It’s been a little less than a month since Microsoft launched its Surface tablet, widely regarded as the flagship product for Windows 8. In a recent interview with a French magazine, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has revealed that Surface sales have been “modest”. With no firm sales numbers to go by, it’s safe to assume that Microsoft Surface didn’t exactly explode onto the scene, but cannot be labeled a failure. In that respect, the Surface launch is reminiscent of early Android Honeycomb tablet launches, such as the Motorola Xoom.
The Surface tablet has received generally favorable reviews from everyday users, and this is certainly a success for Microsoft. So why exactly have sales been “modest” rather than fantastic? For starters, the Surface tablet launched within days of major announcements from Apple and Google. It’s hard to get consumers excited about a relatively unknown tablet priced near $600, especially when Apple announces a new iPad for $330. Throw in the $200 Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire, and you realize that Microsoft’s largest obstacle comes in the pricing department.
Take a look at Android tablet sales and you’ll notice a trend. Honeycomb tablets like the Xoom, and the original Galaxy Tab 10 sold modestly, but it wasn’t until the launch of cheaper 7-inch tablets like the Kindle Fire and Nexus 7 that things really started taking off for Android tablets. However, Microsoft may already have a solution to this problem in the form of a rumored cheaper 7-inch tablet branded as the Xbox Surface. If Microsoft decides to use the Xbox brand for a cheaper device, the name alone will bring out droves of gamers and boost sales.