Microsoft winding down Surface RT orders by half, is the launch of Surface Pro near?
"Upstream supply chain sources" are indicating that Microsoft has diminished the orders for its Surface RT tablet by half going forward with manufacturers from the expected four million unit. Other manufacturers like Asus, Dell and Samsung are also not seeing an RT bonanza, while Acer took a wait-and-see approach to avoid clashing with a Microsoft-made slate in a startup market.
With the report that Microsoft is prepping big under-the-hood changes for Win 8/RT next year, which will streamline and unify its OS across versions and devices, the focus might have been changed, and consumer demand for the RT-based slates probably won't pick up before there are at least 100,000 apps in the Windows Store, which Microsoft said it'll try to hit by February.
There might be an additional reason for cutting the Surface RT order prognosis - a lot of folks are passing on the ARM-based slate, and waiting it out for the real deal Surface Pro, which is running Windows 8 on an Intel processor, with full legacy programs compatibility, and which is now expected to hit in early December, given how Microsoft is winding down on Surface RT orders. The sources even mentioned that Microsoft is considering a lower price for the Pro, which might put it at odds with the other Win 8 vendors, but we heard the same thing for the RT, and it didn't materialize, so we'll see.
Meanwhile, at a shareholder meeting CEO Steve Ballmer said that the tablet innovation at Microsoft should have been carried out "sooner", but at the times when Bill Gates called tablets "the future of computing" more than 10 years ago, Microsoft didn't imagine itself as a hardware company, resulting in clunky devices, which it is now aiming to remedy with the Surface concept. “I feel pretty good our level of innovations would stack up against anybody,” said the buoyant CEO.