Print 43 comment(s) - last by fteoath64.. on Feb 16 at 10:10 AM

Big sales numbers or simply not enough tablets?

Microsoft launched its Surface Pro tablet over the weekend. The software giant is now boasting that the Surface Pro tablet has sold out at most retail locations. Microsoft no longer shows 128 GB version of the tablet as in stock on its own online store.

Other locations including Best Buy and Staples are also sold out of the tablet. Microsoft, however, does still show that the cheaper 64 GB Surface Pro at its own online store. Selling all available units would usually indicate strong demand, however, it remains unclear exactly how many units Microsoft had available.

Business Insider reports that some posts online indicate that Best Buy and Staples locations had only a few Surface Pro tablets in stock while some locations had no stock at all. Posts to the official Surface blog also indicate that there were few tablets to be had.

One post read, "Tried every outlet that Microsoft released the Surface Pro. Cannot get my hands on the 128 GB version. My local Staples and Best Buy stores ( 2 of each ) had 2 64 GB versions for sale each and ran out by 9:15 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. on Feb. 9 and had no 128 GB versions at all. What is wrong with you guys at Microsoft?"

If customers are looking to score a good deal on the less capable Surface RT, Staples is offering a decent deal. Customers can now get the tablet with a $75 discount from Staples using special coupon code 99279.

Sources: Business Insider, Virtual Pants, SlickDeals

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Large Stock
By AlvinCool on 2/11/2013 9:47:47 AM , Rating: 2
I'm sure the stores had a huge supply of Surface Pro tablets. One is the loneliest number.....

RE: Large Stock
By xti on 2/11/2013 9:47:25 AM , Rating: 2
i dont get it

RE: Large Stock
By half_duplex on 2/11/2013 9:57:34 AM , Rating: 2
I think he means that Microsoft would classify anything over 1 tablet as a "huge supply".

In other words, this sold out because there was no stock.

RE: Large Stock
By AlvinCool on 2/11/2013 11:01:54 AM , Rating: 2

Like when everyone would go to a black friday sale for the $100 laptop to find there was It's easy to sell out when stock is almost non existant.

RE: Large Stock
By Da W on 2/11/2013 2:08:12 PM , Rating: 3
I logged at future shop online at 8am and there were 14 units left. Went to refill my cofee, hit refresh and there was none left. That's 14 units per 2 minutes, you do the maths.

I got mine from Microsoft store at around 11 a.m. (took time to make my mind). It was reported sold out soon after. So i guess they had quite a few.

Oh yeah, for those asking, EVERY GODDAM pc game and console game made before 2006, it can run. (yes NES, SNES, MAME emulator and old retro pc games). That's what i'll use it for besides work. I'm sure every good android & iOS game will soon be ported to Windows 8, and it will run flawlessly. It's the most powerful tablet on the market by far, it will take 3 years for ARM tablets to catch up.

RE: Large Stock
By Shadowself on 2/11/2013 2:48:38 PM , Rating: 2
You can draw any trend line you want through a single data point (you).

RE: Large Stock
By invidious on 2/12/2013 9:47:17 AM , Rating: 4
I don't understand why everyone is lining up to be first in line to hate on x86 tablets. Any real computer enthusiast has been wanting this device for the last 20 years. This device isn't perfect but its a great start. I will be buying a x86 tablet some time in the next year and I am looking forward to how this tablet spurs OEMs into gear to deliver a more gaming oriented version.

RE: Large Stock
By mcnabney on 2/11/13, Rating: -1
RE: Large Stock
By invidious on 2/12/2013 10:09:49 AM , Rating: 4
The fact that you would use angry birds as an arguing point on the utility of an x86 tablets is just laughable, on several levels.

RE: Large Stock
By kmmatney on 2/11/2013 6:46:52 PM , Rating: 2
Those retro games re all you'll have disk space for! Hopefully you got the 128MB version.

I can also play NES, MAME, and emulators on my iPad, along with a Wii controller, but you can only do this if you Jailbreak.

