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11/27/2013
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Microsoft Surface Barely Registers On Web Usage

Microsoft Surface tablets are still getting crushed by the iPad, web use data shows.

Microsoft's ARM-powered Surface tablets have become more popular in North America in the month since the Surface 2 debuted. But the growth has stemmed as much from price cuts to the original model, the Surface RT, as from demand for the new version. The devices also generated less than one-sixtieth the web traffic generated by Apple's iPads.

Those are the conclusions of a report released Wednesday by the online ad network Chitika. It tracked web use among North American tablet users for the four weeks following the Surface 2's Oct. 22 launch, focusing on tablets other than iPads. It found that the Surface RT and Surface 2 combined for 6.5% of all non-iPad tablet traffic.

The Surface RT was responsible for most of this traffic -- 93.6% of combined Surface RT/Surface 2 use. Given that the Surface RT has been available much longer than the Surface 2, it is not surprising that it accounts for more traffic, but the disparity is striking.

[ How does the Surface 2 stack up against the iPad Air? Read iPad Air vs. Surface 2: 9 Considerations. ]

When iPads are included, the ARM-based Surface line was responsible for less than 1.3% of total tablet web use, Chitika said. The Surface 2 accounted for less than 0.083%.

It should be pointed out that use share is only one measure of tablet performance. In marketshare, IDC reports that iPads accounted for less than 30% of third-quarter shipments. Chitika draws statistics from millions of ad impressions spread across a network of more than 300,000 sites.

Apple CEO Tim Cook frequently cites use statistics when dismissing the marketshare that iOS devices have lost to Android-based competitors, which now account for more than half of all tablet shipments. Cook's argument is that most Android tablets are low-cost "junk" devices that end up unused in the owner's desk drawer. Apple's tablets, in contrast, tap into arguably the most developed mobile ecosystem on the market, so iPads represent revenue streams and developer opportunities that outpace their relatively modest slice of the market.

Whether or not you buy Cook's premise, marketshare statistics don't flatter the Surface tablets any more than use figures do. IDC said in October that Windows slates still lack consumer support, and that Microsoft was not one of the top five tablet vendors during the third quarter. It did not specify Microsoft's marketshare, but it reported that fifth-place Acer shipped 1.2 million tablets, which was good enough for only 2.5% of the market.

Microsoft's Surface 2.
Microsoft's Surface 2.

But Chitika's numbers affirm that the Surface is improving, slowly but steadily. The Surface RT hit the market with a thud, forcing Microsoft to declare a nearly $1 billion writedown on unsold inventory. But the company slashed prices in July, bringing the base configuration to $349, and it has said that sales have improved since then. Chitika's numbers support this story; the device accounted for only 3.3% of non-iPad web traffic in June, but that figure had grown to 5.7% by the end of September.

This suggests the Surface line's upward trajectory has been motivated by falling prices as much as the Surface's vastly improved package. The extent to which Windows RT 8.1 has made the original Surface RT more usable is another consideration.

Still, the 0.7 percentage points Microsoft has gained since launching the Surface 2 fare relatively well compared to at least one key competitor. Amazon's Kindle devices lost 1.8 percentage points during the same period.

That said, Chitika found that, excluding Apple, Kindles were the most used tablets in North America, with almost one-third of non-iPad traffic. Samsung ranked second, with almost 29.6% -- an improvement of 2.1 percentage points that Chitika attributed to new models. Google was third (8.2%), followed by Barnes & Noble (7%), and Microsoft (6.4%).

Moving email to the cloud has lowered IT costs and improved efficiency. Find out what federal agencies can learn from early adopters. Also in the The Great Email Migration issue of InformationWeek Government: Lessons from a successful government data site (free registration required).

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ejarosh554
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ejarosh554,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/2/2013 | 4:46:15 PM
Surface web use




Really!  Ok so the Ipad is an autonomous individual web device and as such will continue to be.  The Surface is a real enterprise interconnected computer device and as such typically proxies through company enterprise servers via vpn for security and control.  I guarantee you that you can't track surface connects in any legitimate fortune 1000 enterprise.  We've done that on purpose you bone heads. We don't want you tracking our employee's use.  That is our job!  Your paradigm is flawed.  Look at enterprise sales of Surface and RT.
mak63
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mak63,
User Rank: Ninja
12/2/2013 | 2:45:17 PM
Give it some time
Am I correct saying that the stats of the article are from just one month? (10/23/13 to 11/23/13) Surface 2 will get better.
Let's do another check after the holidays. Perhaps then, we can have a good idea where the market is heading.
Faye__Kane
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Faye__Kane,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/2/2013 | 1:01:12 AM
Re: Web traffic now determines use?
 

