Why the Microsoft Surface Was a Huge Success

The Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) Surface tablet has been widely criticized by many as being too expensive, as well as suffering from unimpressive sales. What has been largely overlooked is how instrumental the device was in driving Dell (UNKNOWN: DELL.DL  ) , Lenovo, and others to make tablets that could compete with options from Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) and those on the Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL  ) Android operating system.

In the video below, Fool.com contributor Doug Ehrman discusses how the Surface has been a key point Microsoft in turning an important corner and driving the current evolution of personal computing.

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  • Report this Comment On April 30, 2013, at 4:01 AM, H3D wrote:

    It outsold the Kin. I guess that's one measure of success by which the Surface done good.

    But seriously, if 3m is a huge success, how many would have counted as just a success, or OK, or a failure. How few would they have had to sell to count as a huge flop?

    And how much did they spend on marketing the device? Devide that by the number sold in the quarter and let's see the cost of unloading each unit!

  • Report this Comment On April 30, 2013, at 7:26 AM, Lugus wrote:

    Microsoft has always come from behind. They were late to office automation, late to the Web and late on online gaming, but still ended up in a leadership position in all three. They have never been a particularly visionary company, but they are good at execution and head-to-head competition. If they effectively leverage their position in corporate IT, they will turn this around just like they have previous late entry situations.

  • Report this Comment On April 30, 2013, at 7:43 AM, businessgypsy wrote:

    For better or worse, I bought a Surface Pro 128GB to use as my primary computer 60 days ago. My most intense use is vector-rich technical drawing software, also do a lot of pro-level photo editing. Realizing that this is an article on the question of the device's commercial success, I'm providing this as a sidebar review. The device itself has excellent resolution, good touch response, suitable size and weight for use as a tablet/reader and the horsepower of a traditional laptop. It runs a bit hot with all that going on. The magnetic keyboard attachment is slick and useful, but the cursor tends to lock up until you hit the escape key. Using cloud and SD storage, so no issues with the 128GB drive. A little concerned with the tightly sealed nature of the construction, as I like to mod my machines. Knew I was giving that up. The low spot? Windows 8. I want to like it and need to use it, but this software is a long way from ready. The simple task of photo orientation between devices is a good example. I can't move a photo from my phone to google mail without manipulating the orientation in a way that reads incorrectly in the file manager. The whole shuttling between desktop and tiles thing is tiresome and clunky. We really deserve a major upgrade, this can't stand. I get that Microsoft is in it for the long run and will deliver, but I wish the bleeding edge was a little less jagged. Still, I'm here andmaking my way quite well.

  • Report this Comment On April 30, 2013, at 9:06 AM, RandomMeaning wrote:

    According to Bloomberg Microsft shipped 3 million Surface RTs and Surface Pros but only sold about a million Surface RTs and 400,000 Pros.

    How is that a huge success again?

    But that's really small potatoes compared to the fact that MicroSoft's partners, who loyally sold PCs for low margins while MS reaped the high profits off the OS, now have to compete with their OS supplier who is trying to take the high end of the market away from them. No wonder two of them, Dell and HP have tried to get out of the PC business while pretty much all of them are looking to Android as an alternative. That would never have occurred during the hight of Redmond's power.

    And why even get into the hardware business in the first place? It's finicky, flighty, and lower profits. Instead of another tablet/PC hybrid (which is in no way new, it's just another execution of a 10+ year old concept), MicroSoft should becoming out with great, new software that runs on any OS. Even old titles like Office and Flight Simulator would be raking in huge bank for high profits on iOS, Android, Windows, and BB10. Instead, they're trying to hold back progress to prop up their latest vanity project.

    MicroSoft has some great engineers still. Too bad their so poorly led.

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