That’s in contrast to the operating system, Windows 8, which the company revealed this week has sold some 40 million licenses (although it didn’t make clear what those sales broke down into in terms of OEM machines, upgrades and so forth).
According to a report on Digitimes, supply chain sources are claiming that after the initial month on sale, Microsoft has cut its prediction of Surface RT sales to 2 million units by the end of the year, half of the initial 4 million figure originally estimated.
Some argue that as an iPad alternative, the Surface RT isn’t strong enough, as the ARM-powered slate doesn’t run x86 software – and folks who want a real alternative to Apple’s tablet are waiting for the Surface Pro with the full version of Windows 8.
There could be an element of truth in that, but we suspect this might be a minority of consumers. That said, another rumour floating around indicates that the Surface Pro may emerge this year, rather than in early 2013, due to weak Surface RT sales.
At any rate, demand for third-party Windows 8 tablets seems to be weak, or so the sources in the supply chain say.
Microsoft may just be selling a whole lot of Windows 8 upgrades because they’re a cheap proposition at the moment (until the end of January 2013, when the offers cease).
It is still too early to tell the fate of Windows 8 and the Surface, of course; but there are still negative noises emanating from various quarters despite Microsoft’s triumphant 40 million licenses announcement.