Citing three people “with knowledge of the company’s sales”, Bloomberg reports that Microsoft has sold little more than a million Surface RT tablets since its launch in October, and 400,000 Surface Pro is just over a month.
The figures appear to indicate that demand is higher for the Surface Pro, which runs full-fat Windows 8 and is therefore compatible with existing Windows apps, but also that Microsoft has more than just a few Surface RTs stuck in reseller warehouses. After all, sources say Microsoft has ordered 3 million of the ARM-powered tablets.
While Microsoft refused to comment on the matter, these new estimates do look credible when judged against recent figures coming out of IDC.
In its latest report, the research firm forecast total worldwide tablet shipments to reach 190 million units in 2013 and estimated that Windows 8 and RT would grow to account for 2.8% (roughly 5.32 million units) and 1.9% (3.61 million units) of the market, respectively.
The Windows 8 stake certainly appears to be plausible, at least on the assumption that the Surface Pro continues its current growth (to around 4 million units for the year) and that additional sales come from Windows 8 tablets being offered through Dell, HP, Lenovo and others.
And while such shipments would put Microsoft’s primary operating system on course for a top six vendor slot (behind Barnes & Noble, if IDC’s previous report is to believed), the estimates for Surface RT would suggest that demand is lower than expected for Windows RT.
Despite the Surface tablets being somewhat slow out of the blocks, Microsoft apparently has plans to add to the tablet family with as many as three new models in future, including a 7-inch Xbox tablet.