Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 is set to arrive in 25 more countries including the UK, most of Europe and China on August 28th. It's been up for pre-order in many of those regions for a while now, but will finally start to ship by month's end. The 12-inch model has been treated more kindly in reviews than the previous two models, despite some keyboard issues. However, sales figures for the new model haven't been released, and past versions have fared poorly -- in fact, it just had to write off $38 million in unsold devices, including a model it didn't even launch. And according to Computerworld, the damage goes even deeper.
Based on filings, the site estimates that Microsoft has burned through a total of $1.7 billion since the Surface series arrived in 2012. About $363 million of that red ink came from the most recent quarter, although it's likely that the company had to spend a lot to ramp up production of the Surface Pro 3 that started shipping at the tail end of that period. It's bound to recoup at least some of that investment now that the Pro 3 has hit US store shelves and will soon arrive elsewhere.
We've reached out to Microsoft to see if it has any commentary on the numbers. Provided they're accurate, though, they suggest that the crew in Redmond has been willing to endure a lot to get its first in-house PC range off the ground. Such a sacrifice wouldn't be out of character for the company, mind you. Its cloud services (including its Bing search engine) were money-losers for years; its game console division only really came into its own during the Xbox 360 era. Microsoft may not be so patient with Surface when new CEO Satya Nadella is focused more on services than hardware, but you shouldn't expect these slates to disappear in the near future.
Steve Dent contributed to this report.