Surface Pro scarcity angers Microsoft customers

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 10, 2013
Updated • Jun 17, 2019

Microsoft customers have been looking forward to the release of the Surface Pro, a tablet laptop hybrid designed by Microsoft to provide its users with a full Windows 8 Pro device. While there are other hybrids out there running Windows 8 or Windows 8 Pro, none received as much press as Microsoft's Surface Pro device. Not all of it was positive though. If you look back you will notice that the device's battery life and hard drive space have been the topic of discussion on many blogs and forums on the Internet.

The specs are not too bad on the other hand, at least when you look at the 128 Gigabyte version which, unlike the 64 Gigabyte version, comes with sufficient free storage space to store all your programs and files on it. The three elements that stand out are the device's HD display that displays in a 1920x1080 resolution, USB 3.0 support and the keyboard / cover mechanism that while costing an extra $129 adds the full laptop experience to the device.

Tip: Check out my experience with the Surface Pro 4 device here. Also, how to disable the touchpad on Surface devices.

So, for $999 you get the 128 Gigabyte Surface Pro and since most users want to use a keyboard with the device, it is necessary to add a Touch or Type cover to it. Professional users will certainly want to pick a type cover as it is offering the traditional feel of a computer keyboard, while the touch cover does not. This adds $129.99 to the device for a total of $1128.99.

Surface Pro devices went on sale yesterday online at Microsoft's own store, at local Microsoft Stores and at Best Buy and Staples.

surface pro sold out

The 128 GB Surface Pro sold out quickly online while the 64 Gigabyte version is still listed as available (but who would want that). As far as retail locations goes, it seems that Microsoft was unable to ship devices in sufficient amounts to those locations. Users reported that many Best Buy and Staples stores did not have a single 128 Gigabyte Surface Pro on sale for the launch, and that shops that did, had only one at their disposal.

Microsoft Stores too did not receive an abundance of devices. While some appear to have received about 30 devices, it was no where near enough to fill demand.

The official announcement post over at the Surface blog is full of comments by disappointed or even angry customers who spend their day trying to get their hands on a device. Many stated that Microsoft did artificially limit supplies to be sold out of devices, but that is just an assumption on their part. What's clear though is that Microsoft was not able to meet up with the demand for the 128 Gigabyte version.

It needs to be noted that being sold out these days does not necessarily mean a device will do well. Remember that the Surface RT also sold out on launch day?

In closing, it is fair to say that Microsoft could have done a better job here.

Surface Pro scarcity angers Microsoft customers
Article Name
Surface Pro scarcity angers Microsoft customers
Microsoft customers are disappointed about the lack of Surface Pro devices online and locally shortly after launch of the new device.
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  1. Francis said on February 11, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    I spent 7hours tracking down a 128gb surface pro… Unsuccessfully. This launch seems riddled with low supply but it is fueling great press. I was one of the “angry Microsoft customers”. If they would have had the 128gb product (even for preorder on the ms or best buy sites) I would have purchased. Now I’m curious about waiting for the helix. Way to go Microsoft.

  2. Toy Man said on February 10, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    I picked up my 128 GB at the local MS store yesterday with the Type keyboard.

    I am very, very impressed.

    Apple had better up their game.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on February 10, 2013 at 5:59 pm

      Did you try both keyboards?

  3. Anonymous said on February 10, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    “Surface Pro scarcity angers Apple fanboys”
    — corrected the headline for you!

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on February 10, 2013 at 5:57 pm

      Why would it anger Apple users?

      1. Anonymous said on February 10, 2013 at 6:41 pm

        Not Apple users, just their fanboys. They think there is no demand, just scarcity even when there is evidence to the contrary.

  4. Fitoschido said on February 10, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    MS is looking ridiculous trying to catch up with Apple.

  5. ilev said on February 10, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    Tip : Windows 8 and XP Mode.
    In Windows 8 XP Mode is no longer officially supported like in Windows 7 , but there is a workaround using VirtualXPVHD.

  6. ilev said on February 10, 2013 at 11:17 am

    Microsoft has updated storage/free space of the Surface pro using binary system :

    Surface Windows 8 Pro
    The 64 GB Surface Windows 8 Pro has approximately 29 GB storage available for user content
    The 128 GB Surface Windows 8 Pro has approximately 89 GB storage available for user content

    Here’s a detailed breakdown of storage for the 64 GB and 128 GB models (rounded down to the nearest GB):

    Total storage as reported by Windows (binary system) 59* 119*

    Storage space reserved for Windows recovery tools -9 -9

    Available storage reported by File Explorer 50 110

    Windows 8 Pro and built-in apps -21 -29

    Available storage reported by File Explorer 29 89

    * Storage size shown is based on decimal system (1 GB = 1 billion bytes) while Windows RT and Windows 8 displays disk size using binary system. (1 GB = 1,073,741,824 bytes). As a result, 1 GB (in decimal) appears as about 0.93 GB (in binary). Storage capacity is the same; it’s just shown differently depending on how you measure a GB (decimal or binary).

    1. ilev said on February 10, 2013 at 8:31 pm

      ps Wonder why the 128GB version has 8GB more in OS and apps. What do the 64GB users miss?

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