iPad roadkill: Microsoft’s Surface flops despite relentless advertising

“Microsoft announced Surface last summer to great fanfare. It was, after all, historic and surprising for the company to get into the computer device business, especially for Microsoft OEMs whose longtime partner suddenly became a competitor,” Shane O’Neill reports for Informationweek. “Microsoft rolled out the Surface RT tablet, running on ARM chips, last fall and the more powerful Surface Pro followed in February.”

“But the devices have fallen flat, even with relentless advertising,” O’Neill reports. “A May report from IDC reveals that Surface shipments totaled 900,000 units (700,000 Surface Pros and a meager 200,000 Surface RTs) in the first quarter, capturing only 1.8% of the tablet market.”

O’Neill reports, “The Surface may ultimately stand as proof that you can’t please everybody with one device. In trying to serve two masters, Microsoft ended up designing a device that’s neither a great laptop (flimsy keyboard, a screen still too small for prolonged use) nor a great tablet (awkward UI, lacking in quality apps compared with Android and iOS).”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: What was that we said over two years ago? Oh, yeah:

Our initial impression is that Microsoft, in trying to cram everything into Windows 8 in an attempt to be all things to all devices, will end up with an OS that’s a jack of all trades and a master of none (which, after all, ought to be Microsoft’s company motto).MacDailyNews Take, June 1, 2011

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    1. BWAHAHAHAHA!!!!!! MUAHAHAHAHA!!!!!! *snort* *ga-fortel* *wheeze* heh-heh… The cruelest of chuckles IS the most satisfying, especially in Microsoft’s case. Once again today shuffling the deck chairs on the MS Titanic.

  1. Dr. Jobs, MD: “Hmmm….yes, I think I see the problem here. Your product sucks, you have no taste and there’s a huge outgrowth coming out of your ass. I think it’s a haemorrhoid.”

    Baldy Ballmer: “Hey doc, how long do you think I got to live? I mean, come on, make a prediction here. I can take it. My bald pate can take it. Just hit me with it doc.”

    Dr. Jobs, MD: “Tell you what, since you’ve been a patient of mine, have I ever lied to you? I’ll give you these haemorrhoid pills. Take a couple of them a day and come back and see me in a couple of weeks’ time. We’ll see what happens.”

    Baldy Ballmer: “Hey doc, I’m back! Listen, I’ve been taking those haemorrhoid pills you’ve given me and I’ve gone and done a colonic rinse. Oh yeah, I feel better now baby.”

    Dr. Jobs, MD: “It appears that you’ve flushed the good stuff down the toilet and left the shit inside you.”

      1. Century to day, AAPL is up about 2000% and MSFT is actually down. There is room on the downside for AAPL, because it has climbed so far so fast. Remember when AAPL dropped from over $200 to under $80, and that was only about FOUR years ago? What happened after that? A relentless climb to $700. For stagnant Microsoft, there is always room for fluctuations on MSFT’s mostly flatline ride.

        And what does that have to do with Windows 8? Surface Pro is Microsoft’s showcase for Windows 8. Microsoft is profitable despite Windows 8, NOT because of it.

  2. The first time I saw a surface commercial with all the attractive young people jumping around and dancing on office furniture in perfect synchronization, I thought it was the most contrived and ridiculous thing I’d seen in a long time. Surface is failing because M$ cannot figure out how to start over from scratch, something Apple has done 3 times now. Inefficient and hopelessly bloated, M$ needs a visionary, not a sweaty monkey-boy.

  3. I always love how people praise Surface Pro for being able to run full Office ( and omit that RT only runs a home version). Jobs that require a lot of work in Office do not need a tablet. Mostly they work at a desk where a desktop or large laptop is a better tool. If you need to look at a screen for long periods of time the more real estate the better, and a good keyboard mouse/trackpad. Small screens hurt you eyes. The Surface keyboard sucks, it doesn’t stay shut on the tablet when picking it up. Jobs that are great for tablets: don’t require looking at the screen for long periods of time, software that does not need a full keyboard most of the time, need long battery life, and portability. Pilots, salespeople, doctors, are just a few examples. That’s what MS doesn’t get, tablets are for jobs that desktops and laptops are bad at, if not impossible.

  4. Their advertising doesn’t make sense. Dancers and hip hop and techno effects are cool, but they don’t demonstrate anything about the product. Remember that one commercial for Windows years back where the woman wanted to photoshop in a picture of a person into another picture. She says, “To the cloud!” That was so stupid because the cloud had absolutely nothing to do with manipulating the picture. More reasons why, they just don’t get it. (Of course, the failed Apple genius commercial was like this, but they pulled it)

    1. They were hoping that associating disparate and desperate cool concepts and unrelated arts & visuals (dancing, klicking music, good looking people) the product will osmotically appeal to consumers. But nobody was fooled but the usual blindsided lovers of klunky Redmond technology.

  5. Every negative prediction about the MS Surface has come to pass. MS is adrift at sea having already been swamped by the title wave that is iPad (and a touch of Droid thrown in).

    While MS’ continued missteps and shockingly out-of-touch efforts are satisfying in one sense, more importantly they are very sad on a number of levels.

    I love Apple but I do want MS to succeed. We need competition and we need someone else to actually innovate rather than fire up their copiers.

    As long as Ballmer is at the helm the MS Titanic will continue to sink.

  6. I posted this comment to the Information Week article:
    Rust belt software companies will keep the Surface alive. For instance, we access our school’s clinic information system through Citrix terminal services. The Citrix client works perfectly on a Surface Pro, and their iPad client is horrendous. So, even though we are a nearly 100% Mac shop, Citrix’s pathetic iPad programmers are driving us to buying Surfaces.
    Somebody help, please.

  7. Things that are good at some things, and great at nothing get lost in the dust of time and progress, while things with focused greatness go whizzing by.

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