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Surface RT orders halved, Surface Pro coming to save the day

Microsoft may have halved its Surface RT tablet orders with the manufacturer if new rumors are to be believed, and it’s all down to poor sales. The news comes from sources working in Microsoft’s supply chain, and has been reported by DigiTimes, a publication which has close ties with the industry.

The report states Microsoft expected four million Surface RT tablets to sell before the end of the year, but things haven’t worked out as it hoped, forcing the company to lower its order quite drastically to two million instead. This comes after Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was quoted as calling Surface RT tablet sales “modest” during an interview, a point later clarified by Microsoft’s press team, who said Ballmer was talking about its distribution. Now though, this sounds even more like damage control.

If you can hear some thinly disguised sniggers, they’ll be coming from Acer, as it decided to cancel the launch of its own Windows RT tablets based on the lukewarm reception the Surface had in the press. Acer has been more than a little put out by the release of the Surface tablet, and has been one of the most vocal of Microsoft’s partners to come out against it, voicing concerns regarding manufacturing and pricing.

There could also be concern over at Microsoft that customers are holding off buying a Windows RT tablet – which has been designed to take on iOS and Android tablets — because they’re waiting for the Surface Pro. It’s quite a coincidence then, that the Surface Pro has been announced for a January release complete with a $900 starting price. Concerns over the Surface Pro’s battery life have already been raised though, as Microsoft says it will be half that of the nine-hour Surface RT.

Microsoft hasn’t released any official sales figures for its Windows RT tablets, but has recently boasted of Windows Phone 8’s success, stating the mobile OS has quadrupled in sales over this period last year. It looks unlikely the Surface RT will be spoken of so highly anytime soon.