Microsoft is expected to sell less than one million Surface RT tablets during the December quarter, with their tablet strategy in apparent "disarray."
That is according to Boston-based brokerage firm Detwiler Fenton, who told Forbes the company would struggle to shift many units of the product before Christmas.
Yet Detwiler suggested the demand for Windows 8 tablets should improve by 2013 due to improved hardware distribution and an aging laptop industry.
As well as mixed reviews, a lack of distribution has been attributed to effectively killing the product, with Detwiler believing the lack of retail exposure to be "severely despressing."
But despite the forecast, CEO Steve Ballmer has defended Microsoft’s performance during 2012, insisting he “feels pretty good about our level of innovation” in an address to shareholders in Seattle last week.
Speaking at the company’s annual meeting, Ballmer highlighted the recent product launches and financial performance, and outlined Microsoft’s shift to devices and services.
When quizzed at the time about why Apple’s iPad products continue to outperform the company, Ballmer conceded an earlier move into the tablet market should have happened.
“We’re innovating on the seam between software and hardware,” he said last week.
“Maybe we should have done that earlier.”
“We see nothing but a sea of upside. I feel pretty good about our level of innovation.
“Focusing on devices and services will impact how we run the company, how we develop new experiences and how we take products to market for both consumers and businesses.
“The work we have accomplished in the past year and the road map in front of us brings this to life.”
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