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  • Microsoft CEO Admits the Surface is a Flop, Explores Next-Gen Improvements


    It wouldn’t be much of a surprise for an average person to say that Microsoft’s iPad-killer has turned out to be a disappointment but recently Steve Ballmer, the company’s optimistic CEO, is admitting to employees that the Surface is a flop. Ballmer supposedly held a “rally the troops” event at the Microsoft Campus recently to go over the company’s quarterly earnings as well as boost company morale. According to people at the event, Ballmer dove into how disappointing it has been trying to make the Surface a success.

    Ballmer continued to tell the group that the company had “built a few more devices than we could sell” according to the folks at Neowin. Later he admitted that Windows 8 hasn’t been adopted as fast as he had hoped and that Microsoft isn’t selling as many Windows devices as he wants either. The company has tried everything it can to sell the Surface, from a huge media campaign full of anti-iPad ads to large discounts on the hardware, but nothing has worked to convince consumers to choose the Surface over Apple’s tablet, or even the Nexus 7 or Kindle Fire HD.

    Despite the $900 million loss Microsoft took from Surface sales last quarter, Ballmer says the company is working super hard to convince Instagram to make an app for Windows Phone and Microsoft is already making plans for the next-generation Surface, which might include the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor. The future of the Surface doesn’t seem too bleak as Ballmer still has some optimism left. We’ll have to wait and see what Microsoft does to improve its chances in the tablet market.

    Source: Neowin via The Verge
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Microsoft CEO Admits the Surface is a Flop, Explores Next-Gen Improvements started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 28 Comments
    1. Stefman_R's Avatar
      Stefman_R -
      I think their niche has always been the business field rather than the consumer field.
    1. vikrants's Avatar
      vikrants -
      I played around with one at the Warner center in nyc. They are really nice. I don't know why they are not selling.
    1. chrisj979's Avatar
      chrisj979 -
      The sales will increase once the Microsoft Store implements more of the FUN factor, TV remotes, control your lights, games, just apps geared toward more of the younger generation. Businesses love it because now the full Office Suite is in a tablet, traveling lighter. Seamless integration. Right now a Surface is like a 4K TV, yes it's cool but I'm waiting for everything else to catch up with it. I see the Surface replacing the small laptop (ie. hp2570p, AIR, other thin PC's like the AIR). If it could dock with at least dual monitor it would replace even more PC's. With most exec's using only email and attachments in email space is not a big deal.

      Also don't let the numbers above fool you Microsoft is selling a lot of Windows 8 (like it or not) and thier earnings\profits are not bad at all, just google Microsoft Q2 or Q3 2013 earings and you will see.
    1. kalpesh78's Avatar
      kalpesh78 -
      Quote Originally Posted by vikrants View Post
      I played around with one at the Warner center in nyc. They are really nice. I don't know why they are not selling.
      1) the operating system takes up just too much space in the surface RT.
      2) not that many apps on the app store.
    1. bclasen1's Avatar
      bclasen1 -
      It is not selling for a few very simple reasons (in order of importance)
      1. Too Expensive (I wouldn't spend above $700 on a laptop let alone a tablet)
      2. RT is pointless, why gimp an OS that has been overhauled for tablet usage( I mean you designed it to be tablet friendly, why release a whole different version for tablets)
      3. Memory is way too small (as already mentioned, 64 gb only leaves you 40 useable which is atrocious. I am not asking for a tb, but atleast 100 gb usable)

      Anyone who didn't see these factors as major issues should be fired immediately (I AM LOOKING AT YOU BALLMER YOU BALD ****)

      I would love a surface (pro) , but I cannot justify spending $900 on it. I don't buy macs for this very reason (yes I know, this is a mac site. I like keeping track of tech news.). Make it $700, give it more memory and you have me.
    1. se23's Avatar
      se23 -
      Some good comments for a change instead of the usual pointless bashing. It is a good device but microsoft's marketing is diabolical. Even with the iPad limitations they know how to market & price a product!
    1. bigbaba's Avatar
      bigbaba -
      To be honest I bought an Acer Iconia for $400 from best buy and I love it. Sure it only packs a pale Dual Core-Atom in comparison to the Surface's mighty i5, but it does what I need it to do.

