.

      If that's so, why aren't the morbidly obese more employable?

      • by geoskd (321194)

        If that's so, why aren't the morbidly obese more employable?

        Because they are not very good at marketing. Duh.

    • Yes, a great marketer is an useful asset. For some reason, Microsoft has managed to miss the boat, train and pretty much every other bit of transport when it comes to selecting a marketing plan. "You make a grown man cry" (Windows 95). Dozens of confusing names - Surface, Surface Pro, Surface RT, Windows RT, this, that. Dozens of confusing Skus. Zune brown. ** Any ** consumer oriented Microsoft advert.

      It's not that Apple is so polished marketing wise, it's just that Microsoft continuously manages to s

  • They would never lie to us.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by asmkm22 (1902712)

      I'm actually getting really tired of this type of comment. I see it pretty much every time a company or government is involved in the story. Yeah I get it; you can't trust them. Can we move on now and stop fishing for easy mod points with obvious posts?

      • by sjames (1099)

        It may seem obvious to you, but then the fanbois and apologists show up and prove that it's less obvious than you would hope.

        • Re:We can trust them (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Alef (605149) on Sunday October 06, 2013 @03:10PM (#45052443)

          I don't know, to me it's about as predictable and unnuanced as a so called fanboi comment. I read it as a satirically formulated straw man argument in support of a cynical standpoint that one should put absolutely zero trust in anything a government or corporation says. A standpoint which I find rather disingenuous.

          Certainly they could lie to us, but most likely they are not. For whatever reason, many corporate leaders and politicians seem to adhere to a curious ethic where blatant lies are shunned, while deception or dishonest interpretations are perfectly okay. There is a difference between the two, because the latter can help you penetrate and understand what they are really saying. If you look at the carefully selected wordings of public statements, you can often get a clue as to what they are actually avoiding to say, instead of just dismissing everything as "lies".

          Just to give you an example from recent public discourse: When a big cloud service provider says something along the lines of: "we have not given the NSA direct access to our servers", they are probably speaking the truth. Assuming that, it suddenly tells us something about how the NSA actually has been spying; namely by intercepting the traffic between the servers, possibly on site. Otherwise, the company would probably have said "we have not given the NSA direct access to our data centres", or something similar. The key is what they are not saying, and what words they are using.

          In this particular case, some obvious question would be: How many surfaces were manufactured? Are we talking about all of them, or a first (perhaps small) batch? How should we quantify "close" (to selling out)? With the correct interpretations to these questions, they are probably not lying.

      • by spire3661 (1038968) on Sunday October 06, 2013 @02:37PM (#45052261) Journal
        We keep repeating it because other morons keep forgetting it.
  • is the best kind of correct.

    I know someone who has been sued many times over the years. Normal course of business this and that.
    Told me he "never lost a lawsuit". That is because he settled all of them out of court for undisclosed sums.
    So technically he is correct. He never lost a lawsuit.

  • Sell it for $300 and let me run Android on it. No fair refusing to open up your hardware information to the community. I dig the form factor, but I hate the OS.

  • by Tom (822)

    It's almos as if they were fishing for ridicule. Are you guys sure there isn't a whiteboard somewhere in MS marketing where they track the scores of who can make the most ridiculous statement and still be taken seriously by at least some media?

    • Re:really? (Score:4, Informative)

      by JWSmythe (446288) <jwsmythe@@@jwsmythe...com> on Sunday October 06, 2013 @02:50PM (#45052329) Homepage Journal

      Nah, they're doing just like they always do.

      When they say "Windows 19 sold 14 trillion copies" before the release, what they really mean is that they sold most of the inventory from the manufacturer warehouse to vendors. For example...

      BestBuy has something like 2,900 retail stores.
      Walmart has about 10,130 stores.

      That's 13,130 stores. At 100 units each, that's 1.3M units shipped. Every one of them was sold, as they've been sold to the stores. Not a single one is in the hands of a consumer yet.

      They don't indicate the batch size. On the first edition, they had an overstock of 6M units, so we could assume the batch was about 8M. 1.3M shipped to the above two vendors. 0.7M to other vendors. 6M unsold, because the vendors never moved them all.

      On this version, if they only produced 1M, they would be 0.3M under, creating this artificial lack of supply. If they can hype it up, and people buy out what's already been shipped to vendors, the vendors will order more. They could probably get 2M sold to consumers, from the perceived inability to get one.. Consumers are dumb. They'll say "oohh, they're almost sold out! I need to get one while I can!"

