Microsoft Surface RT sales only reach 1 million last quarter?

Microsoft SurfaceMicrosoft’s tablet business may be off to a slow start. Rumours back in November suggested that Microsoft had reduced its 2012 orders from 4 million to 2 million units. UBS analyst Brent Thill now expects that Microsoft may have only sold about 1 million Surface RT tablets in Q4 2012. Thill cites two reasons for the low sales: “Surface RT is a consumer device with [fourth-quarter] sales suffering from the difficult iPad compare and narrow distribution.”

Such numbers could well justify Samsung’s recent decision not to launch its Windows RT-powered ATIV Tab tablet in the U.S.

Thill expects that Surface sales may improve with the launch of the upcoming Surface with Windows 8 Pro. He describes it as “more promising” as he expects that it will be a credible alternative to the Apple iPad in the enterprise space.

Thill estimates that Microsoft could sell about 2.5 million Surface tablets by the end of June when Microsoft’s fiscal 2013 year ends. Sales could climb to 8 million in FY2014. As a comparison, Apple is expected to have sold over 20 million iPads in the same period.

Read more: CNET