I just got wind of an article that rumors that Microsoft is cutting orders for its Surface RT tablets in half. It was previously reported that Microsoft had ordered 5 million of the tablet units to be produced, but due to lack luster and modest sales figures, it seems Microsoft want to cut their coat according to their size instead of sticking it out and hoping things will change in the next year.
I’m not a fan of rumors, but if this news is true, here is my recommendation to Microsoft. “Stop Selling the Touch Covers as a separate bundle with a higher price“.
You can currently get the Surface RT ONLY for $499 or Surface RT + Touch Cover for $599, and the Touch/Type Cover only for $119. WTF Microsoft. Your entire advertisement cycle indicated that the Surface tablet was MOST useful when used with the Touch/Type Cover. There was even a whole song and dance routine to the effect, so why sell the two differently instead of just as a replacement when necessary?
I personally believe the sales method chosen has attributed to customers taking a wait and see approach with the Surface devices because most of them would consider it a waste of money to get the tablet alone if they don’t have enough spare cash now, and then have to shell out another $120 – 140 later just to get a Touch/Type cover.
Microsoft continue to hurt themselves with their marketing, pricing and product naming, even though they have “better” products than most of the competition. WTF does “RT” mean by the way? Even though I’m inclined to purchase the device, I would love to know what that abbreviation stands for just in case I have to defend my purchase. Also, if you plan to sell to general consumers, stop naming products as if only business tycoons with loads of money and no idea how the item they are purchasing works are going to purchase the products. (I think the “i” in iPad, iPhone, iMac add the necessary level of “personal” that drives their sales)
It’s not too late for Microsoft to turn things around. They should NOT be like Apple and try to squeeze the life blood out of their customers, but should rather do what they have always done in the past that has made them successful with hardware, i.e. bundle the necessities together for a good price. Desktop PCs are currently not sold with the mouse and keyboard separately simple because they are essential. The Surface tablet should also not be sold without the keyboard because it is essential. WTF am I going to do with Office RT if I don’t have a decent keyboard to go with it? I know several counter arguments can be made about devices, but essentially, don’t let people feel like they are being cheated on quality.
Microsoft have a unique product advantage over other Windows 8 device makers, Apple and Google. If they want to be able to taut their sales figures from the roof tops, then they should make full use of this advantage and not fear under cutting their own competition in the Windows 8 space, because frankly, none of them are really making any sales impact at the moment.