With Surface tanking, clueless Microsoft digs faster

“Microsoft just doesn’t know when to stop doing itself severe damage, and it’s latest desperate move is no exception.,” Charlie Demerjian writes for SemiAccurate. “If you thought it’s ‘valued partners’ were incensed before, just wait until you see how happy they are now.”

“The latest move is one again around that unloved child of Redmond that has seen abysmal sales. No not Windows 8, the other unloved child of Redmond, the Surface tablet,” Demerjian writes. “If you recall, Microsoft placated the OEMs a little, and we do mean little, by promising to only sell Surface through Microsoft stores and their direct web site… And so Surface failed, and Microsoft reacted, and broke their promises to the entire OEM base. Now you can buy a Surface at Best Buy, others will soon follow. That sub-1% non-Surface tablet sales number may be the high water mark. See Microsoft. See Microsoft panic. See Microsoft have no clue. See Microsoft management flail. See Microsoft react. See Microsoft kick the other leg out from under their OEM partners. See problem? Microsoft sure doesn’t.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: For as long as it takes!

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Tayster” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Below the Surface lies Microsoft’s impending doom – December 14, 2012
Interest in Microsoft’s Surface tablet plummeted 53% after product details, price revealed – December 14, 2012
Beleaguered Microsoft’s Surface tablet flops – December 12, 2012
MKM Partners cuts Microsoft price target, estimates on lower than expected Surface, Windows 8 sales – December 5, 2012
Why Microsoft’s Surface tablet is doomed – December 5, 2012
App developers shun Microsoft’s Surface tablet – December 4, 2012
Microsoft Surface Pro to offer only half the battery life of Apple’s latest iPad with Retina display – November 30, 2012
Microsoft’s Surface Pro iPad killer to start at $899 – November 29, 2012
Microsoft’s Surface tablet flops, orders reportedly cut in half – November 29, 2012
TechCrunch’s Siegler reviews Microsoft Surface RT: ‘It’s time for a drop test – right into the garbage can’ – November 19, 2012
Slate reviews Microsoft’s Surface tablet: Too slow, mercilessly buggy; why is it so bad? – November 6, 2012
InfoWorld reviews Microsoft Surface RT: A disappointment; you’re better off with Apple’s iPad – October 31, 2012
Gizmodo reviews Microsoft Surface RT: Do not buy; inferior to Apple’s iPad; the worst of both worlds – October 25, 2012
The Verge reviews Microsoft Surface RT tablet: ‘The whole thing is honestly perplexing; who is this for?’ – October 24, 2012
ZDNet’s Kingsley-Hughes: Microsoft’s Windows 8 is an awful, horrible, painful design disaster – June 8, 2012
Analyst meets with big computer maker, finds ‘general lack of enthusiasm’ for Windows 8 – June 8, 2012
Dvorak: Windows 8 an unmitigated disaster; unusable and annoying; it makes your teeth itch – June 3, 2012
The Guardian: Microsoft’s Windows 8 is confusing as hell; an appalling user experience – March 5, 2012
More good news for Apple: Microsoft previews Windows 8 (with video) – June 1, 2011

74 Comments

  1. Why aren’t the stockholders asking for Ballmers head on a platter? Can a company really be this bad? Has apple put some secret double agents working in management that deliberately try to kill microsoft?

    Does no one there see what a clusterf*ck that company is right now? Unbelievable. . . . . . truly . . . .How can apple stay razor sharp when its competition is so dim witted. Perhaps that Microsofts strategy all along. . . ‘cept they are not acting, they really are dimwits.

  2. Delusion is Microsoft thinking their tablet will suddenly start selling just because it’s being sold by Best Buy. It just means Surface will have a higher “shipped” (but not sold) number, and then go into desperation fire sale mode more quickly.

    1. what – you mean hire astroturf shills to post glowing comments everywhere about Surface, W8, Windows Phone, etc??

      oh NO! MS NEVER DOES THAT!! how could you think of such a tawdry marketing scam.

