Microsoft launched its Surface Pro tablet over the weekend, but many people who wanted to buy the new device are complaining that none were available. Industry experts suggest the problem wasn’t caused by high demand but by a supply shortage.
ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley wrote, “What if they threw a product launch and potential customers came — but the product didn’t? That seems to be what’s happened with the 128 GB model Microsoft’s Surface Pro, which officially ‘launched’ on February 9. Microsoft didn’t take pre-orders for either the 64 GB or 128 GB Intel-based Surface Pro devices, unlike the case with its previously launched ARM-based Surface RT devices. Because of this, a number of customers planned to go to the closest Microsoft Stores, Best Buys, Staples and Future Shops in the U.S. and Canada to try to get their hands on a Surface Pro on day one. But once they got there, many said they discovered their stores had very few of the Surface Pro 128 GB models and in some cases, equally few of the 64 GB ones.”
PCWorld’s John P. Mello Jr. reported, “Just hours after Microsoft Surface Windows 8 Pro went on sale Saturday, the 128GB version of the tablet sold out online. Shoppers for $1000 tablet at the online outlets of Best Buy and Staples, as well as Microsoft’s own web store, began seeing ‘not available’ or ‘out of stock’ notices just hours after midnight Eastern Time when the Windows 8 slate went on sale.”
The Business Insider’s Steve Kovach noted, “But the question remains how many units were available to begin with. There are several threads on Reddit where users complain retail locations like Best Buy and Staples only had a few Surface Pros in stock or none at all. Same goes for comments on the official Surface blog. It appears many retail locations only had a handful of devices to sell on launch day and quickly sold out.”
SlashGear’s Chris Davies added, “If that’s true, it’s unclear whether Microsoft faced production delays or simply didn’t make enough to cater to demand. The Surface Pro – like its RT sibling, released last year – uses a precisely machined ‘VaporMg’ case material, which could be causing the company problems in manufacturing. Meanwhile, initial reception to the $899+ price of the full-Windows tablet had been lukewarm, and it’s possible that Microsoft had been hedging its bets in case of minimal demand.”