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Ballmer: Microsoft has sold a ‘modest’ number of Surface RT tablets

by Doug Drinkwater

November 12 2012

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer hints that Surface RT sales are going OK, as attention turns to the Surface Pro tablets due to be launched at the start of next year.

In an interview with French newspaper Le Parisien, Ballmer said that the company had sold a “modest” number of Surface RT tablets (running Windows RT, the ARM version of Windows 8) since the tablet launched on October 26, and added that four million Windows 8 upgrades took place in the first three days.

(UPDATE: Microsoft says a mis-translation of the interview led reporters to believe Ballmer was talking about sales when he was in fact talking about distribution. See story here).

Ballmer then went onto state that Microsoft will soon be starting a new marketing campaign for the next Surface tablet, the “high-end” Surface for Windows 8 Pro (the Intel version of Windows 8), which is due to launch at the start of next year.

The Surface Pro edition is expected to start from around $800 but will come with more memory, a more powerful processor and will promise compatibility with legacy Windows applications, making this tablet potentially more appealing to business users and enterprise.

Analysts recently estimated that Microsoft would sell three million Surface tablets in Q4, with Ballmer himself having rather cautiously said that the Redmond giant aims to sell a “few million” of the tablets over the next year.

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