If Microsoft Surface Pro was a hit, we'd know about it
One of the hot topics in tech this week has been the question of how well Microsoft's Surface Pro tablet has been selling in the wake of a lackluster reaction to the introduction of Windows 8.
Microsoft is one of many companies aiming to catch up with Apple's iPad franchise, which created the modern tablet market in April 2010.
The word in the tech blogosphere is that eager shoppers are having trouble actually locating Surface Pros in stock, which has sparked a bit of a debate: Are Surface Pro sales so strong that they can't be kept in stock? Or is the inventory shortage a reflection of Microsoft simply shipping a smaller number to stores?
Here's what I think: In the past, Microsoft has reported unit sales numbers for various versions of the Windows operating system, and for its Xbox consoles. So the reporting of sales numbers would not be even the slightest bit unusual.
And if Surface Pro was actually doing major business, Microsoft would be screaming the results for two simple reasons.
First, strong sales would help get app developers on board. As of yet, there are no native Facebook, Twitter or Spotify apps for Surface, which is a big competitive disadvantage against the iPad and Android platforms.
Second, strong Surface Pro sales numbers would tell prospective customers that they are not at risk of buying a dying platform.
So until Microsoft gives us some hard data, stay skeptical as to how sales are shaping up.