      I think it's tablets like my Iconia which are slaying the Surface line.
    1. smith01's Avatar
      smith01 -
      Everyone knew Windows 8 was going to be a flop. What they need to do is scrap it completely and start again from Windows 7 and just add the features everyone asks for.
      Windows 8 needs to die a quick quiet death as its the worst Windows OS ever.
    1. nealh's Avatar
      nealh -
      Overall the Surface us a good product. Their problem was neutering RT which they released first.
      The Pro product is nice but the image was really hurt by RT version IMHO
    1. zrevai's Avatar
      zrevai -
      Agree the RT model should never have existed!!! Too many people thought Surface would run windows and they'd be able to use their current programs but MS never clearly stated in its ads that only the Surface Pro could do that and the RT could only use MS Store for Apps for the Surface RT.
    1. fleurya's Avatar
      fleurya -
      Maybe they should have had more in their initial ads than people just dancing around and snapping on the keyboard, which was an additional cost accessory. Then, instead of just showing all its features they waste more ad time by trying to attack competitors.

      They should have just focused on promoting its features from the beginning and they probably would have done better.
    1. vikrants's Avatar
      vikrants -
      Quote Originally Posted by bclasen1 View Post
      It is not selling for a few very simple reasons (in order of importance)
      1. Too Expensive (I wouldn't spend above $700 on a laptop let alone a tablet)
      2. RT is pointless, why gimp an OS that has been overhauled for tablet usage( I mean you designed it to be tablet friendly, why release a whole different version for tablets)
      3. Memory is way too small (as already mentioned, 64 gb only leaves you 40 useable which is atrocious. I am not asking for a tb, but atleast 100 gb usable)

      Anyone who didn't see these factors as major issues should be fired immediately (I AM LOOKING AT YOU BALLMER YOU BALD ****)

      I would love a surface (pro) , but I cannot justify spending $900 on it. I don't buy macs for this very reason (yes I know, this is a mac site. I like keeping track of tech news.). Make it $700, give it more memory and you have me.
      So I guess iPad is out for you too then.

      Quote Originally Posted by fleurya View Post
      Maybe they should have had more in their initial ads than people just dancing around and snapping on the keyboard, which was an additional cost accessory. Then, instead of just showing all its features they waste more ad time by trying to attack competitors.

      They should have just focused on promoting its features from the beginning and they probably would have done better.
      +1
    1. ThatOneProfile's Avatar
      ThatOneProfile -
      We knew this. No need for the CEO to confirm. MicroSuck is taking a nose dive starting with the Xbone.
    1. mutley's Avatar
      mutley -
      Quote Originally Posted by smith01 View Post
      Everyone knew Windows 8 was going to be a flop. What they need to do is scrap it completely and start again from Windows 7 and just add the features everyone asks for.
      Windows 8 needs to die a quick quiet death as its the worst Windows OS ever.
      if you think windows 8 is the worst windows ever then you havent been in the windows game very long... nothing wrong with win 8 once you removal that awful front end. windows me and vista are far worse versions!
    1. AKCHRIS's Avatar
      AKCHRIS -
      I have to DISagree, I think Windows XP & Windows 7 where the best...but your Right bout Vista it was just overbloated. Never had Windows me only in School.
      Quote Originally Posted by mutley View Post
      if you think windows 8 is the worst windows ever then you havent been in the windows game very long... nothing wrong with win 8 once you removal that awful front end. windows me and vista are far worse versions!
      Who would of Thought, in this Apple Tablet Dominated World, Window's is the Blackberry of the Pack & we ALL know what happened to Dell's en devour into the Tablet business
    1. se23's Avatar
      se23 -
      Quote Originally Posted by ThatOneProfile View Post
      We knew this. No need for the CEO to confirm. MicroSuck is taking a nose dive starting with the Xbone.
      I spoke to soon
    1. GrumpySod's Avatar
      GrumpySod -
      Big prob they had was no one knew their first advert was for a tablet but for some new dance craze lol! But real prob was they made the software hard for non tech people to understand which version done what! I found some sales staff couldn't answer this issue either! And the other reason i see is apple and android have tried to keep things fairly simple!
    1. xhazex9x's Avatar
      xhazex9x -
      Quote Originally Posted by ThatOneProfile View Post
      We knew this. No need for the CEO to confirm. MicroSuck is taking a nose dive starting with the Xbone.
      Xbox is gonna outsell ps4 especially now since they removed drm checks get over it and stop being a fanboy
    1. GrumpySod's Avatar
      GrumpySod -
      Quote Originally Posted by xhazex9x View Post
      Xbox is gonna outsell ps4 especially now since they removed drm checks get over it and stop being a fanboy
      Yeah and when they have sold enough units they will turn on drm checks! Sony will do the same! But when it comes to tablets Microsoft where just too late with a product that has no clear market!
    1. Jato_BZ's Avatar
      Jato_BZ -
      It's not just the Surface that has failed...MS has failed to gain any traction in the mobile ecosystem either...They are following or chasing other competitors instead of leading by example...I once saw MS as a dominant company but lately it's been overwhelmed by other competitors more hungry than what MS is.
      They need a junior Bill Gates to step up & drive the company forward, appears stagnant to me.