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A Huge Win for Microsoft

Days after a Forrester Research report found surprising demand for Microsoft's (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) Surface Pro tablet -- 32% of professionals surveyed said they wanted the device -- Mr. Softy has sold out of the 128 GB version.

Both online and physical retail stores are now out of stock. In Seattle, some waited up to two hours in line over the weekend to get their hands on the tablet, Geekwire reports. Mr. Softy later told the news site that response has been "amazing" and that the company is working with retailers to "replenish supplies as quickly as possible."

We don't yet know how much inventory Microsoft had to sell, so it's too soon to compare initial demand for the Surface Pro to other high-profile device launches.

Still, if the Forrester report is to be believed -- and it's looking spot-on so far -- Microsoft may have emerged as Apple's most serious challenger in tablet computing. Intel (NASDAQ: INTC  ) , meanwhile, must be thrilled. The chip maker, whose technology powers the Surface Pro, has struggled to win enough mobile business to offset declining sales to PC makers. Microsoft has suffered from the same issue.

Windows division revenue came in at $5.9 billion in the latest quarter, a 24% year-over-year increase but more than $1 billion short of Microsoft's last major release. Windows 7 helped push division revenue to $6.9 billion in fiscal 2010's second quarter. A weakening Windows business is bad news for Mr. Softy.

Surface Pro may be the second wind the company needs. At the very least, the weekend sellout suggests users see it as a competent enough iPad alternative to keep them using the same Windows ecosystem for tablet computing that they use for desktop computing.

A tourniquet designed to tie off bleeding caused by flagging PC sales, in other words. That's a huge win for a business that's spent the better part of a decade under assault.

How big is Microsoft's mobile opportunity? In this brand-new premium report on Microsoft, our analyst answers this question in detail and explains the challenges Mr. Softy must overcome. He's also providing regular updates as key events occur, so make sure to claim a copy of this report now by clicking here.

Read/Post Comments (10) | Recommend This Article (6)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

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  • Report this Comment On February 11, 2013, at 6:20 PM, prginww wrote:

    A Surface Pro, like Lenovo's Yoga 13 and Helix, gives you a full fleged notebook plus tablet, Ultrabook, for less then the price if the two and it runs all PC software, An iPad costs $200-300 less but can't be a real notebook and only runs Apple's applets.

  • Report this Comment On February 11, 2013, at 8:55 PM, prginww wrote:

    @techy46. Spot on!! Further, Surface Pro must necessarily be compared, not just to the iPad, but to an iPad plus a MacBook, a two device solution at twice the cost. Even so, all you can then do is run Apple's applets and Mac programs, not any of the programs businesses typically run. Though we have yet to witness the long term sales trends, what should be surprising is not the interest in WIndows 8 device, but that anyone thought it would ever be different. Looks like that may have been at best wishful thinking.

  • Report this Comment On February 11, 2013, at 9:25 PM, prginww wrote:

    The only problem is that most stores only received 1 64GB and 1 128GB surface pro other than display models. So these "sell-outs" don't really mean much

  • Report this Comment On February 11, 2013, at 9:32 PM, prginww wrote:

    umm....huge success is not shipping 20 units of surface to a best buy store and Microsoft employees standing in lines at the Bellevue and Seattle stores don't count as lines. Please stop spreading propaganda.

    No matter how you slice it, the current version of OS on Surface is dead on arrival.

  • Report this Comment On February 11, 2013, at 9:34 PM, prginww wrote:

    "The only problem is that most stores only received 1 64GB and 1 128GB surface pro other than display models."

    Maybe wherever you were they did but it is highly unlikely that the MS site only got 1 of each. As much as people like to bash MS it really doesn't make much sense to have had an incredibly small production run like you suggest, there really is no up side to it.

  • Report this Comment On February 12, 2013, at 1:18 AM, prginww wrote:

    Why is everyone criticizing Microsoft? Just because Apple ran out of innovations, that doesn't justify bashing their competition.

  • Report this Comment On February 12, 2013, at 2:23 AM, prginww wrote:

    Tim - Huge? I mean Huge?

    Are you crazy!

    Most people guffawed after reading Ballmer's

    pronouncement but those same people were hysterical after your Surface Pro LOVE piece hit.

    Spend that payola in good health and try not to venture out in public for a few weeks.

  • Report this Comment On February 12, 2013, at 4:52 AM, prginww wrote:

    "A huge win for Microsoft"

    We have no numbers for how many.

    Without numbers we don't know whether it sold well, or Microsoft has very few.

    Draw conclusions from facts. Not from guesswork.

  • Report this Comment On February 12, 2013, at 5:08 AM, prginww wrote:


    The whole point of Windows 8 / Windows Phone / Surface is for Microsoft to try to catch some of the impetus that Apple creates with the iPhone / iPad and the radical new approach to touch interface that these introduced.

    How does that square with the idea that Apple has run out of ideas?

    Personally I prefer my notebook. But then my notebook has a 4 megapixel retina display. There's nothing from the PC industry that comes close. Apple had to redefine the way displays are built to make that practical.

    I've seen that the PC industry is trying to play catchup with its UltraBook MacBook Air lookalikes, so again Apple is setting the agenda.

    For the last 10 years Apple have been the only tech company with ideas. They seem to be able to take a whole sector by storm every 5 years. It's less than 3 years since the iPad was released and look what it's done to the PC market.

  • Report this Comment On February 12, 2013, at 9:45 AM, prginww wrote:

    That wasn't coming from me, I didn't go to buy one. Check this article and comments from people who went to buy them. Supply was horrible.

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