Update: This story has been partly debunked. Microsoft sent Pocketnow the following comment on Ballmer’s use of the word “modest”.
“When asked about Surface, Steve’s use of the term “modest” was in relation to the company’s approach in ramping up supply and distribution of Surface with Windows RT, which has only been available via our online store and certain Microsoft retail stores in the U.S. While our approach has been modest, Steve notes the reception to the device has been “fantastic” which is why he also stated that “soon, it will be available in more countries and in more stores.“
It is clear now that Ballmer was referring to the ramping up of the supply and distribution process for the Surface RT tablet as opposed to pure sales. The release also confirms that the Surface RT will be available in more countries and more stores soon, suggesting that other retail outlets will indeed be selling the Surface RT in coming months, though the company didn’t add which stores will make Surface available and when they will be made available.
Still, we’d love for Microsoft to comment as to how many Surface RT tablets have been sold thus far. We know some preorders were sold out, though we have a hard time believe sales have been that robust given the narrow availability of the Surface.
The original story in its entirety follows:
Speaking with French Newspaper Le Parisien on Saturday, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer stated that sales of the company’s Surface RT tablet were “starting modestly,” mostly due to the fact that Surface RT is only available online and in Microsoft’s retail stores in the U.S. When it comes to major consumer technology purchasing decisions, most consumers take a “try before you buy” approach, which to date has been unavailable for Surface RT unless you live in a location close to one of their 20 retail stores around the country.
Ballmer declined to comment on exactly how many Surface RT tablets have been sold thus far, nor did he elaborate on whether Surface RT would be available at other locations in the near future. Ballmer did, however, add that the supply shortages currently facing Surface RT is “a good sign” and that the company “will fix this problem quickly,” adding that a Surface Pro with Intel’s Ivy Bridge processors are coming in the next few months.