Surface Pro Tablets Remain Scarce After First Weekend of Sales

NEWS ANALYSIS: Microsoft launched the Surface Pro Feb. 9 to an enthusiastic reception, resulting in long lines, hot sales while devices lasted and disappointed customers.

My daughter, a newly minted computer scientist and physicist, got up early on a Saturday (something nearly unheard of) and headed off to the Microsoft Store in Tyson’s Corner, Va., to buy a shiny new Microsoft Surface Pro with 128GB memory.

Normally I’d have gone with her so I could get some photos of the lines for eWEEK, but the Washington, DC, Auto Show was in town, and the BMW display was calling my name. Turns out, I had better luck at the BMW display.

My daughter sent me a text while I was still on the Metro heading to downtown Washington. The Microsoft Store, it seemed, was totally sold out of Surface Pro devices. So I did what any good journalist would do, and asked her to get more information on the supply of Surface Pros of all sorts, and let me know what the Microsoft Store folks said about the sellout. Meanwhile, I’d go look at the BMW 3-Series with xDrive.

My daughter asked the Microsoft Store employees how it sold out so quickly. Apparently the store personnel thought they had enough for the launch day sales, but underestimated demand. They wouldn’t say how many units of the Surface Pro they had in stock, but both the 128GB and the 64GB versions were sold out. My daughter was disappointed.

She stopped by our house before heading home, and checked the online Microsoft store. It was sold out as well. Being the dutiful father who hates to see his daughter disappointed, I called the Microsoft Store to see if they could tell me more. The apparently harried clerk told me that they were sold out of every Surface Pro they had, and that maybe they would have some in stock on Monday. He did suggest that I try Best Buy and Staples, which were also selling the Surface Pro.

So I called Best Buy and Staples near my home in Northern Virginia. They, too, had sold out of the Surface Pro. I knew that the Best Buy nearest my home originally had the Surface Pro in stock, because I’d visited that store the night before sales began and looked at the Surface Pro display model, and I asked if they were ready to start selling them Saturday morning. There the store employee assured me that they had a good supply of both the 64GB and 128GB devices.

Wayne Rash

Wayne Rash

Wayne Rash is a freelance writer and editor with a 35 year history covering technology. He’s a frequent speaker on business, technology issues and enterprise computing. He covers Washington and...