Are Microsoft’s Tablet Prices Crushing Sales?

Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) tablets, the Surface RT and Surface Pro, have seen a fair bit of media attention — sometimes less than positive — but haven’t received so much consumer attention. A quick sell-out of Surface models could reveal hints about what Microsoft can do to change that.

As Microsoft hasn’t been releasing sales data for its Surface RT or the recently-released Surface Pro, there’s a limit on information available for assessing the relative success of the tablet launches. One of the most telling tidbits is that the various models of the Surface quickly sold out after the launch of the Surface Pro and the appearance of a coupon from Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS).

The top-of-the-line model, the 128 GB Surface Pro, sold out almost immediately after it launched on Saturday. The trouble is that it’s not clear if the supply was too low or if the demand was really substantial. While conspiracy theorists think Microsoft set up the launch to have the device sell out and spark consumer interest, others think that stores just didn’t order many Surface Pros after the weak performance of the Surface RT.