Don't Waste Your Money: Is Microsoft's Surface tablet an epic fail?

In June, Microsoft unveiled the Surface, a PC tablet that runs on a Windows 8 operating system, but its not getting the number of sales expected.
In June, Microsoft unveiled the Surface, a PC tablet that runs on a Windows 8 operating system, but its not getting the number of sales expected.

(Toledo News Now) - Is a Microsoft Surface tablet on your wishlist this season? If you are like most people, it's probably not, and that's becoming a problem for the giant software company. Its new overhaul is not translating into holiday season sales.

Remember when customers would line up for the release of a new Windows upgrade, such as Windows 95? Those days seem like ancient history, as the crowds and excitement moved to Apple in recent years.

Microsoft made big news this fall when it released Windows 8, an operating system unlike anything it's ever offered before, with tiles instead of icons, and no familiar "start" button.
But in the first few weeks, sales have been underwhelming. Some tech critics are wondering if the new Windows, like New Coke, may have been a change consumers didn't want.

Shoppers Kick The Tires, But Don't Buy

While shoppers may be showing some interest in Microsoft's new Surface tablet, with its unique clip-on keyboard and light weight, most are not buying.

The investment firm, Piper Jaffrey, staked out a Microsoft store and Apple store in the Mall of America on Black Friday. Over a two-hour period, the Apple store sold 11 iPads, while the Microsoft store sold zero Surface tablets. Piper Jaffrey says most purchases at the Microsoft store that day were for Xbox consoles or games, not for Windows 8-related products.

Now, a growing number of analysts say Microsoft needs to do something, soon.

The Huffington Post says the new Windows 8 has been met with "lukewarm enthusiasm."

CNET says Windows 8 has had an "awkward" start, following the sudden departure of its chief architect. It says while the company has sold 40 million Windows 8 systems, those are mainly to businesses who will need to upgrade in the future; it does not indicate current sales.

The tech blog, Tapscape, calls Windows 8 a "fail," saying many prospective buyers are simply buying Apple products instead.

Information Week goes further, suggesting that with Windows 8 "fizzling," Microsoft should follow the lead of Coca-Cola, and its botched New Coke in 1985. The magazine suggests that just like with Coke Classic, Microsoft bring back a version called Windows Classic, with the familiar "start" button.

Surface Tablet Overpriced?

As for the Surface tablet, a number of analysts suggest Microsoft cut the price, which is currently at $499.

While shoppers appear to like the new Surface at first glance, analysts say its iPad-like premium price tag is scaring them away, and right down the mall to the Apple store.

The tech blog, ZDNet, says if Microsoft lowered the price to $299, sales could potentially explode, the way Amazon's Kindle Fire is selling. 

Too Soon To Tell

Analysts say it's still too early to tell if Windows 8 will be a hit, based on just a few weeks of sales. But if it's anything like Coke, don't be surprised to see the appearance of Windows Classic early next year.

That way you don't waste your money.

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