TABLET NEWCOMER Microsoft has seen the sales forecast for its Surface RT tablet slashed by an industry analyst as the firm struggles to compete against Apple and Google.
Microsoft's Surface RT was seen as a watershed entry by the company into the booming tablet hardware business. However UBS analyst Brent Thill said the firm had not been able to make up much ground on Apple and Google in the holiday shopping season, saying the firm ended the season with "gloomy sentiment".
Thill proceeded to slash his estimates for Surface RT tablet sales by 50 percent to just one million units. He went further and said Microsoft's upcoming Surface Pro, a device that reportedly has significantly lower battery life compared to its consumer oriented sibling, has a better chance against devices from Apple and Google.
Microsoft has been in the midst of a marketing blitz with television adverts trying their best to endear the Surface RT tablet in the subconscious of American shoppers. However Thill seemed so concerned about disappointing Surface RT sales that he cut his Microsoft earnings per share projection for the first quarter by eight percent to 76 cents.
Microsoft is hoping that businesses locked into its back office systems will find the Surface Pro tablet and its Windows 8 operating system attractive. However the firm might find that the growing trend of employees bringing their own devices to work will mean that it won't get the sales boost it needs to make a dent in Apple's and Google's market shares. µ