Microsoft has sold only 1 million Surface tablets since its launch in late October, and 400,000 Surface Pro tablets since that product’s launch in February, according to a report from Bloomberg. The rumor, cited by three confidential sources, points to slow sales of the iPad challenger, which MS estimated would sell 2 million units in the December quarter alone.
For Microsoft, the stakes are high. PC shipments dropped last year for the first time in a decade, and analysts predict that they will fall again in 2013. Chipmaker Texas Instruments Inc. said last week that the computer market was weaker than the company had expected in January and chip orders related to notebooks have been sluggish. Hewlett-Packard Co., the world’s largest PC maker, last month said the market deteriorated more than anticipated in its quarter that ended in January, and the company expects the decline to accelerate in the current period.
Surface has faced a lot of criticism, from MS’s insistance on including a “classic” desktop environment that is ill-suited to a touch interface to a lack of apps for the new interface.