  3. Microsoft clearly have another disaster on their hands with Surface. This follows Zune, Vista, Kin, previous tablets and the truly awful Windows CE phones and PDAs. Yet Windows Server, Exchange, SQL Server, Sharepoint et al retain huge market share, so they can get some things right. A clue to the problems MS have in the consumer space is Ballmer’s response to anything Apple – he laughs at it. Remember his guffaws over the price of the iPhone? Gates, too, laughed at Apple – “Doesn’t Jobs know he can’t win?”. Ballmer’s guffaws might be nervous laughter, but I suspect that MS runs on the “yes man” principle, where career success is to a great degree dependent on saying “how high?” when told to jump to fulfil a management directive. In other words, MS senior management have encapsulated themselves in a Microsoft reality distortion field, listening only to their own propoganda, amplified and fed back to them by underlings and captive clients. We saw something of the effect of this problem in the last election, where Republicans heard only their own election-winning strategies and policies amplified and fed back to them by conservative commentators and media. Without the benefit of critical analysis, a sort of la-la-land develops. Step outside the Apple-centric press and you will be deluged by the wishful thinking of anti-Apple-fanboy sentiment – you will read how Surface is going to clobber Apple; how Google is eating Apple’s lunch; that iPad was only ever a big iPod-touch… My guess is that the internal MS politics creates a megaphone which amplifies this sort of message while ignoring the stark reality of Apple’s success. The problem for Microsoft is that their entire corporate structure is built on delusional thinking, so even when Ballmer finally gets his marching orders, a new CEO who takes a stiff broom to the company will quickly find that sweeping out the dead wood will leave little behind. Talent for brown-nosing is of little use to a corporation which finds itself on its knees, but brown-nosing has been the key to success in MS for many years. One could say the same for the GOP – Paul Ryan being a case in point, voted the biggest brown-noser by his fellow students in his graduation yearbook. Belief in your own values is essential to success, but only if you have good values. Microsoft, like the GOP, finds itself hoisted on a petard of their own making, saddled with values that simply don’t resonate with the target audience.

      1. @ electro: Right. I knew Bob Muglia, the former head of Servers and Tools, and he was given the boot by Ballsy. This was the boss of one of two profitable divisions, which was (and still is) going strong. Yet Ballsy continues to play Captain Smith to Microsoft’s Titanic.

  4. The ARM based Microsoft Tablet was always going to be marginal at best (a total flop at worst) just as I predicted when Microsoft claimed they were going to do an ARM based OS. Thus the ARM based Surface has been a near total flop.

    We’ll have to wait to see what happens with the Intel based Surface tablets. They *may* do better as I’d expect Microsoft to be in to medium to large enterprises and extremely strongly pushing the Intel based variant of Surface. Their pitch is that this is a tablet that will easily integrate into the rest of their Windows based world. They are strongly pitching that enterprises won’t have to work hard to integrate iOS or Android based tablets. They already run Windows servers and Windows desktops/laptops. Including Windows (Intel based Windows so it’s “the same”) tablets should be a snap. It will be interesting to see how many they convince of this.

    Since the Intel based Surface tablets are expected to ship by the end of January 2013, it will be interesting to see what delivery figures for the Intel based Surface will be by mid to late February.

    1. @shadowself — thank you for reminding us that the Surface Pro will be out next month, built upon M$ decade of experience with tablets, the Courier, big a** table, and Surface RT. How will it perform? I predict: “Apples don’t fall far from the tree.” 😉

    2. This all might be true, but in typical Microsoft fashion, they trip themselves even before they walk. They *might* have had success with the Intel Surface had they released it first. Everything works across the platform. Good press. Useful for Office slaves. Wheee. Then release RT for those who want a *light* version. But this isn’t what they did and its never what they do. They work in reverse order because they are always responding to someone else’s success or idea, not generating their own. The lack of half a brain to see the failure in their strategy is just part of a whole big ball of fail at today’s Microsoft.

    3. I predict interest and sales of Windows based tablets will get a small push when the Surface Pro is released, then slide back down to where they are now.

      There are Windows based tablets on the market now. They aren’t selling. There just isn’t any interest in them. Just as there wasn’t any interest in UMPCs. Unless you redesign the interface, productivity goes down as screen sizes shrink. These window-based operating systems – and the applications that run on them – have spent the last 10 years expanding the desktop onto bigger monitors… They just aren’t designed for small screens.

  5. So the Surface hasn’t clicked.

    The truly abject reality is that the Surface may not sell well even through the new retail channels—and if that happens, maybe Microsoft’s next step is to set up a cross-country tour with a decorated van full of their prized slates.

    The air was electric with excitement last year with the rollout of the “Amateur Hour is Over” Blackberry PlayBook tour. That campaign didn’t quite turn things around for Research in Motion, but Microsoft, so good at learning from others’ mistakes, can try it.

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