It is a poor debut for a product that was launched with much fanfare after a big hype was created leading up to it.
Microsoft Corporation(NASDAQ:MSFT) debut tablet PC, Surface RT, has so far sold only about 500,000 units, analysts estimated against its ambitious predictions of being able to sell between 2 and 4 million units in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Analysts said that one of the main things working against the device was its poor distribution.
Rather surprisingly, the product is largely available online and in a few scattered Microsoft retail stores around the United States.
A report by Slash Gear said - That means consumers can’t get hands-on with the device and most who buy simply have to order online and hope they like it. Analysts from Detwiler Fenton say that Microsoft’s tablet strategy is in “disarray.”
The high starting price of $499 per device is also working against it. in trying to position itself in the same league as Apple's iPad (which is an established product), Microsoft has effectively priced its tablet out of the market.
AllThingsD reports that there are only 31 Microsoft stores and 34 small holiday kiosks in the US.
Slash Gear said that Microsoft’s original plan was to restrict retail sales of the tablet to its own stores, but that plan is obviously not working out. It remains to be seen if Microsoft will change its plan and allow retailers such as Best Buy and others put the tablet in their stores