Sales of Microsoft's first Surface tablet fell well short of the 1 million mark, while return rates were high, IHS iSuppli told CNET.
Shipments of the Surface RT device, which debuted last quarter, into the channel were about 1.25 million, but sales out of the channel "were significantly lower, maybe on the order of 55 to 60 percent of that figure," said Rhoda Alexander, an analyst at iSuppli, citing the market research firm's estimates.
That would put sales in the range of between roughly 680,000 and 750,000 based on those percentages.
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Microsoft's Surface Windows 8 Pro tablet computer will arrive Feb. 9, Microsoft announced Tuesday. The device will be sold at Best Buy and Staples, in addition to the Microsoft Store in the U.S.
Winning With Windows 8
How do you solve a problem like Windows 8?
A major advertising and marketing campaign for a major software release—from the major computer software company in the world, no less—receives little more than a lackluster response from consumers and businesses. So while retailers should approach Windows 8 and its associated hardware with caution, they may still eke out some gains by offering systems that have been specifically designed for the new operating system.
Unlike some previously disastrous introductions, such as Windows Vista and Windows Millennium Edition, there are no glaring flaws in the latest version of Microsoft’s operating system. Users haven’t been plagued by hardware compatibility issues as they have in the past, or faced with major software upgrades to make programs work with the new OS. And cost hasn’t been an obstacle. Microsoft offers an upgrade version of the software for just $40.