February 10, 2013
Surface Pro Launches, Sells Out Online In The US
redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online
Both the 64GB and the 128GB versions of the Surface Pro were listed as out of stock through Microsoft´s online store in the US, just hours after the Redmond, Washington company´s tablet computer launched in North America on Saturday, various media outlets have reported.
The 128GB version, which costs $999 and does not come with a Touch or Type cover, had sold out before 6:00am PST Saturday morning, according to Microsoft-focused news website WinBeta.
By 11:00am PST, the smaller, cheaper version of the Surface Pro was also out of stock online, CNET´s Edward Moyer added. Microsoft´s online store in Canada still had both types of the tablet in stock at that time.
The computer was also launched at brick-and-mortar Microsoft store locations, as well as various Staples and Best Buy outlets, but reports suggest that availability at those locations is somewhat hit-or-miss.
Eric Limer of Gizmodo reported Saturday afternoon that “many Best Buys have either received no units aside from the demo ones that started to go out last weekend, or have received just one or two that immediately go to pre-orders.”
“It seems like many Staples aren't getting any Surface Pros at all, and even entire cities like Dallas and Houston are being left completely in the lurch and plenty of people who went out of their way to pre-order the devices at local stores are just getting the shaft,” he added.
Physical Microsoft stores, on the other hand, “seem to be well-stocked if you can find one,” Limer noted.
According to Moyer, it is currently not clear how many Surface Pro units have been sold. Microsoft shipped approximately 1.25 million units of the Pro´s predecessor, the Surface RT, but only sold about 680,000 and 750,000 of those within the first two months of availability, according to figures provided to CNET by IHS iSuppli.
ZDNET writer Matthew Miller was critical of the manufacturer´s handling of the computer´s launch.
“It's nice to see people seem to be excited to purchase the Surface Pro, but it's sad that Microsoft failed so miserably on launch day by not having anywhere close to the demand out in retail locations,” he said. “Apple sells out on launch day due to extremely high sales, but it looks like Microsoft sold out due to low available inventory.”
In a statement emailed to Gizmodo, Microsoft said that they were “working with our retail partners who are currently out of stock of the 128GB Surface Pro to replenish supplies as quickly as possible.” They added that consumer interest in the tablet had been “amazing,” and emphasized that the company´s priority would be “to ensure that every customer gets their new Surface Pro as soon as possible.”