Let's not get stupid about the Surface 2
Unless you live under a rock, you have read about the new Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 tablets unveiled by Microsoft a couple of weeks ago. I wrote at the time that the two key points about the new tablets would be their improved battery life and sheer number of official accessories.
Fast-forward a couple of weeks and the pre-order is already in full swing. And if you would take word from Microsoft, the new Surface 2 is to sell out in the first week. The problem, though, is this sounds exactly like the original Surface--which was supposed to sell out when it first launched too. Of course, we all know about Microsoft's stunning $900 million write-down attributed to unsold stocks of the Surface RT.
"It also looks like pre-order stock of the Surface 2 (64GB) and Surface Pro 2 (256 GB and 512GB) are close to selling out--also at Microsoft Stores," wrote Surface general manager Brian Hall in a blog post last week.
A tweet sent out last Friday by @msdev adopted the same theme: "Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 are close to selling out. All those buyers are gonna need apps. Your move: http://developer.microsoft.com"
We know all how scarcity tactics can work to drive up demand of a product. Indeed, Apple most recently applied this with the gold version of the new iPhone 5S. In Singapore, where I live, the shortage of the gold model has already driven up the resale price of said unit to almost 150% of a brand new unit barely a week after its launch.
I'm no Surface hater--and in fact loved the "Type" keyboard which I consider the best tablet keyboard cover ever made--but until Microsoft produces real numbers, I think it would do better off not harping on the sales of the Surface, you know? How about concentrating on delivering exceptional products instead? As the idiom goes: "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me."