HARDWARE UPSTART Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer has admitted that sales of its Surface tablet have got off to a slow start.
Speaking to French newspaper Le Parisien, Ballmer confessed that sales of the Windows RT powered device had started "modestly", quickly changing the subject and plugging the firm's planned launch of its Intel powered Surface Pro tablet in January.
Despite the sensationalised TV adverts featuring acrobatics and music made from the sound of the Surface's kickstand, it's hardly surprising that sales of the device haven't taken off. Microsoft has suffered shortages of the Surface RT tablet at its online store since its launch on 26 October, and has had limited availability at retail outlets. It also didn't help when the firm ran out of 32GB models of the tablet just days after release.
However, it seems that those who did manage to get their hands on a Surface tablet aren't happy either. Reports from users posting on Microsoft forums are that the Surface's Touch Cover keyboard is falling apart. Many users on Surfaceforums.net have complained that the seam that joins the keyboard to the screen is tearing and exposing the wire underneath.
"Right in the middle on the seam it tore open, and pretty quickly too," one forum user called "whyjoe" wrote. "I'm gonna exchange it this weekend."
Another user called "Surfacer" also told of the same issue. "I live close to a Microsoft store and they exchanged it for me. The Rep I dealt with said it was the 2nd keyboard that came back (to his knowledge).
"I believe the seam can loosen easily if it's bent back and you let the Surface rest on your lap - it's best to disconnect the keyboard when the Surface is being used in this scenario," the user advised.
If this does in fact become a pervasive issue, Microsoft could have a potential product recall on its hands. It's going to have to make changes to the Surface's Touch Cover keyboard to ensure that displeased users don't have to return it so many times that they just end up returning the Microsoft tablet and getting an Ipad instead. µ