Surface sales left out of Microsoft milestones, but they simply can’t hide

microsoft surface sales with windows rt

Microsoft positioned its Surface tablet as a direct competitor to the iPad when it initially launched late last year, and, as witnessed by an aggressive ad campaign that features the Surface and iPad going head-to-head, Microsoft really wants to create a dent in iPad sales. However, it’s actually been the other way around.

Microsoft launched a new website yesterday that focuses on some of the company’s milestones as far as numbers and statistics of its products and services are concerned. Microsoft features such achievements, like how many Xbox consoles have been sold, how many Windows 8 licenses have been sold, the number of Outlook users, and even how many minutes people spend on Skype. The Xbox 360 has arguably been one of Microsoft’s most successful products to date, being the best-selling gaming console in the U.S. for over two straight years now. However, one product missing from the wall of milestones is Microsoft’s Surface tablet.

This isn’t too surprising, though. Microsoft has been rather mum about Surface sales ever since the launch of the tablet lineup last year. Then again, in its SEC filings for the fiscal year ending June 30, the company recently revealed that it raked in $853 million in revenue from the Surface since its launch. Just from that number alone, we were able to calculate an estimate of how many Surface units Microsoft sold between mid-October of 2012 and the end of June. Just using an average selling price of $500 per tablet gives us 1.7 million Surface tablets sold in total, and that’s being quite generous, considering that Microsoft also has the Surface Pro, which starts at a whopping $900.

To compare 1.7 million Surface tablets sold to iPad sales, Apple ended up selling 14.6 million iPads during the last quarter alone, and this is actually down from 17 million iPads a year ago. Furthermore, when Apple launched its new iPad and iPad mini last fall, the company sold more tablets in just a few days than Microsoft has sold Surface tablets altogether since its initial launch last year.

But $853 million in revenue just from the Surface alone seems pretty good, right? Not exactly. That number isn’t counting the $900 million loss that the company took due to Surface “inventory adjustments,” and that’s also not counting the massive amounts of cash that Microsoft probably spent on advertising for the product – we’re guessing those Surface vs. iPad commercials weren’t cheap, nor were those choreographed dancing numbers.

So, does this mean that the Surface will go down as one of the biggest technology flops in recent years? Sales-wise, it certainly seems that way, but the Surface is a quality product, and it was merely brought into the world during a time when other tablets have already taken over the market. It could be a mixture of bad luck and the way Microsoft marketed the tablet initially, but hopefully the second-generation Surface will be able to turn some more heads.


Exclusive: The Surface Hub 2S will revolutionize work. Here’s how it was made

Exclusive interviews with the designers, futurists, and visionaries behind the Surface Hub 2 paint a dramatic picture of how Microsoft thinks collaboration will change your office.

Amazon strikes $100 off the price of Microsoft Surface Go tablets

If you've been eyeing Microsoft's Surface Go for its compact size and portability, now may be a great time to buy the tablet. Amazon has a $100 discount on the Surface Go, bringing the price of this slate down to just under $400.

Microsoft reveals details of Surface Hub 2S, coming in June at $9,000

The Surface Hub 2 could be the most expensive whiteboard ever made, but it should be a powerful and capable one. With the ability to connect several of the 50-inch displays together, the picture at least, should be gorgeous.
Product Review

You won't buy Microsoft's Surface Hub 2S, but it could still change your life

The Microsoft Surface Hub 2S wants to change the way you collaborate at work. That’s a lofty goal most devices fail to achieve, but the unique Hub 2S could be an exception. And trust us – you’re going to want it.

Meet the mastermind behind Microsoft's massive new Surface Hub

Microsoft Chief Product Officer Panos Panay gives us an exclusive peek at the 85-inch Surface Hub 2, and explains how innovation and collaboration will transform your workplace.

Report says 20% of all 2018 web traffic came from bad bots

Distil Networks published its annual Bad Bot Report this week and announced that 20% of all web traffic in 2018 came from bad bots. The report had other similarly surprising findings regarding the state of bots as well.
Emerging Tech

How emotion-tracking A.I. will change computing as we know it

Affectiva is just one of the startups working to create emotion-tracking A.I. that can work out how you're feeling. Here's why this could change the face of computing as we know it.

Learn to uninstall a Steam game and clear some space on your PC

Looking to learn how to uninstall Steam games? You've come to the right place. In this guide, we walk you through the process step by step, whether you want Steam to do it for you or handle the process manually.

Sweet 16: Wacom’s Cintiq 16 pen display makes retouching photos a breeze

Wacom’s Cintiq pen displays are usually reserved for the pros (or wealthy enthusiasts), but the new Cintiq 16 brings screen and stylus editing to an approachable price. Does it cut too much to get there?

Mueller report releases on CD, forces Congress to find PCs with disc drives

The Mueller report was released this week to Congress via CDs and congressional members had to find PCs with working disc drives to access the 400-page document. The redacted report was also released to the public on a website.

Kick off your streaming career with our complete guide to Twitch broadcasting

Streaming games on Twitch for the first time can be daunting to say the least, but with a few simple steps, it's remarkably easy to do. Here's how to do so using a PC, Mac, Xbox One, or PlayStation 4 console.

Google Chrome will get a Reader Mode for distraction-free desktop browsing

If Google's testing of Reader Mode on the Chrome Canary desktop browser is successful, soon all Chrome users will gain access to this feature. Reader Mode strips away irrelevant content on a webpage for distraction-free browsing.

Former student uses USB Killer device to fry $58,000 worth of college’s PCs

A former student used a USB Killer device to short circuit more than $58,000 of computers at a private New York college earlier this year. The student pled guilty to the charges and sentencing is scheduled to begin in August.

AMD Ryzen CPU prices get slashed ahead of Ryzen 3000 release

AMD's Ryzen CPUs have had their prices slashed as we edge towards the release of their third generation. Whether you're a gamer or someone who needs multi-threaded performance, there's a deal for everyone with some heavy discounts to take…