Microsoft and Marketing. How is it doing?

Analytics firm Chitika:

Will Shanklin reports, “Pricing didn’t help. Surface starts at US$500, the same as the iPad… It’s as if Microsoft didn’t notice the Xooms, Playbooks, and Galaxy Tabs that had already failed with that strategy… There’s also the tablet itself. Its operating system is complicated, split into two desktop environments. It has a sparse app library. The device’s display, battery life, and cameras are inferior to the iPad’s. A kickstand and a keyboard clicking sound aren’t going to make up for that.”

“Chitikia’s statistics are bad for Microsoft, but they aren’t much better for Google,” Shanklin reports. “The Nexus 7 and 10 combined for over seven times the web traffic of Surface. That sounds good at first, but it still only makes up about 1% of tablet web traffic. The iPad continues to dominate, with 88% of all tablet web traffic.”

This isn´t what Steve Ballmer was hoping for, or needed. MKM Partners’s Isreal Hernandez:

The following data points, supported by our recent in-store checks, point to initial weak sales of Windows 8: Windows sales are down 21% y/y in first four weeks post the Windows 8 launch. Windows 8 tablets described as ‘non-existent’(NPD 11/29). “Microsoft originally expected to ship four million Surface RT devices by the end of 2012, but has recently reduced the orders by half to only two million units.” (Digitimes, 11/28/12) “Demand for Windows 8 is not that good right now,” David Chang, CFO, Austek (WSJ, 11/27/12) […]

Ballmer still prays that Surface Pro, soon to be launched, will be the savor. Recent surveys claims that the interest for Surface fell with 53% once the price and product details was revealed.


From a marketing point of view Surface is a strange animal. Microsoft calls it a tablet. Yet it seems to be designed as a landscape laptop with a soft keyboard and a kickstand. The mixture of the Metro interface and Windows is also a odd and confusing desicion. Especially on the RT where you actually can’t run any Windows applications besides the ones preloaded. The Surface Pro runs real Windows, but still with the mixed up Metro interface. The Surface Pro is heavier (0,9 kg compared to iPad 0,6 kg), has only 4-5 hours battery time and cost $900 (compared to iPad 9-10 hours and $849).

Some say, you can’t compare Surface Pro with iPad, because it runs full Windows 8. True. iPad runs iOS, not OS X. But the comparison comes automatic since Microsoft chooses to position it as a tablet. People out shopping a tablet, not a PC or a ultra book. In my view it looks more like a new shape of ultra book with combined touch, a soft keyboard and a stylus. And a kickstand that goes ”click”. A new and strange animal as I said. It confuses me and surely a lot of others.

Will the market really love it?