Microsoft cautiously preps 2nd-generation of Surface tablet flops with smaller displays

“Microsoft is expected to announce second-generation Surface tablets at the company’s Build Developer Conference, which will be hosted from June 26-28, according to sources from the upstream supply chain,” Aaron Lee and Joseph Tsai report for DigiTimes.

“Since Microsoft only achieved sales of 1.5 million units for its first-generation Surface tablets (one million Surface RT and 500,000 Surface Pro), only half of its original expectations of 3-4 million units, the company is taking a cautious attitude over promotions for its second-generation models,” Lee and Tsai report. “Microsoft retained most of its component suppliers from the first-generation models for the second-generation ones with Pegatron Technology staying as the devices’ manufacturer.”

Lee and Tsai report, “The sources also noted that the second-generation Surface devices reportedly will only feature a 7- to 9-inch displays to meet the rising demand for smaller tablet devices.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We keep looking for a Surface tablet out in the wild, but, alas, no luck yet in spotting one. In order to better entice their target market, perhaps Microsoft should bundle each Surface tablet with a cool helmet and handy drool cup?

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  1. You know MDN, that’s a good point. I travel almost continuously and what new tablet do I keep seeing everywhere?
    The iPad mini.
    I have yet to see a Surface in the wild. Perhaps that because you either need a “table” to comfortably type on the “tablet” (Microsoft clearly confused those words) or for the W8ight version, one must be a bodybuilder to lift and hold the thing for more than a few seconds. Oh, and also, it sucks. I used one. It really really sucks. No apps. Counterintuitive. Heavy. Slow. And the OS is really unpleasant.

    1. MDN you do make a good point. I think the whole cool helmet and drool bucket could be molded into the polycarbonate case, with a retractable chain.

  2. MDN – hilarious.

    Cautious Microsoft…
    “taking a cautious attitude over promotions for its second-generation models”

    Perhaps they are listening to BlackBerry… in five years no need for tablets.

    I for one have played with the Surface in the stores.
    Personally its a sold device, seems well built. Even the silly kickstand – at least its metal. Price is reasonable – but then HELP its Windows plagued with viruses and advertisements. Why the hell anyone would wish this?

    The interface, on the other hand, is truly a pain to use.
    One ends up swiping left right up down… in fact the z10 BlackBerry makes more sense. Microsofts familiar softwares are well, the same old thing – no innovations there.

    Only one thing interested me though, the three input methods. I rather liked the hand recognition…
    Newton had it – OSX had it – why not iOS?

  3. Eventually something will penetrate that thick skull surrounding Ballmer’s cranium. Microsoft takes at least 3-4 iterations before they get it approximately right. And then when they do, there will be wholesale changes again because they realise unless they change something, anything, in the UI, in a desperate search for sales, people won’t upgrade their Windows OS which will lead to declining sales. That’s the Microsoft rationalisation anyway.

    But what Ballmer doesn’t understand is that people hate change and prefer a gradual progression over violent, wrenching change which is what Windows 8 is about. It’ll require a bunker buster bomb to penetrate through 15 feet of Ballmer’s thick skull, before he sees the error of his ways and brings back the Start button to Windows 8.

    Until then for the average consumer it’s “Hasta la Vista, baby.”

    1. I partly disagree.

      People hate change…..unless its super-intuitive, and obviously better.

      If people simply hated change, the iPhone wouldn’t have taken off as it did, since it was extremely different from every smart phone (or any other device) before it.

      Obviously, that was a GOOD change.

    2. The Windows 8 mess can’t really be put on Ballmer’s shoulders… I doubt he made a single design decision regarding Windows 8 functionality. He just doesn’t get product.
      They screwed up because Microsoft’s principal concern is ubiquity, not functionality. And Windows 8 is the outcome of all their fiefdoms protecting their turfs rather than building a better product. I still can’t believe how they decided to remove the start button. It boggles the mind that no-one stood up loud enough to say what a terrible idea that was.

      1. Two points:

        A) Ballmer is a marketing geek. Typical (not all!) marketing geeks have no comprehension of how stuff works, inventing, innovating or producing anything. They just want to schmooze, influence and sell. They (typically) make the worst possible managers and (typically) tank their companies. Witness Kodak. Witness Sony. Witness Microsoft! It’s called ‘Marketing-As-Management‘. Run like hell away.

        B) PLENTY of people ranted vehemently at Microsoft about removing the ‘Start’ button and burying the file system behind the ‘Metro’ GUI in Windows 8. Microsoft paid ZERO attention. That’s what Microsoft beta testing is all about! Ignoring the beta testers. 😯

        And now there’s the threat of ‘Windows Blue’ which kills the ability to use 3rd party tools for accessing the ‘Start’ button and its accoutrements. Pray that ‘Blue’ gets tossed into the code chipper to be used as fertilizer.

        1. Oh I agree. Ballmer’s only thought to any problem is “windows, windows, windows”. Which is why he was probably sold on the concept of windows 8 (same for phone, tablet or computer). He wouldn’t know that they’re not compatible.
          But you would think that Sinofsky would have been able to tell that the revision was a usability nightmare. I can only think that it was removed to force people to “give metro a try”. It might have been embarrassing to watch everybody switch to Windows 8 but just run everything in classic mode.

    3. I disagree with this:
      “Until then for the average consumer it’s “Hasta la Vista, baby.”

      It should be:
      “Until then for the average consumer its’s “Hasta la XP, baby”.

      Just for accuracy and all.

  4. MDN – not a cool helmet but an old style Beanie cap with propeller on top AND that drool cup. Ballmer’s 2nd gen failed tablet update reminds me of an ANIMAL HOUSE hazing shellacking again – “Thank you sir may I have another!” – And the market goes THWACK!!, again!

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