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The sales numbers for Microsoft’s Surface Tablet are low, but that’s not something that seems to worry Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer. Ballmer told French newspaper Le Parisien that Microsoft expected number to be this low, since the tablet is only sold online and in select Microsoft retail stores. The plan is to move the Tablet a lot more aggressively when Christmas time comes, and until then to work out the quirks in the supply lines and on manufacturing.

This is a very different outlook from Apple, and one that Microsoft can afford to take. Not only can they afford it, they are allowed to take it since the Surface isn’t nearly on as high demand as the iPad, let alone the iPhone. Apple has had chronic issues with supplying their products, something that should have been worked out by the time the iPhone 5 was released, but clearly has only been aggravated by other problems in the manufacturing chain. Like we talked about before, people putting together the new iPhone 5 have had issues with the complexity of the job, which has slowed down supply even further.

Microsoft doesn’t have these kinds of headaches. The Surface has been met with lukewarm enthusiasm, and there are definitely no long lines outside Microsoft stores. Where others would see this as a failure, Microsoft sees it as an opportunity. The Surface is Microsoft’s greatest bet to competing with Google and Apple for supremacy on the mobile computing world, and they have made a bold decision in releasing the tablet as it is. As it stands, the Surface strikes an unsteady balance between a computer and a tablet, and making sure that balance stays true will be key in determining whether the Surface is a success, or Microsoft will have to return to the drawing board with its entire tablet line.

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