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Surface Pro 128GB ‘sells out’ instantly, but customers aren’t buying it

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Check out our full review of the Microsoft Surface Pro tablet. 

For a company to successfully sell its latest gadget, it takes a lot more than merely having a good product. It also has to make sure there’s plenty of units in stock all across the country so fans can actually buy it. This is where Microsoft may have misstepped. Yesterday, the software-turned-hardware maker announced on its blog that it had almost instantly sold out of 128GB Surface Pro tablets, but is the sell out due to brisk sales, or lack of supply?

Nearly 100 customers have taken to the comment section of the Microsoft blog to vent their anger over the notion that the tablet has sold out (as of this writing). Some commentators report as few as “one device for show and one for sale” in Staples and Best Buy stores in their state.

“Like many others I tried to order online and in the stores,” said a commenter named Gormly. “At Midnight the website was still not showing for sale, I tried for 30 minutes then all of a sudden sold out online. Before they even opened for business all Best Buy show unavailable.  My 3 local Staples received 2 64gb versions each. Just two. There are 1050 Best Buy stores in the US, there are 1575 Staples stores, Staples seems to have received an average of 2-4 unit and best buy 6-8.” 

Other commenters were more harsh, calling for Microsoft to fire its PR team and the author of the blog post, Panos Panay, Microsoft’s General Manager in charge of Surface.

“I have been a faithful Apple customer since the launch of the Gen1 Iphone,” wrote a commenter named Ericinsales. “I have stood in lines for 4 different launches. These lines had several hundred people in them. Everyone of those people took home the model they wanted to purchase. I was never turned away. This was an Epic fail on your teams part …. This was a poorly executed launch and people should be fired. I am in sales and I understand the pressure MS is under, however this is no way to treat your clients. You guys failed and you need to own it. The limited response coming out of the MS camp does not cut it. You made us wait in anticipation for 3 months, you dropped the ball.”

Microsoft hasn’t been doing very well in its PR department lately. In the past few months, fans and the media have fumed about Windows 8 and Microsoft’s limited storage capacity in its new Surface Pro tablet, which the company has done little to curb tension over.

While Microsoft has not told us just how many Surface Pros have been sold yet, some estimate that less than 30,000 were in stock across Best Buy and Staples stores. Creating artificial demand is an age old tactic, but it’s never good to brag about a product being out of stock and allude to a nationwide sellout when you did not adequately supply stores. Some commentators report as few as “one device for show and one for sale” in Staples and Best Buy stores across their state.

We have not reviewed the Surface Pro just yet, but stay tuned as we hope to have our thoughts on it soon. Whether or not we love or hate it though, Microsoft is not having a great weekend. While a mistake in logistics is easy to correct, the real tragedy is the little we’ve heard yet from the company on its efforts to curb concerns from its customers. Microsoft should consider responding to its fans. If not, it may risk ruining any future the Surface Pro may have ahead of it.

(Image via Readwrite.com)