Microsoft lacks a "plan B" for struggling Surface tablets

Microsoft CFO Peter Klein was on hand at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference this week where he dismissed any idea that Redmond should be working on a “Plan B” for its Surface tablets.


“It’s less ‘Plan B’ than how you execute on the current plan,” Klein said, according to Reuters. “We aim to evolve this generation of Windows to make sure we have the right set of experiences at the right price points for all customers.”

Microsoft is currently struggling in the tablet market with its Windows 8 Surface RT and Surface Pro tablets not racking up the sales numbers the company had originally hoped for. Indeed, AppleInsider reports that less than 900,000 Surface Tablets were sold in Q4 2012 (according to Gartner). Compare that number to the approximately 23,000,000 tablets Apple sold last quarter and it’s clear that Microsoft is struggling.

Microsoft has changed its sales plan for the Surface tablets where the Surface RT originally only launched online and in Microsoft retail stores, as the devices are now in retail stores around the country such as Best Buy and Staples.

“It’s probably more nuanced than just you lower or raise prices,” he said. “It’s less a Plan B and more, how do you tweak your plan, how do you bring these things to market to make sure you have the right offerings at the right price points.”

Microsoft’s plan appears to be simply stick with the Surface RT until it devises a way to make the tablet sell. This is similar to the plan Microsoft had been the original Xbox didn’t sell as well as the Sony PS2. Microsoft stuck with it and now the Xbox 360 is the most popular game console on the market. Perhaps it’s the second iteration of Surface tablets that will be successful for Microsoft.