Microsoft’s Surface Pro tablet hit retail shelves last Friday but you wouldn’t know it if you happened to venture into any number of big box stores this weekend. That’s because the slate was nowhere to be found – sold out in virtually every location, we’re told.
Both the 64GB and 128GB units were sold out online through Microsoft’s website by Saturday. All of this could mean one of two things: either Microsoft had a fantastic sales weekend or they didn’t ship nearly enough tablets to fill demand. At this time, it appears that the latter might be the more likely scenario.
Why exactly would Microsoft intentionally release the Surface Pro in short supply? For the same reason that a number of other companies have been accused of doing – to create buzz and further build demand. We aren’t saying that is what happened, but others are certainly making that accusation.
Richard Hay from Windows Observer did some investigation and found that one store said they only received one model each of the Surface Pro (64GB and 128GB). Another store said their shipment never made it in time for the retail launch while another retailer noted they only received five of each tablet. A number of locations told him they didn’t have any display models of the tablet or only had the 64GB model on display.
Of course, it’s also entirely possible that the shortage is due to higher than anticipated demand. ZDNet points out that Microsoft didn’t take any pre-orders for the device like they did with the Surface RT devices. It’s unclear why Microsoft wouldn’t hold pre-orders, however. Hopefully we will know more sooner rather than later but it’s not likely that the company will release sales figures unless they are astronomical.