I'm a frequent traveler (made Premier 1K on United last year!) and I like the idea of a surface tablet, but I really need a bigger screen to work on while I'm on the road.

RE: Large Stock
By Mitch101 on 2/11/2013 9:56:24 AM , Rating: 2
Because nobody in their right mind would want a $1000 Windows touch screen ultra book with USB 3.0, 3rd generation Intel Core i5 Processor, microSDXC card reader with Mini DisplayPort that runs full blown applications like Microsoft Office and Blustacks.

Basically a tablet that can run nearly every application ever developed.

RE: Large Stock
By Nortel on 2/11/2013 10:20:58 AM , Rating: 1
- $1000 plus $155 keyboard, plus tax
- 2 pounds + keyboard weight
- relatively low resolution, squished 16:9 10 inch screen
- terrible battery life
- runs very hot
- loud fan inside
- terrible graphics card
- only 720p cameras
- kludge stylus mount
- low build quality
- terrible design for power connector
- the worst keyboards
- cant use on your lap with keyboard
- runs windows 8

RE: Large Stock
By Samus on 2/11/2013 12:31:32 PM , Rating: 4
-comparable Ultrabook pricing\iPad 128GB pricing
-lighter than any Ultrabook
-typical resolution for Sub-$1000 Ultraportable
-average Ultrabook battery life
-runs warm , no reviewer said "hot"
-no review mentioned fan noise to be intruding
-typical Intel graphics, same as 90% of notebooks
-since when was 720p camera not enough for conference calls?
-what's wrong with the stylus mount?
-low build quality? what? have you even read reviews?
-how is the power connector design any better/worse than Apples magsafe?
-two of the most revolutionary keyboard designs ever, why don't you try them first?
-what tablet can you use on your lap with a keyboard?
-it's a Windows 8 delivery vehicle, designed to expand on the features of the OS, specifically touch. so obviously it runs Windows 8. if you have a problem with that and want Windows 7, go ahead and load Windows 7 on it and enjoy the 'excellent' touch support Windows 7 offers.


RE: Large Stock
By Shadowself on 2/11/13, Rating: 0
RE: Large Stock
By inighthawki on 2/11/2013 4:03:15 PM , Rating: 5
It's competing with the top of the line tablets

You are about as dead wrong as you can get. This device is a device that has the properties of an ultra book, but with the ability to use it in the tablet form factor. It is not a competitor to the ipad, or any other android notebook.

Also, why is having a stylus a bad thing? Additional features are suddenly a downside?

RE: Large Stock
By inighthawki on 2/11/2013 5:43:20 PM , Rating: 2
That should read "Android tablet " not "Android notebook"

RE: Large Stock
By Mint on 2/12/2013 1:43:36 AM , Rating: 2
Also, why is having a stylus a bad thing?
Isn't it obvious?

"If you see a stylus, they blew it" -Jobs

RE: Large Stock
By maugrimtr on 2/12/2013 10:16:20 AM , Rating: 2
Arbitrary Apple limitation as they sought to create a consumption device. A stylus is a fundamental requirement for a device geared for creating stuff. The same with a keyboard. I can type far faster with a real keyboard - I do a LOT of writing (physics and software security) and finger fumbling on an iPad is frustrating at best. Having a built on tablet keyboard is pretty neat contrasted with having to get a third party setup for an iPad (hidden cost in iPad pricing).

RE: Large Stock
By bsd228 on 2/11/2013 4:03:44 PM , Rating: 3
> quote:
> -lighter than any Ultrabook
>But not lighter than its main competitor: the iPad. Agian, people >expect better from a Windows machine than they get from Apple

You're confused. The Surface Pro is not a competitor to the Ipad. Both are tablet form, yes. But one has a desktop class cpu and operating system, and the ipad does not. If Apple squished the guts of a mac mini into an ipad and ran OSX, it would be the same type of product.

