John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Microsoft Surface Revenue So Far: $853 Million

Microsoft$853 million.

That’s all Microsoft made from its new Surface tablet between its launch in October 2012 and the close of the company’s fiscal year on June 30, according to the company’s annual Form 10-K, newly filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

A piddling amount of revenue that’s less than the $900 million write-down Microsoft took to reflect unsold inventory of Surface RT, the tablet the company insists consumers really want. Microsoft didn’t disclose actual Surface sales figures in the filing, but given the revenue number here, rumors of unit sales of between 1.5 million and 1.7 million may well be accurate.

That’s a particularly sad showing for the tablet, given the blustering smack-talk with which Microsoft launched the device. As CEO Steve Ballmer said last October, “I don’t think anybody has done a product that is the product that I see customers wanting. Not Apple. Not Google. Not Amazon. Nobody has a product that lets you work and play that can be your tablet and your PC. Not at any price point. This is a first-class tablet that people can enjoy and appreciate. It’s a PC; it’s a tablet. It’s for play; it’s for work. It’s got a great price. That product doesn’t exist today.”

Evidently that product still doesn’t exist today — at least not as developed and marketed by Microsoft.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work