John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Surface Barely Ripples Web Traffic

Microsoft’s Windows RT-powered Surface tablet has been on sale for a little over a month now, available for purchase exclusively from the Microsoft Store (online and brick-and-mortar). And if early Web traffic from the device is any indication, it hasn’t exactly been flying off the shelves.

Take a look at the latest stats from online ad network and data analytics firm Chitika, which found that Microsoft Surface users generate less than one percent of all North American tablet traffic.

Chitika measured tens of millions of ad impressions on its network originating from tablets in the U.S. and Canada between November 12 and November 18. And, as you can see from the chart below, Surface’s presence was negligible — .13 percent for the period surveyed. (Chitika tells me the iPad still dominates its network, with 88 percent of tablet Web traffic in North America coming from users of the device.)

Not much of a surprise, really. Surface is, after all, a new entrant in a highly competitive market littered with the bodies of aspirants hoping to go head to head with Apple’s iPad. Indeed, it would have been more surprising if Chitika had discovered a groundswell of Web traffic coming from the device. As I’ve noted here before, it’s likely that Surface sales have been hamstrung by a roll-out strategy that has severely limited the device’s retail availability. That could change a bit if Microsoft expands Surface’s distribution, as has been rumored.

What is somewhat surprising, though, is just how little Web traffic Chitika is seeing from Google’s marquee tablets. The analytics firm notes that traffic from the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 combined is exactly seven times that of Surface.

That makes for a great comparison. But seven times .13 percent is itself a piddling metric — .91 percent. So even Google’s best-of-breed Android tablets — including one, the Nexus 7, that has been available since July — appear to be struggling for purchase in the market Microsoft is only entering just now. And that’s got to be at least a little reassuring to the folks up in Redmond.

Sure, Microsoft has a lot of ground to make up with Surface. But so does anyone else hoping to stake a claim in the iPad-dominated tablet market.


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