The media outlets have made the recent news of Microsoft Surface sales sound like it's doom and gloom for the infant device. If you haven't heard, there have been 1.1 million Surface RT and 400,000 Surface Pro tablets sold since their release in 10/12 and 2/13 respectively.
Let me first explain the difference between RT and the Pro device. I'll have to admit that until the RT device was released, I really didn't understand what the differences were between the two tablets.
Besides the obviously horrid name, Windows 8 RT (which stands for Run-Time) runs applications from the Microsoft Store, including a modified version of Microsoft Office 2013. Microsoft has been plagued by backward capability and RT was intended to break the mold and usher in a new, more secure and flexible platform.
Pro tablets do everything RT tablets do, plus it supports all applications that can run on Windows 7. You get the flexibility of full screen (a la Metro) apps and you can install all your legacy applications, games, tools, etc.
Microsoft controlled the release of the product for numerous reasons. They need their channel partners to survive in order for them to continue to sell software licenses, which is their primary business model. They are slowly expanding their markets to include other countries, retail outlets and distribution channels. We are seeing a steady and controlled pace to bringing this innovative solution to market.
So what does 1.5 million Surface tablets translate to? Another billion dollar a year business for Microsoft. That puts Surface in the same category as Windows, Office, Xbox, SharePoint and other mega Microsoft business divisions. Not bad for a tablet that's been on sale for 6 and 1 month respectively.