RE: Large Stock
By mcnabney on 2/11/2013 5:02:07 PM , Rating: 2
It may be able to run all Win8 software, but 99.999% of all software that CAN run on Windows is going to have serious issues with the touchscreen/default resolution. Have you seen the new Office updated for Metro? Making it touchscreen friendly has turned it into a kludge. Real work generally involves precision - and even the best touchscreen will NEVER come close to a mouse.

RE: Large Stock
By inighthawki on 2/11/2013 5:42:03 PM , Rating: 2
I haven't had any issues with Office 2013's interface on tablet or desktop.

RE: Large Stock
By StraightCashHomey on 2/11/2013 6:05:58 PM , Rating: 3
That's because you've actually used it, and he spanks it to a poster of Steve Jobs.

RE: Large Stock
By ResStellarum on 2/11/2013 8:08:54 PM , Rating: 2
This is BY FAR (very, very far, acutally) the strongest selling point of the Surface Pro. You an run the vast majority of Windows apps on it

And the vast majority of Windows apps are built for the desktop interface, which means they are horrible for touch just like the Windows 7 slabs.

Even the new touch centric tile ui can't save the surface, because let's face it, it's no where near as good as Android or iOS, which were designed from ground up to be touch friendly, not some tacked on superimposition sitting on top of the old Windows 7 desktop pretending it's not.

RE: Large Stock
By Mint on 2/12/2013 1:39:18 AM , Rating: 1
You're forgetting about the stylus, probably because Apple told you to.

The stylus is a near-perfect mouse replacement for legacy apps on an ultra-mobile platform (aside from FPS games), and even has precision/control advantages. I use it with remote desktop on my Galaxy Note. You hover for mouse movement, tap to left-click/drag, and press the stylus button to right-click.

The point of Surface is that you don't have to be hamstrung by the limitations of touch in a 2lb form factor.

I'm actually pretty sure that Apple shunned the stylus for exactly this reason. The stylus would have played perfectly into Apple's creative, graphic designer image, but it also gives legacy apps a chance to survive on an ultra-mobile platform. They want to make x86 obsolete.

RE: Large Stock
By Nortel on 2/11/13, Rating: 0
RE: Large Stock
By gsellis on 2/11/2013 5:30:35 PM , Rating: 2
Mine runs warm, is quiet, and runs about 4 hours doing normal stuff. It works. I have been taking notes on build ups using the stylist in the lab. And... had a Windows 2003 server running in VMware 9 workstation this morning.

You are just guessing. If you used one, you would know. It is an ultrabook in sff.

Charging mine now for the bus ride home...

RE: Large Stock
By ATrigo on 2/11/2013 7:06:10 PM , Rating: 2
We have since moved into a world where it is far more convenient to have everything just work. Your average person doesn't want to kludge around with installing PC software, updating drivers and dealing with scaling modes.

Yeah right, because jailbreaking to have access to the real features is "It Just Works".

RE: Large Stock
By Manch on 2/12/2013 10:17:10 AM , Rating: 2
We have since moved into a world where it is far more convenient to have everything just work.

That part had me rolling. I don't know what world Nortel came from, but that's always been the case here on Earth.

RE: Large Stock
By althaz on 2/11/2013 7:53:20 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, Peter's review focussed on exactly one use-case: his. He uses his laptop in his lap to type things on. The Surface is crap for this (well, it's not better than other tablets at least, the touch keyboard is probably the best in the business, but not by any real margin).

Peter said it wasn't hot but he did find the fans to be annoying (but importantly he said they weren't overly loud, he just didn't like the tone they produced).

The device didn't meet Peter's expectation, but to be honest I can't understand how he had so little idea of what he was going to be getting.

It's not a laptop. It's a portable computer you can use as a tablet. A laptop is an in-between advice that (IMO) is crap for taking with you and crap for using somewhere fixed.

The Surface Pro is a little better for working at a desk (as it takes up less space, I would be plugging in a real monitor/mouse/keyboard for usability or using it as a monitor).

It's a LOT better for using on the couch (notebook's can't really be used on the couch, IMO, so this isn't exactly hard).

It's also a LOT more portable than any laptop or ultrabook.

