Ballmer: We built too many Surface RT tablets

By on July 26, 2013, 5:30 PM
microsoft, windows, windows phone, tablet, steve ballmer, microsoft surface, instagram

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and COO Kevin Turner recently discussed a number of topics during an internal town hall event earlier this week. Among the topics was the decision to write off $900 million related to Surface RT tablets as well as how sales of Windows are doing in general according to several sources as reported Neowin.

With regards to Surface RT, Ballmer said they simply built more devices than they could sell. If you recall, Microsoft recently slashed Surface RT prices by $150 across the board. The $900 million hit that Microsoft took was simply a price adjustment that was necessary to sell the remaining slates.

On the same topic, Ballmer said next generation Surface tablets are currently being tested and updated with incremental improvements. Although he didn’t show off the new device to his employees, it was noted that internal response to the new Surface has been positive.

In other news, Ballmer said they aren’t selling as many Windows devices as they want to. This includes PCs, tablets and phones, we’re told. In the immediate future, Microsoft will focus on back to school promotions and the always lucrative holiday buying season and make sure Windows 8 / Windows 8.1 devices are readily available.

Redmond is also very interested in bringing Instagram to Windows Phone, a move that surprisingly hasn’t taken place yet. I can’t really think of any reason as to why not as it would seemingly be a win/win for everyone involved.




User Comments: 24

Got something to say? Post a comment
1 person liked this | windmill007 said:

If try wouldn't put metro on windows 8 desktops I think more people would be trying the touch devices. I think that left a sour taste in people's mouth. I know after using metro on the desktop I wanted nothing to do with thy crap but I recently had a chance to try a touch device with metro and it actually work very well.

TheBigFatClown said:

"Although he didn?t show off the new device to his employees, it was noted that internal response to the new Surface has been positive."

Hey guys, did you read that? They marked down on a post-it note that the internal response to one of their own products is positive. Gee, I think I'll pre-order mine based on that positive statement. Or NOT!

TheBigFatClown said:

If try wouldn't put metro on windows 8 desktops I think more people would be trying the touch devices. I think that left a sour taste in people's mouth. I know after using metro on the desktop I wanted nothing to do with thy crap but I recently had a chance to try a touch device with metro and it actually work very well.

They should have never released Windows 8 for desktop and there would be peace in the universe right now. Trying to shoe-horn every form factor into one product was assinine, especially considering how much money and resources Microsoft has at it disposal. I think it was just plain laziness not to release two different versions that were somewhat specific to the form factor. Even if it was a half-assed attempt it would have showed that they realized there was a difference between the two. What's funny is I still don't think they realize this to this day. They keep thinking that everyone will eventually accept a touch-centric UI on a desktop. Oh well, they got deep pockets. I have resisted installing Windows 8, along with millions of others, until I get what I want. Let's so who can hold their breathe the longest. Ready Microsoft? Okay, go.

3 people like this | cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I don't think they made too many.

MS was just arrogant in thinking they would sell for $500, when they had so little support behind them to begin with. You don't introduce a new OS design, cripple it based on a different CPU architect, throw it on a tablet with juvenile advertising, and expect it to sell for nearly twice the value consumers would expect. Thats three new market introductions that were not fully developed (all packaged in one product), but yet MS expected the masses to jump at the deal. I'm sorry I may be many thing, but crazy enough to throw my money on an untested marketing ploy is not one of them.

1 person liked this | Guest said:

"internal response was positive" LOL. So MS flunkies say its good. I think the Emperor has no clothes.

1 person liked this | cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Hey guys, did you read that? They marked down on a post-it note that the internal response to one of their own products is positive.

"internal response was positive" LOL. So MS flunkies say its good.

Have you ever known an internal response to be negative? Companies will fire for that kind of attitude, especially if it becomes known from an external view point. Even if the response wasn't meant to be negative but taken so, will jeopardize anyones position within the company. When it comes to internal responses and positive opinions, I ignore them every time. I don't even care to hear them, the journalist space could be saved for a different sentence in my opinion.

misor misor said:

Being a Microsoft fan, it pains me to hear a negative report from the Microsoft chair.

