Ballmer: 'We made too many Surface RT tablets'

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has admitted the company can't shift its stock of Surface tablets.

Joe Svetlik Reporter
Joe has been writing about consumer tech for nearly seven years now, but his liking for all things shiny goes back to the Gameboy he received aged eight (and that he still plays on at family gatherings, much to the annoyance of his parents). His pride and joy is an Infocus projector, whose 80-inch picture elevates movie nights to a whole new level.
Joe Svetlik
2 min read

Microsoft made more Surface RT tablets than it can sell, the company's CEO Steve Ballmer has admitted, according to sources speaking to The Verge. Not only that, it's also not selling as many Windows devices as it wants, according to Ballmer.

Ballmer was speaking at an internal company event to discuss the massive loss it incurred on the Surface RT. No wonder Microsoft slashed the price recently. But there might be a glimmer of hope, as Ballmer touched upon the next Surface device during his talk.

"We built a few more devices than we could sell," Ballmer said, referring to the struggling Surface RT. He didn't provide any details on the next Surface, but confirmed the successor was currently being tested, and featured incremental improvements.

It's rumoured to feature a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor.

Windows devices as a whole haven't been performing well, Ballmer said, whether they be mobiles, PCs, or tablets. "We're not selling as many Windows devices as we want to," he said.

Despite this, Microsoft is still "100 per cent committed" to the Surface and Windows RT, according to Brian Hall, Microsoft's general manager of Surface marketing. He told our sister site CNET News: "We know we need a lot of Surface users to start the flywheel of people recommending it."

Microsoft is estimated to have about 6 million Surface devices unsold. That's quite a pile.

Samsung has been vocal about Windows RT in the past, saying it's confusing for consumers. The Korean company cancelled its own Ativ Tab, which was going to run Windows RT. Acer, Dell and HP also put the boot into Microsoft when it launched the Surface. Which is fair enough, seeing as it basically launched a device to compete with its own partners.

What do you think of the Surface? Is it worth a look now the price has come down? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook page.