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Microsoft Writes Off $900 Million on Surface Tablets


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Microsoft Writes Off $900 Million on 6 Million UN-sold Surface Tablets
By David Gilbert: Subscribe to David's RSS feed | July 18, 2013 11:37 PM GMT
Microsoft has reported lower-than-expected quarterly profits with share diving 5% following the news.

Microsoft has taken a $900 million hit on its stock of six million unsold Surface tablets. (Credit: Reuters)


Microsoft on Thursday reported lower-than-expected quarterly earnings as faltering PC sales ate into its Windows business and the company took an unexpected $900 million (£591m) charge for its inventory of unsold Surface tablets, sending its shares down 5% in after hours trading.


The massive charge underlines the struggles of the world's largest software company, which last week announced a deep reorganisation to transform itself into a "devices and services" leader, but is struggling to make mobile devices as attractive as those from Apple or Samsung.

"That's the biggest miss we've ever seen from Microsoft, the biggest that I could remember," said Brendan Barnicle, an analyst at Pacific Crest Securities. "It looks like everything was weak and that's what we need an explanation on."


Ahead of the announcement Microsoft shares were up a record 32% this year, beating a 19% rise in the Standard & Poor's 500 index.


Microsoft said the $900 million charge was related to its Surface RT tablet, the version of its tablet running on ARM-designed chips and using a 'lite' version of Windows 8. The Surface was meant to challenge Apple's iPad when it was launched alongside Windows 8 in October, but has not sold well. (More...)
Continued at: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/articles/492120/20130718/microsoft-takes-900-million-charge-surface-tablets.htm

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My dad was looking into getting a Surface after their laptop got stolen this past spring.  I advised against it.  It's not the 'Windows 8' thing that would have made me steer clear of this.  I have a new laptop with Windows 8 and I find I actually like it, but maybe it's a case of something brand new with better hardware working so much better than the old computer did.  


Anyway...my reservations about the Surface had to do more with it being a new device.  A couple of years ago, I enthusiastically purchased a new device, an e-reader.  It was a device that was meant to rival the Kindle Fire.  Well, it fell far short of that and it turned out to have a lot of bugs.  Less than a year later, the company that made the device had basically abandoned it and came out with a brand new upgraded device, with better specs.  I came away from that experience feeling like an unwilling beta tester.  It's not likely I'll ever purchase that company's hardware again.  


Hence my being wary of jumping on the 'shiny new device'.  When I first got onto the computer scene, I was intrigued with getting at the nuts and bolts of things and troubleshooting and all that stuff.  I'm not so much anymore, I just want to use my devices and I want them to work smoothly.  I'm willing to do maintenance and updates, but I'm really not interested in fussing with technical issues anymore.  And I am not willing to be anyone's beta tester.  


My dad got another laptop.  As for my cousin, who was looking into replacing her iPad with a Surface....I don't know what she did.  ;)  


Oh, and didn't Microsoft come out with an mp3 player many years ago?  How did that go?  (Didn't get that, either.  This household went to Creative Zen products, and then later to Apple.)   

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