      • Re:really? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by RespekMyAthorati (798091) on Sunday October 06, 2013 @03:25PM (#45052515)

        Consumers are dumb. They'll say "oohh, they're almost sold out! I need to get one while I can!"

        That's what MS believes. I don't think it works anymore.

        • by Kjella (173770)

          I think it's more about playing the stock market, it sounds so much better when you're sold out by slightly undersupplying the market even if it doesn't bring in more sales - perhaps even a bit less as people pick something else instead. "Almost sold out" sounds more like "we really wanted to give you the news that it was sold out but people bought fewer than our lowballed estimates so we're saying they almost sold out" at this point.

        • by Andy_R (114137)

          Try adding the words "Potential Microsoft Surface" to the front of that sentence and it works a bit better...

        • by Tom (822)

          Consumers aren't dumb. They are just individuals with limited resources up against a multi-billion dollar marketing machine (with a software department attached).

          It's like going against an aircraft carrier battle group in a rubber boat with sticks.

      • by geoskd (321194)

        Consumers are dumb. They'll say "oohh, they're almost sold out! I need to get one while I can!"

        at those prices, consumers are a lot more discerning than MS thinks. That's why they fail almost every time they try. The upper limit of consumer stupidity is (in my experience) around $200-$300 USD. anything more than that is beyond the amount of money people are willing to spend on an impulse buy. People coughed up a ton for the iPhone because they needed a phone anyway, and could justify the higher price tag because the difference fell below that magic threshold. The iPad was something of an anomaly, an

        • by JWSmythe (446288)

          You're absolutely right. They have been attempting to break into the market since "Windows Pocket PC", "Windows CE", and "Windows XP Tablet PC Edition". The one thing they're failing to recognize is that consumers work on very strange rationale. That's how Microsoft really took over the consumer market to start. "oohh, it comes with this new buzzword "Microsoft".". Apple and Android currently own the small device market. Not long ago, Blackberry owned the phone portion, but their fai

  • My car is also almost sold out! In fact, its no longer on the market due to forecast internal demand. Wow! It must be amazing1111!!!!1!

  • All our hard work has paid off! Those channels are more stuffed than ever before.We'll deal with the buyback clause quietly in a quarter or two.

  • Microsoft Kin (Score:2, Interesting)

    by bmo (77928)

    Remember the Kin?

    I do.

    You don't? Never seen one in the wild?

    I've never seen one in the wild either, just like I haven't seen any kind of Surface (RT,Pro,Pro2) in the wild either. Sold out, eh? Sold out as in "pushed into the channel by threatening our customers over discounts for other things"?

    The Kin is sitting in the landfill, on top of the concrete covering the pile of Lisas. It may soon have company.

    --
    BMO

    • by bitt3n (941736)

      Remember the Kin?

      Microsoft missed a great marketing opportunity when, following the demise of the Kin, they failed to call their next mobile offering "The Next of Kin"

  • There are some features they should really consider adding that would make it blow away an iPad for utility:

    • USB host port -- Yes, a HOST port. Sure would be nice to attach a mouse or printer if you want. OH WAIT, they did. It's a full size USB 3.0 port.
    • SD card slot -- OH WAIT! It has that too. It's a micro-SD and a full size would be nicer, but still: removable storage.
    • Video out port -- OH WAIT! It has THAT too. Damn. You need to buy an adapter to convert it to a standard HDMI connector. No idea why
    • by Dracos (107777)
      • Apps.

      Maybe. This is MS after all; outside of XBox, they have absolutely no clue how to market to consumers.

    • by Arker (91948)

      How well documented is the hardware?

      If Microsoft builds enough they might wind up going real cheap here in another year or two. If there are free drivers the things might be worth picking up then.

      • Surface 2 - your typical mess of binaries for this and that characteristic of ARM.
        Surface Pro 2 - typical ultrabook hardware, so it should be relatively well supprted.

    • All of which are available in a ASUS tablet, at a much lower price.
      • by Holi (250190)

        Which is the reason Microsoft is making the Surface in the first place. Do you really think they care if they lose a billion dollars on the hardware if it increases demand for windows 8 devices?

      • >All of which are available in a ASUS tablet, at a much lower price.

