Microsoft Has Lost $1.7 Billion on its Surface Tablet in Two Years


Microsoft’s Surface tablet debuted in 2012 and has long been touted as a potential iPad rival, but the numbers tell a different story. According to ComputerWorld, their estimates based on Microsoft’s 8-K and 10-K SEC filings show the company has lost roughly $1.7 billion to date on the Surface:

But that was small potatoes compared to what Microsoft lost on the Surface the previous fiscal year. Using Microsoft’s stated revenue of $853 million and some arithmetic to backtrack to the FY2013 cost of revenue, Computerworld concluded that the cost of revenue for the 12 months starting July 1, 2012, was $1.902 billion.

The total loss for FY2013 was thus $1.049 billion ($853 million minus $1.902 billion in cost of revenue and adjustments).

Surface damage

That chart is pretty painful to look at.

Last year, Microsoft took a $900 million write down on their failed Surface RT, which the company used to target Apple’s iPad.

Despite Microsoft taking jabs at the iPad, the company released Office for iPad apps back in March, which quickly topped 12 million downloads. This May, Microsoft unveiled the 12-inch Surface Pro 3 to target the MacBook Air.

Microsoft is just being Microsoft. At least they still have this cool Surface ad to brag about, right? Right?


  • Tim

    That’s because it sucks. It’s trying to be a laptop that you can’t actually place on your lap, unless you want to balance the kickstand.

  • Rick

    I have a surface pro 2 and it’s a pretty nice package. I think microsoft has got their marketing for this product all wrong.

  • Fireeast

    Its a fantastic product, it has essentially replaced my wifes ipad, my pc and my laptop. Just terrible marketing and the fact they show the desktop on the rt version is what killed the rt.

  • FragilityG4

    Crappy tablet … Leave it to Balmer.

  • Anon

    I have the original Surface Pro and it has replaced my laptop. It hasn’t replace my iPad air though, as I use both.

  • Steve

    They should of never released the RT. Should of went Pro version only, included choice of keyboard, and dropped the price by $150 or so. Would also help if it came with a free version of Office Pro.