As Surface flops, Microsoft CFO says there’s no ‘Plan B’

“Microsoft Corp has not made much of a dent in Apple Inc’s and Google Inc’s domination of mobile computing, but a top executive hinted on Wednesday that it will not stop trying and does not have an alternative strategy,” Bill Rigby reports for Reuters. “‘We’re very focused on continuing the success we have with PCs and taking that to tablets and phones,’ Microsoft’s Chief Financial Officer Peter Klein said at the annual Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference in San Francisco, which was webcast.”

“Given Microsoft’s lack of success so far, he was asked if there was an alternative strategy or ‘Plan B’ in reserve,” Rigby reports. “‘It’s less ‘Plan B’ than how you execute on the current plan,’ said Klein. ‘We aim to evolve this generation of Windows to make sure we have the right set of experiences at the right price points for all customers.'”

Rigby reports, “Gartner estimates that Microsoft sold fewer than 900,000 Surface tablets in the fourth quarter…”

MacDailyNews Take: Minus the post-Christmas returns.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer
“…which is a fraction of the 23 million iPads sold by Apple,” Rigby reports. “Microsoft has not released its own figures but has not disputed Gartner’s.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We love it when a plan doesn’t come together.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]

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46 Comments

  1. I’m actually a little disappointed by this. I was really hoping that Microsoft’s vertically-integrated tablet effort would gain some major traction at the expense of the bailing-wire and duct-taped mess of versions of Android.

    If Apple were vaporized from the planet somehow, I’d actually rather have a Windows Phone device and a Surface than Android anything. At least MS is innovating their UI instead of just copying, and they’re doing some neat things with the Xbox like SmartGlass.

    Fragmandroid is just a mess of different versions, running on a slew of different hardware (most of it crap), and all “open” to malware to top it all off. But, oohhhh… I can change my desktop background and install widgets. Whoop-de-friggin’ doo.

    1. I guess you can call the UI of Win8 innovation as its copying a 1980s design motif rather than an existing competitor I guess.

      As for Xbox and in particular Kinect does everyone remember all those videos of it prior to launch where bye it appeared to be this amazing artificial intelligent inherently interactive with the user rather like a visual siri on steroids… and where did that all go? Not clear that the reality of anything MS does and boasts about is better than what Google is working on in the long run, indeed if history tells us anything it will be far inferior. After all in over 20 years of copying the Mac it has failed to match it while Android went from a RIM rip off to a better representation of IOS than Windows ever achieved, within a couple years.

      1. Don’t forget that Google employed tactics that even Microsoft waved off: plant a mole on the Apple board of directors, one who surreptitiously funnels stolen intellectual property to your development teams, and steal a match on all the opposition. With billions of dollars at stake, can anyone doubt that the experienced Eric Schmidt would not have been tempted in this way? As for Microsoft, they would not stoop to conquer in this manner, as they have demonstrated time and again their arrogance of superiority and divine right of ownership in all their pronouncements and actions. Google is far more opportunistic, and clearheaded in its criminal mission, than Microsoft in its crowned duncehood ever conceived of being.

        1. Yes Google will be around even if Microsoft isn’t. Google is not dependent upon selling devices or an operating system. It’s all about them there ads. But they do have their tentacles in many directions so I see them doing quite well going forward. Google has a lot of irons in the fire. They’re not doing well in all of them but I do believe that they are looking for diversification in revenue streams. I believe they will succeed. They may be evil but they have made me some really good money in the last six months. I still wonder why Apple ever let the mole on their board? It wasn’t very smart. I mean look at him. Would you buy a used car from this man?

          1. After reading the transcript of his Senate testimony and the Q&A, I saw him as a very shifty character and one who is contemptuous of those innocent of technology business principles, which makes him vulnerable to challenges from those who do know something. In other words, not as smart as he thinks he is.

    2. Yeah, there’s nothing like that Brady Bunch-like tile scheme to scream “innovation”.

      But at least it’s different from the iPhone and not a pure copy like Android.

  2. I could tell them a plan B. Often, in warfare, success or failure turns on small decisions made by management.

    1) Put back the start button
    2) Insert tiny visual cues for every item that needs to be clicked
    3) Improve the Surface’s keyboard so that it is world-class, like the MacBook Air.
    3) Cut the price of Surface models by $100

    Look, the above 4 steps aren’t going to solve everything, but it’ll go a long way, in my view.

    1. In Theaters Everywhere! With Poppaphonic Popcorn and Sazzafranic Seats! In full 2-bit color! Filmed in 8-mm using a nanomorphic “thin-amascope” lens! Seats activated using patented Percepto buzzers! Watch for those flying skeletons!

      William Castle would be proud!

      1. For another 5 bucks, you get to have a whoopie cushion for your own pleasure. Enjoy the film more when you smell Ballmers Stink but moving up and down to get a full whoopie sound effect.

  3. A ‘fraction of’ does not mean a ‘tiny amount of’.
    Can we please stop using it this way.

    5 is a fraction of 1 (5/1) that is five times as big as one. If you want to use ‘fraction’ to emphasize that something is small, you have to put a modifier before it: small, tiny, miniscule…

      1. If the unwitting misuse of something becomes ‘right’ simply because a majority share the same misunderstanding, couldn’t that kind of reasoning make Windows and Android ‘right’, too? If so, those of us who believe the Mac ecosystem to be superior should stop trying to get that across to other people and just fall in line.

  4. About 15 years ago, Apple lost an entire generation of computer users for the same reason. apps! Back then we called them games. The kids loved to play them and the Windows PC’s were cheap enough to use as a home play station.

    Same deal new decade. Apple iOS devices are cheap, mobile, solid devices and there are thousands of apps to choose from. Many are FREE!

    Ballmer, it sucks to be where you are and without any idea how to change things back to Microsoft’s dark side.

  5. The Surface, this is the recent release by MS correct? The other tablet MS released Surface RT or whatever that didn’t pan out well is not what is being talked about, right?

    I’m so confused… Thanks MS.

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