Microsoft Surface sales seem slack, says UBS, spelling silence for Windows RT?

The Surface RT tablet sold 'only' 1 million last year, estimates a UBS analyst. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) says it's 'pleased,' but many commentators predict a premature demise for its ill-fated Windows RT operating system.

Windows RT dead?

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers wonder why they'd buy a limited, ARM tablet, when they could have a full-fat, compatible Atom one.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.

With all the gossip that's fit to print, it's Matt Hamblen:

The analyst, Brent Thill, had expected 2 million. ...he said that customers are preferring iPads. ... In mid-December, Microsoft claimed it was increasing...production and called the public's reaction...positive [but] won't reveal sales numbers for the device.

...

Thill said there is hope for...the full Windows 8 Surface Pro tablet...later this month [starting at] $899.  MORE

And Dina "billy" Bass fishes for more from the story:

Thill cut his estimate for Surface sales in half...citing “gloomy sentiment” after the holiday shopping season. ... He cut his earnings per share projection for the quarter by 8 cents to 76 cents.

...

“Surface Pro is the more promising” model, he wrote in the report.  MORE

Well, duh. Tell us something we don't know, Brian X. Chen:

By comparison, Apple sold three million of its newest iPads in the first three days they were on sale.

...

Rhoda Alexander, a display analyst at IHS iSuppli...estimated that Microsoft sold about 1.3 million [RT] devices. ... “It’s certainly not a gangbusters start,” she said.

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“We’re pleased with the strong customer reception of Surface and are excited to continue to grow the Surface family,” a Microsoft spokeswoman said. ... Microsoft will announce its quarterly earnings next Thursday.  MORE

Meanwhile, Brad Chacos should perhaps have stayed in Vegas:

Microsoft and ARM rolled snake eyes at CES 2013. ... RT died in the desert last week. ... Samsung...HP and Toshiba squashed plans for a Windows RT tablet. ... CES was awash in Windows 8 devices [but] Windows RT was a complete and utter no-show.

...

the ARM processors powering Windows RT...offer better power efficiency and cost less. ... However, these two ARM benefits are already being challenged by...Intel's Atom Z2760 “Clover Trail” [SoC] ... [It's] behind Intel's Core processors in sheer performance, but delivers decent pep compared with ARM. ... AMD spent the week showing off its "Temash" [SoC].

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Does Microsoft need ARM whatsoever if AMD and Intel can continue to deliver affordable, energy-sipping processors?  MORE

But the fatal blow comes—natch—from Preston Gralla, who says "RT is an operating system without a future":

Even Steve Ballmer admits...sales have been modest. ...it's hard to imagine it succeeding.

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Starting later this month, full-blown Windows 8 tablets based on Atom chips will start to ship. ... [They] run full-blown Windows 8, including the Desktop and Desktop apps, and [are] more powerful.

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Given the generally equivalent pricing between RT tablets and full-blown Atom-based Windows 8 tablets, who will buy RT? ... [They] will eventually go the way of other ill-fated Microsoft products, including the Kin phone, Clippy, and Microsoft Bob.  MORE
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