Microsoft CEO Admits Surface RT Failure and Disappointing Windows Sales

Blue Microsoft Surface

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is disappointed with sales of its Surface RT tablet, the Redmond-based company’s unsuccessful attempt at competing with the iPad. ”We built a few more devices than we could sell,” said Ballmer, during an internal town hall event earlier this week. The chief executive also mentioned poor sales of Windows devices, including PCs, tablets and smartphones.

Microsoft pushed just 1.8 million Surface tablets through it supplier channels in the past two quarters, and took a $900 million loss because of unsold inventory as a result. The company then slashed the price of its Surface RT tablet to just $349, as refreshed models could be on the horizon. I’ll just leave this ad below.

[The Verge]

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Microsoft Continues to Attack iPad After $900 Million Surface Tablet Blunder

Microsoft continues its aggressive marketing campaign against the iPad, releasing a new TV advertisement on Friday that mocks the Apple tablet for its absence of three Surface features: a real keyboard, kickstand and USB port. The 30-second spot also promotes the Surface’s new $349 price tag, over $599 for the iPad; however, the ad only shows the additional $119 cost for the Touch Cover in the fine print.

It is rather unsurprising that Microsoft is pushing to increase Surface sales, as the tablet cost the company $900 million in losses due to “inventory adjustments.” That’s a nice way of saying that the tablet is not selling, with only 1.8 million Surface RT units sold in the past two quarters. And when you’re forced to knock $150 off your flagship tablet, you know things aren’t going too well.

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Report: Microsoft Testing ‘Translucent Aluminum’ Smart Watch

Report: Microsoft Testing ‘Translucent Aluminum’ Smart Watch

Microsoft SmartWatchTom Warren of The Verge reports:

Microsoft’s prototype smartwatch testing has moved over to its Surface team. Sources familiar with Microsoft’s Surface plans have revealed to The Verge that the company is now prototyping devices directly under the Surface team as the firm moves its wrist-worn device closer to reality.

Microsoft joins the likes of Apple, Google and Samsung as companies that are allegedly working on wearable wristband technologies. Pebble most recently hit the market, and we could see products like the so-called “iWatch” and “Surface Watch” follow suit by later this year or early 2014.

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Microsoft to Slash Price of Surface to Just $349

Blue Microsoft Surface

One would assume that the expensive $499 price tag of the base model Surface tablet, or $599 with the attachable Touch Cover keyboard, is one of the main reasons that Microsoft has been struggling to sell the slate. In fact, during the last two quarters combined, it is reported that only 1.8 million Surface tablets were shipped.

Just yesterday, it was revealed that Microsoft has plans to update both its Surface RT and Surface Pro tablets within the next year. Now, sources tell The Verge that the Redmond-based company will cut the price of its Surface tablet models by $150 each as soon as next week due to poor sales.  (more…)

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Microsoft Hints at Updated Surface Tablets Within Next Year

microsoft-surface-small-2

Microsoft Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner has shared some revealing information about the Redmond-based company’s plans for the next fiscal year, which runs July 1st, 2013 to June 30th, 2014, at Microsoft’s annual Worldwide Partner Conference.

Turner showed the following slide to conclude his presentation at day three of the conference, as reported by Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet. Notably, it shows that updates are planned for both the Surface RT and Surface Pro tablets, accompanied by new accessories and new accessory colors.  (more…)

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Microsoft Draws on iPad’s Lack of True Multitasking in Latest TV Ad

Microsoft has continued its aggressive marketing campaign against Apple, with a new TV advertisement that focuses on the iPad’s lack of true multitasking. In the commercial, two amateur scouts are standing next to each other at a baseball game, using a Windows 8 tablet and iPad respectively to communicate with their managers about a prospect player.

The 30-second spot uses America’s favorite pastime as an opportunity to highlight the ability for Windows 8 tablets to run more than one app at once, something that the iPad is unable to do. It’s the same marketing strategy against Apple products that other competitors, namely Samsung, have used in the past. Apple, too, once ran a series of successful Mac vs. PC ads a number of years back.

Microsoft has been largely unsuccessful at getting Windows 8 tablets to gain traction in the market — the Surface is nothing more than an also-ran — and continues to face pressure from both the iPad and a number of competitive Android tablet offerings. Taking the anti-Apple approach might have worked for Samsung in the past, but I’m not quite sure how effective it’ll be for Microsoft.

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Leakers Oust the Nokia 909: A Windows Phone 8 Device with a 41 Megapixel Camera

Nokia 909

@evleaks, known for their excellent track record in regards to Android and Windows Phone devices, has released purported images of the Nokia 909. While the device apparently sheds the “Lumia” brand, Windows Phone 8 will still be powering the phone.

The majority of the specifications are unknown, though this device apparently includes a PureView camera. That camera, which packs a whopping 41 megapixels, was released on another device in 2012. That device — named the PureView 808 — was hampered by the fact that it ran Symbian, instead of a modern smartphone OS. The Nokia 909, which appears at least in these renderings to be an AT&T exclusive, would be the first Windows Phone 8 device to ship with such a camera. (more…)

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Microsoft Office Launches on App Store

MS Office iPhone 1 MS Office iPhone 2

The long wait is over. Microsoft on Friday announced its highly-anticipated Office Mobile for Office 365 subscribers app on the App Store for iPhone and iPod touch. Users with an Office 365 subscription will now be able to access, view and edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents on the go. The app is currently available in the United States only, and will be expanded to additional countries soon.

After signing in to an Office 365 account, you can access, view and edit Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents from anywhere. And, you can count on Office Mobile to keep all your content and formatting intact so the document still looks great when you’re back on your PC or Mac.

Office Mobile features SkyDrive integration, allowing users to edit documents on the go and have those changes synced with Mac or PC. With support for charts, animations, SmartArt graphics and shapes, the formatting and layout remain the same across all platforms. Meanwhile, the wait continues for native Office support on iPad.

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Sound Off: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, or Something Else Entirely?

New Xbox One Hardware

The entire internet has been ablaze with discussion of this week’s announcement of the Xbox One, and not all of it bodes well for Microsoft’s latest Xbox. While the various features announced seem to be well-received, gamers do not like the fact that Microsoft seems to have put the video services ahead of the actual gaming aspects of the One. While that situation may well be rectified at E3 — the largest gaming conference in the world, held in June this year — the situation has stained the unveil of the console itself.

The PlayStation 4 hasn’t been left out of this discussion, either. (more…)

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Microsoft Inaccurately Depicts ASUS VivoTab Smart as Having a Larger Screen than iPad

ipadvsvivo

Microsoft has been launching some very in-your-face ads, and they continued to do so recently with a campaign intended to promote the ASUS VivoTab Smart as a great Windows RT iPad alternative. The problem, though, is that Microsoft has drastically exaggerated the tablet’s screen size and has even stated clearly false information as fact–saying that the ASUS tablet “has a bigger touchscreen.” (more…)

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