Ballmer discusses excess Surface RT inventory

Earlier this month, we heard rumors about Microsoft implementing some big discounts on Surface RT tablet hardware, and just a few days later, that news was confirmed: Surface RT hardware saw an across-the-board $150 price cut. While that might be seen as Microsoft getting more aggressive in the tablet space, the company’s quarterly financial details – disclosed in the days following this pricing adjustment – revealed another motivation, in the form of $900 million in losses due to excess Surface RT inventory. Today we hear some new reports out of Redmond, where CEO Steve Ballmer has reportedly been talking about the Surface problem.

In an internal Microsoft meeting, Ballmer admitted the company building “a few more [Surface RT] devices than we could sell,” as well as lamenting that the company’s “not selling as many Windows devices as we want to,” in general. While he’s clearly not going to admit that the Surface RT was an outright mistake, this is still notable as a tacit admission that the company’s tablet aspirations simply aren’t lining up with reality.

The question now may be if the next generation of Surface RT tablets will be able to reverse this trend and drive consumer interest. Rumors about the hardware sure make it sound a heck of a lot more capable than last year’s model, with specs like a Snapdragon 800 processor, but Microsoft could still have a battle ahead of it as far as changing perceptions about the maligned Surface RT brand.

Source: The Verge

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Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bits Read more about Stephen Schenck!