Microsoft’s new Surface tablet for Windows 8 and Windows RT are two good tablets. Microsoft has indeed done a good job with the design and development of the tablet. Now, the tablet is all set to be sold by the company. And according to a statement given by the Redmond software giant, it will be selling the Surface tablets on its stores, Microsoft stores that is, both online stores and brick-and-mortar outlets in the United States.
So, how many of you have been to a Microsoft Store? Have many of you have even seen a Microsoft Store? Well, there are not many Microsoft stores in the United States, you can forget about spotting even one outside of the United States. People say that there may be a max of 20 stores in the whole of the United States. You can compare that with the line of hundreds of stores Apple has across the United States. That is just what is needed to sell products.
Analysts say that for a product to be successful, it has to be sold in millions per year. And clearly, Microsoft’s Surface tablet would find it difficult. CNET lists quotes from various analysts who have commented on this.
So, even if Surface is a good design — which it appears to be — it’s not clear whether Microsoft can sell that many.
“Just getting them is going to be an issue,” said Roger Kay, principal analyst at EndPoint Technologies.
“Clearly availability would need to be expanded,” IDC wrote this week in a research note.
But it’s not clear that Microsoft even wants to sell millions — at least initially. “They want to have distribution, but they don’t want it to be superbroad,” said NPD DisplaySearch analyst Richard Shim, who thinks Microsoft is sensitive about competing too directly with its customers, i.e., PC makers.
And what’s a hit product according to Shim? “Back in the day, a million represented a hit product. And now it’s shifted an order of magnitude.”
So, what will happen to the sales of Surface tablets? Well, I guess we just have to wait and see.