It's failures when compared to a laptop are obviously battery, screen size and typing-in-your-lap. With the latter two you're no worse off than any tablet (indeed you're better off than most).

Which leaves the sole (major, there's LOTS of minor things that could be improved), valid criticism of the device as battery life. Battery life on the Surface Pro is pretty abysmal. It doesn't impact me personally (which is why I'm buying one as soon as humanly possible), but I expect this to be a deal breaker for those looking for primarily a tablet.

Of course there are lots of minor things that should be fixed/improved (in addition to the big one, which is battery life):
- The pen should slide away somewhere instead of clipping onto the same spot as the charger.
- Weight needs to be reduced, I would say this is the second biggest problem with the Surface Pro, although I didn't find it overly heavy, it's not quite light enough for a tablet.
- Get rid of the fans. Tablets should be silent, not quiet.
- Better graphics performance - HD4000 is actually pretty capable (better than all other tablets maybe?), but it's fairly weak by PC standards.
- I kinda want to say "get more apps", but considering everything I've looked for is already on the ms app store, this might already be covered

RE: Large Stock
By max_payne on 2/11/2013 11:04:07 AM , Rating: 1
You are right. A lot of people don't read reviews. It's new ! that's good enough.

Availability in Dallas? Zero
By tayb on 2/11/2013 10:14:06 AM , Rating: 3
There were none to buy in Dallas. Most stores that I called not only didn't get a shipment but they didn't even have a demo model to play with. The tablet also sold out on the Microsoft online store within hours.

Is Microsoft run by a truckload of morons?

RE: Availability in Dallas? Zero
By kleinma on 2/11/13, Rating: 0
RE: Availability in Dallas? Zero
By Nortel on 2/11/2013 10:34:31 AM , Rating: 1
Apple SOLD 71 million iOS devices in 4 months. This is a different story entirely.

RE: Availability in Dallas? Zero
By sjag on 2/11/2013 10:42:33 AM , Rating: 1
Yes you are right it's a totally different story, you can build Apple toys in millions overnight, not real computing devices like Surface Pro!

RE: Availability in Dallas? Zero
By Samus on 2/11/2013 12:33:31 PM , Rating: 2
It's easy to sell a product when it costs half the price. The Surface Pro is expensive and caters to a select business demographic.

Obviously people aren't going to buy these for their kids...

RE: Availability in Dallas? Zero
By tayb on 2/11/2013 11:04:25 AM , Rating: 3
There is quite a difference between a store selling out of available product and a store not having any product to sell. I'm not assuming they made a limited amount, they made a limited amount.

This is no different than when I blasted Google/LG for not making enough Nexus 4. Microsoft should have shipped more tablets.

RE: Availability in Dallas? Zero
By Micronite on 2/11/2013 12:49:54 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, but what does "Limited Amount" really mean? Everyone makes a "Limited Amount", the question is, "What's the limit?" It's hard to really estimate how much product you need for launch. The more you need, the more impatient people become waiting for you to build up launch volumes, and inevitably you lose sales you might have had.

I really don't think that Microsoft intentionally withheld volume. Of course there is the "sold out" attraction factor, but in the end, if you don't sell a product, you don't make money on that product.

RE: Availability in Dallas? Zero
By Shadowself on 2/11/2013 2:47:43 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, Apple does sell out. Yes, Apple can't get its act together and meet demand. Apple is shooting itself in the foot on its supply chain fiasco. All this is true.

However, Apple reports hard numbers:
X Million sold (not shipped to outlets, but actually sold) in 24 hours,
Y Million sold in the first weekend,
Z Million sold in the first N days,

Microsoft is saying they sold out, but they are not giving hard numbers. Did they sell out 10,000 or did they sell out 10 Million? That is the critical part in this.

Look no further back than the Zune HD flop. Microsoft loudly proclaimed it rapidly "sold out". Microsoft wanted everyone to believe that demand was so high that they couldn't make them fast enough. Then it rapidly became an embarrassment of low sales. Microsoft never reported the "sell out" numbers. Clearly it was a case of extremely low inventory that "sold out".