        This. The 'second tier' manufacturers are making the same hardware with the same silicon for a lower price with sane interfaces and you can run your choice of OS on them.

    • DisplayPort is better than HDMI, and in practice mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter are only slightly more expensive than micro HDMI to HDMI.

      • by H0p313ss (811249)

        DisplayPort is better than HDMI, and in practice mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter are only slightly more expensive than micro HDMI to HDMI.

        Absolutely, I've got 2550x1440 monitors using display port, try doing that with HDMI

      • 'better' is subjective. HDMI's ubiquity cant be ignored.
    • by Morpeth (577066)

      Don't confuse the iZombies and MS knee-jerk haters with facts or information... they don't like that. Seriously I wish CmdrTaco was still here, there used to be some editorial objectivity back in the day. Now it's just 'post any MS article for automatic mod ups' .

    • Well, as you pointed out, it has that and it hasn't been selling.

      For me those things don't really matter...

      USB - I can print just fine with AirPrint. Mouse... I vaguely remember seeing one of those last decade.

      SD card slot - There's an adapter, but why bother when I can just use WiFi hard drives and WiFi SD cards?

      Video out port. As long as I'm buying an adapter, what's the difference in buying an adapter for the iPad versus another for the Surface? I've rarely used mine since AirPlay is much easier.

      What

  • Microsoft Stats (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Mondor (704672) on Sunday October 06, 2013 @02:38PM (#45052263)

    Microsoft is well known for juggling with stats. As an example - their stats of Windows Phone popularity in UK.

    Here is an oversimplified example: There are 100 devices on the market, 70% are mine, 5% are yours. I sell 60, he sells 30, you sell 20. What is your market share now? 11.9%. There is no word about the cap that market has for your devices.

    So, while you are selling less than anyone, your market share grew twice for the period, bigger than of anyone else (perhaps because for Android such growth would mean gaining 140% of the market share).

    The point is - if you produce 10 tablets and sell 9, then perhaps you sell more tablets that Apple, if counted in percents. But your stats are miserable when counted in real units. Microsoft relies on percents more and more over the years, refusing to provide real numbers, and I can't help but to conclude that they are trying to play big, while being in trouble.

    • Early demand more accurately estimated this time --- few units produced, therefore, the few that sold of the first batch, are almost all of them; OR: bulk of units artificially delayed for second shipment in order to increase the chance of a sellout
    • A small number of units were labelled "Surface2"; the rest of the batch is labelled "Surface 2" [Revision B]; When we say 'almost sold out' "we're not including the Revision B units, just the Surface2 [base]"
    • A deal with a 3rd party is negotiated
  • because every time anything is posted about MS, it's just an echo chamber here, umpteen useless uninformative posts about how evil, bad, etc MS is (and usually how awesome Apple is). I don't even know why /. bothers to post any MS articles, the comments are the exact same every time -- pointless with no value.

  • The one shipped out was returned. That was all they made. This is a bit different than Apple who counts actual sales to end users... 9,000,000 iPhone's sold in the first weekend. But not sold out. They're still making more for next week.

  • They have a double-digit purchase of the devices and it will be no surprise that the Microsoft people gave them a GREAT deal per unit.

    I don't know a whole lot about tablets nor do I care but I test drove one for a while. My nearest experience comparison is with the Android/Play marketplace. If you are an Android user, the interface doesn't have any surprises.

    What's hilarious is the almost empty "marketplace." The only thing in it were apps written by the few companies Microsoft hasn't managed to crush or alienate. Of the few apps in the marketplace, imagine single-digit reviews being a heavily reviewed/downloaded application.

    The buyer was promised special "support" because so many (double digits!!!!) were bought, but that was an epic waste of the buyer's time. Eventually someone determined to use the thing found someone at Microsoft that knew something about the devices. It wasn't in support, that's for sure. There are apparently a large number of undocumented features essentially paving the way for an "enterprise tablet" inside the Microsoft ActiveDirectory/groupware-whatever jail.

    I've got a negative bias because I don't "get" tablets. Me, personally, it's not even close to the Android ecosystem and the blinky tiles do nothing for me. Judging by how many tiny promises were broken and time wasted for the buyer and almost empty marketplace the device is doomed. Microsoft could keep it going though just to say they've got a tablet.

Never put off till run-time what you can do at compile-time. -- D. Gries

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