==-

"People nowadays can't do anything with an iPhone, Android device without being connected to the Internet and generating traffic."

So what?


"When you sit down to watch a movie on TV, do you open all the doors and windows so that everyone knows you are watching TV?"

What does that have to do with anything? You could say the same for eating dinner or playing cards.

 

"Why on earth would you want your device to generate web traffic everytime you did something?"

Because everything you want to do involves generating web traffic.

-faye kane girl brain ♀
Faye__Kane
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Faye__Kane,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/2/2013 | 12:56:23 AM
More routine Ballmer dishonesty
 ==-

"Cook's argument is that most Android tablets are low-cost "junk" devices that end up unused in the owner's desk drawer."

How rude! 

And just why does he think that most Android users never use their tablet or smartphone when Android's share of the tablet market is 59%, 80% in the smartphone market?

That statement is just more propaganda paid for by Ballmer's marketing department.

--faye kane girl brain
pmperry
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pmperry,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/1/2013 | 11:23:29 PM
Re: MS Surface usage numbers
Oh and one more note...  The Surface RT 32 Gig was the number 1 selling item for the Black Friday weekend at Best Buy.
pmperry
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pmperry,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/1/2013 | 11:19:42 PM
Re: MS Surface usage numbers
My brother and I each bought one yesterday!  We had to go to like 5 stores to find one and then we bought the last two. 


Every Staples, Best Buy, and Tiger Direct, in my area, sold out of the $249 kits and they were sold out online as well. 

 

After using it all day today, I have to say the Surface had only one real issue and that was pricing!  Of course the touch keyboard is horrible as well.

 

Either way, the tablet is great and the inclusion of Office (Including Outlook) makes for a great buy!
anon6815691246
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anon6815691246,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/1/2013 | 3:00:08 PM
Web traffic now determines use?
Has everyone suddenly become 12 years old? I guess if your life starts and ends with an app that constantly needs to broadcast everything about you, perhaps.

Answe the simple question. If your device has all the productivity apps that don't rely on some cloud service, how would anyone know you were using it? To write a letter, play some music, watch a video you must connect to the Internet? Really?

I can write letters, create publications/presentations, code, watch a video, play my favorite music, manage my calendar, make phone calls, take and edit pictures and not once connect to the Internet to generate traffic. How can this happen? Simple, local applications.

When web traffic became some kind of metric anyone would consider, look what happened. People nowadays can't do anything with an iPhone, Android device without being connected to the Internet and generating traffic.

When you sit down to watch a movie on TV, do you open all the doors and windows so that everyone knows you are watching TV? Think about it. Why on earth would you want your device to generate web traffic everytime you did something?

 
wilsoncreeks
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wilsoncreeks,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/1/2013 | 11:02:26 AM
Re: MS Surface usage numbers
You should check large universities since they have become very abundant as far as I can tell.  There is multiple students with them in every class I have attended this semester and some professors are using the pro with powerpoint to annotate lecture slides as they teach.  Makes it very appealing.
danielcawrey
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danielcawrey,
User Rank: Ninja
11/30/2013 | 10:45:53 PM
Re: Kindle lives up to loss leader billing
I terms of the Kinlde, Amazon's goal is to sell content via hardware. They care less about the hardware itself. 

So I find it interesting, this critique of Amazon versus Microsoft's strategy. Maybe Microsoft should think about the Surface devices as a conduit to other sales from content. They have to get away from the hardware/software model, that's just not going to work. 
PaulS217
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PaulS217,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/30/2013 | 3:12:52 PM
Wrong Use Case
MSFT's initial marketing of the Surface was a disaster.  They went after the wrong demographic.  The Surface never will be a cool machine.  It's a business device.  With business-oriented use case (think MS-Office) the platform rocks.   When traveling I've stopped bringing my laptop along and work exclusively from the Surface.
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