Microsoft’s handling of the rollout of its new Surface Pro tablet has been criticized from the very first day it hit stores in the US and Canada early last month. Many outlets, as well as Microsoft’s online store, sold out of the 128GB Surface Pro by lunchtime on launch day, with many customers who’d been waiting patiently in line from early morning complaining that sellers had hardly any devices in stock from the get-go.
Even now, Microsoft’s online store is showing an out of stock notice beside the 128GB Pro device.
And now it looks as if potential customers outside of the US and Canada are beginning to lose patience as they wait for some meaningful news on availability of the Surface Pro in their respective locations.
In a blog post Thursday titled Broadening the availability of Surface RT and Surface Pro that may as well have said Some useless information about when those outside North America might or might not see the Surface Pro, Microsoft offered few details regarding rest-of-the-world availability.
“Many people have left comments here on our blog asking about Surface Pro availability in other countries beyond the US and Canada,” the post says, building expectation that we might, nearly nine months after it was first unveiled and almost a month after it launched in North America, get some concrete information about its launch in other locations. But then: “We are happy to be able to tell you that Surface Pro will be heading to Australia, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, New Zealand and the United Kingdom in the coming months. We will follow-up with another blog post with more details.” Great.
“…in the coming months…” – about as useful as a Touch Cover without a tablet. The post also mentions something about a “phased approach” to the rollout of the RT and Pro versions of the Surface tablet “beginning in late March.” The lack of clarity has evidently riled many would-be customers, with the post’s comments section filling up with mostly negative responses.
Consumers just want clear, honest information, but Thursday’s vague announcement is anything but, with many of those interested in the Pro tablet likely turning their attention to the competition instead of choosing to wait and wait and….
Below are just a few of the comments from the Surface blog post:
UK-based Nigel wrote, “Too little, too vague, too late! If there’s no specific date for UK release by the end of next week, I’ll have to give up and move on. Can neither afford nor be bothered to keep waiting with no end in sight.”
dkNigs said, “Sorry but this launch has been absolutely pathetic, and now you make the exact same availability announcement a month later?”
tinRobot: “I need it now; I’m going to Europe for six weeks at the end of March….it appears I’m left with no choice but to buy another manufacturer’s tablet.”
KayTannee: “Please sort this out MS….I’ve started looking at other options, its just a shame that most the other x86 tablets are terrible. *Sigh*”
Gaburko, meanwhile, sums up Microsoft’s announcement perfectly: “Someone of the surface team woke up and decided to post something totally confusing on the blog and then went back to bed.”