I thought windows 8 surface rt (and/or pro) tablets are always sold out.

I must have missed/misread some news or someone is lying how marketable windows 8 tablets are.

Cycloid Torus Cycloid Torus said:

I'ld love to try one, IF it got really, really cheap.

1 person liked this | captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Heeeere's Stevie................!

Cycloid Torus Cycloid Torus said:

A recent Surface vs Chromebook review makes the Chromebook (even w/ weak camera) sound very good for the price (much lower than the discounted Surface). Anyone have personal experience they want to share?

2 people like this | Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I found it interesting that they haven't shown the new Surface to their employees, yet "internal response" is somehow positive... Internal to what? Maybe it's just the voices in Ballmer's head again, telling him everything is fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine...

wastedkill said:

As always microsoft blatantly lying how can you get positive results when no one not even your employees have tested it yet....

1 person liked this | Railman said:

I wonder how long the markets will tolerate Ballmer. Under his stewardship MS have failed to meet most of their targets. If the reorganisation does not yield positive effects in the near future he will have no future at MS.

Guest said:

Ballmer why don't quit and take a Hawaii trip forever. I'm not a m$cro lover but with your decisions (un)fortunately m$cro will go to drain. Thank you ?

1 person liked this | Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Eeerrrmmm, bring back bill gates xD this guy is just sinking the MS ship, I have built 3 pc's recently, all of them with windows 7 as I don't know anyone who likes windows 8...

1 person liked this | tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

Surface RT Quad Core Tegra 3 vs Android Jelly Bean Quard Core Tegra 3 that's pretty much what Microsoft was aiming for in that market. But the price they were charging didn't set well with most customers. Microsoft App Store is very weak compared to Google Play Store has more titles. So it's a little too late for Microsoft getting a foot hold on the tablet industry.

avoidz avoidz said:

Microsoft needs Bill Gates making product decisions again.

p51d007 said:

Should have used the Apple approach...build hype, then, on opening day, create a "shortage" of not enough built to have for sale, creating more demand.

The problem though, no one wanted the Surface in the first place.

Guest said:

A new Surface tablet? Great that probably means more commercials with employees and their tablets dancing on table tops during a meeting.

Guest said:

Drop the price. simple enough.

Mandark Mandark said:

No Balmer, you didn't build too many. See, nobody wants those tablets. maybe for 100 bucks, yeah.

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

He needs to hire better marketing department. He's getting the wrong feedback. Also should have stick it out with Windows 7 and gave us SP2 for it. I don't like the way Windows 8 is market leaving out the MCE out and charging additional for it. Bad move there MS.

Too late with the Surface tablets also. Price structure is all wrong for today's market place. If you wanted everyone spinning around in your commercials for Surface Pro should have had the price around $349 for Pro and $149 for RT. Yes that might seem too low but your company has billions of dollars so what you could sell these Surface tablets cheaper than what apple is peddling theirs for.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

He needs to hire better marketing department. He's getting the wrong feedback. Also should have stick it out with Windows 7 and gave us SP2 for it. I don't like the way Windows 8 is market leaving out the MCE out and charging additional for it. Bad move there MS.
I beg to differ. R & D is already most likely Ballmer's scapegoat. They need to get somebody with vision, even if they have to dig up and reanimate Steve Jobs.

IMHO, a CEO shouldn't a useless intellectual parasite. A CEO should be guiding and giving direction to R & D, not the other way around.

Any load can sit there, collect millions of dollars as a paycheck, and suck blood out of the bottom ends of his employees, then blame them when things don't go right.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I beg to differ. R & D is already most likely Ballmer's scapegoat. They need to get somebody with vision, even if they have to dig up and reanimate Steve Jobs.
Ballmer does have vision, I'm not sure which cartoon inspired it though.

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.