The Channel logo

News

By | Paul Kunert 29th November 2012 23:33

Microsoft halves Surface RT production orders - report

Ballmer was right after all, might only 'sell a few million'

Microsoft has slashed the number of Surface RT tablets on order with the Original Design Manufacturers in Asia, according to reports.

The supply chain was primed to build and ship four million units of the ARM-based device by year-end but Redmond has slashed this to two million on the back of weak demand, sources told Digi Times.

Those loquacious bean spillers also claimed that Redmond may bring forward the release date of the Intel-based Surface Pro from early next year to December.

Surface was designed as a reference point to showcase Windows 8 and CEO Steve Ballmer previously said it could ship just a "few million".

Unsurprisingly Microsoft's slab has attracted criticism from hardware partners that now double up as competitors too. And the product is sold direct through the firm's physical store and web shop which hasn't best pleased some channel partners.

A little more than a fortnight ago Ballmer appeared to drop another clanger when he reportedly told a French paper the Surface slab sales were off to a modest start.

But the Redmond PR machine soon rushed in to point out that what the bald eagle really meant was the ramp in the supply chain was modest. PC manufacturers were slow to come forth with Windows RT devices and others delayed their launches including Acer and Toshiba.

Sources told us earlier this month that margins on RT machines were thin - not a problem for Microsoft. It seems PC vendors forecasted modest sales and are holding out to release a raft of Intel-based machines at CES. ®

comment icon Read 43 comments on this article alert Send corrections

Opinion

Lightning

Jack Clark

Just as Jeff Bezos did to books and CDs, Amazon's rivals are now doing to it
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
ARA_LIbertad

Chris Mellor

Elliott Management sinks its teeth into retiring godhead

Features

Failure to crack next-gen semiconductors threatens to set back humanity
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
SAP Match Insights
Vorsprung durch grossendatatechnik, as we like to say in Germany
Inside the Google Lab where surgeons prepare the human/dog experiment
Big Blue exec tells El Reg what to keep an eye on