When it comes to tablets, Microsoft is the scrappy underdog. The company shipped a combined 900,000 units of its Surface RT and Surface Pro slates in the first quarter of 2013, according to the latest global estimates from research firm IDC. Most of those were Surface Pro units -- the business-oriented model that runs legacy Windows programs -- that just began shipping in February. The numbers were good enough to earn Microsoft the 5th spot in IDC's list of the Top 5 tablet vendors, but a closer look at the Surface stats shows a less upbeat scenario.
For instance, IDC reports that combined shipments (from Microsoft and its hardware partners) of Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets in the first quarter totaled just 1.8 million. Remember, half of those were Surface tablets. Apple, by comparison, shipped 19.5 million iPads in Q1, and Samsung shipped 8.8 million of its various tablet models. To be fair, Microsoft's 5th place spot isn't bad considering the Surface's newness, and IDC reports that Redmond is in the process of widening the tablet's distribution.
#1 would be to scrap their incredibly idiotic ad campaign. Obviously, they are targeting die-hard Applephiles (who have about the strongest brand loyalty of ANY market). They need to start selling the product instead of a hipster image! But I agree with the other posters here: they are way out of line price-wise.
"Microsft should drastically lower the price of the Surface Pro, to bring it more in line with the iPad's price (maybe $100 premium over the iPad would be acceptable), and might consider discontiuing the Surface RT altogether. Either that, or price the RT no more than a Kindle."
The sad part is they cant/wont do it. selling a surface pro @ ~500$ and making good margins are nearly impossible and will destroy the notebook market altogether.
I think it's always been clear what Microsoft should have done/should do now. The Surface Pro tablet is a clear improvement upon other tablets, a good alternative to notebooks and netbooks, and can obviously distinguish itself. The Surface RT is a little more flexible that the other ones, but still too resticted and way too expensive, considering what it can do.
Microsft should drastically lower the price of the Surface Pro, to bring it more in line with the iPad's price (maybe $100 premium over the iPad would be acceptable), and might consider discontiuing the Surface RT altogether. Either that, or price the RT no more than a Kindle.
The way you grab market share, when you're the new kid on the block, is by offering more than the incumbents, for either the same price or less. You don't win by pricing your new product higher than the competition, and even higher than some very attractive notebooks.
I can't be the only person on the planet who has sub-zero interest in an iPad, but considerable interest in Surface Pro.
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