Until Microsoft gives actual sales numbers, I don't know for sure if it is any different from the Zune HD case.

RE: Availability in Dallas? Zero
By crispbp04 on 2/12/2013 11:55:16 AM , Rating: 2
I understand where you're coming from, but you have to remember that zune HD likely sold out because the people who bought it were likely upgrading from a prior version. The anticipated demand may not have accounted for the product refresh market, and the problem being that demand wasn't sustainable past that, meaning there were few users who where new to the market that wanted a Zune. Yes, they sold out, but after that, it had limited market potential.

The context can't really be applied to a first generation product like surface pro. There is a growing demand for a convergence device, and the options here are limited, and it will be sustainable growing demand.

Deja Vu
By Tony Swash on 2/11/2013 1:37:49 PM , Rating: 2
We have all been here before.........

Plays Diablo III pretty well
By Nekrik on 2/11/2013 5:40:44 PM , Rating: 2
Though does eat up battery (suprise!) and gets a little warm (suprise again!):

sad story...
By crispbp04 on 2/12/2013 11:14:17 AM , Rating: 2
The pro moniker alone puts this tablet outside the realm of most haters. They usually come in the form of self proclaimed tech journalists or hipsters who browse instagram all day while trying to prove to the world how creative and original they are, reflected by the countless sepia self portraits and pictures of their food.

These people don't understand what is important to an enterprise class business. Companies with many years of legacy applications and business support systems that are cost prohibitive to port to run on consumer toys.

The pro is a breath of fresh air for companies wanting a convergence device that they can put in the hands of users who need a laptop and a tablet. They won't have to reengineer existing systems and it's the first plug & play type device that fits the bill (other than maybe the samsung ativ pro). The target market for this is already using laptops where hard drive space is less important than disk performance. They have a strong need for a tablet, and companies don't want to invest twice. The pro is more than sufficient at all tasks, and it can be joined to their domain and managed since it runs W8 pro.

I myself will be waiting for gen2 with haswell because I am not a frequent traveler, and the RT fits my needs perfectly for light work on the road, plus having teamviewer+skydrive makes it a moot point. For people in the market now, there is no reason whatsoever to avoid surface pro.

Proof that the market is strong was how the samsung ativ pro was selling for up to $1700 on ebay over christmas because it was the ONLY option (if you are a hater and need validation, just go to ebay and look at the completed listings for the 700T)

Anandtech is a website that I've been following since the 90's, and it remains one of the least biased and honest websites ever created. DailyTech may have changed the vibe some because it has more of a blog feel to it, but in general the reviews here have always been enjoyable, and the DT blog is always fun to read. I understand that it feels good to be a fan of a product, and I myself was the same way with AMD for quite some time, but it's disheartening to see people act completely ignorant.

I'd like to remind people to be concious of the target audience when they are recommending products to others. Just because you don't fit the mold for a product doesn't discount it's value. I don't like apple, but when a friend's grandmother wants a device to browse cooking recipes and video chat wither her daughter who already has an iphone, I'm not going recommend she gets an android tablet, I'm telling her to get an iPad(mini). There is a different device out there that meets each person's unique needs, so think of the larger picture before you act like a complete douchebag.

Surface Pro teardown.
By fteoath64 on 2/16/2013 10:10:08 AM , Rating: 2
From the tear down, I saw that the SSD was an msata Micron RealSSD 128GB. Now, good to see that MS uses msata, But for the life of me, I cannot figure out why they did not built a cover so that the msata SSD can be replaced easily like other normal Ultrabooks!. It would be more attractive for some to have 256GB of SSD rather than the limited 128GB model on offer. Heck, some might even plonk a 512GB SSD in there as Crucial offer several size msata cards are reasonable prices.
Critical design mistake here. As for Apple, they used a proprietary connector rather than msata. That is plain obsessive control on Apple's part. MS has no excuse for a slot for replaceable msata. Pity.

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