We are entering unchartered territory when it comes to surveillance because of information broadcast from our smartphones even when they're off. Right now, it's the NSA collecting this data, but as computing power gets ever cheaper, it could be your local police or even the store you just entered.
Microsoft shipped only 300,000 Surfaces last quarter, says IDC
Last week, IDC released its tablet shipment statistics for the second quarter of 2013. I noticed that Microsoft and Amazon had fallen out of the top five tablet makers since Q1 -- they were replaced by Lenovo and Acer -- so I emailed IDC researcher Tom Mainelli to see where these vendors stacked up.
It turns out that Amazon shipped 1 million Kindle Fires during Q2 -- a significant drop from 1.8 million in Q1, but a respectable number. One million in Q1 still would have landed Amazon in the top five.
But Microsoft shipped only 300,000 Surface tablets during the quarter. That's one-third the number it shipped in the first quarter.
I confirmed with IDC that this 300,000 number includes both the Surface Pro, which runs Windows 8, and the Surface RT, which we already knew was in trouble given the fact that Microsoft recently wrote down $900 million.
In the same report, IDC also showed tablet sales by operating system. According to that part of the report, Windows RT shipped on about 200,000 tablets sold during the quarter. If you assume that at least half of those were Surface RTs (since few other OEMs are selling RT devices), that means Microsoft sold less than 200,000 Surface Pros during the second quarter.
It was just introduced in the first quarter. No wonder Microsoft just cut the price of the Surface Pro by $100.
Is anybody else hearing echoes of the Zune here? Or the Kin?
At the same time, Windows 8 tablets are picking up a little bit of steam -- overall, 1.8 million were sold during the quarter. That makes it the third-most popular tablet platform behind iOS (14.6 million) and Android (28.2 million). So at least Microsoft has a prayer of picking up some momentum in the fast-growing tablet market.
But separate research from IDC shows that consumers aren't buying very many touchscreen laptops, either.
Once again, this all seems to show that consumers don't want the kind of hybrid that Microsoft is trying to sell with Surface. They want tablets to be tablets, and PCs to be PCs. At least for now.
It turns out that most IT departments no longer want to buy, install, and run software on their own servers, and the ancillary benefits of the cloud -- like easier mobile access for workforces that combine full-time employees and contractors -- seal the deal.
Adding to a string of announcements aimed at making its service more appealing to businesses, Dropbox this morning said that Dell will start selling the service to its customers.
The battle over which platform delivers the best location and context services to mobile users is already underway with Google in the lead, but Apple's purchase of mapping startups and social analytics firm Topsy, combined with its Bluetooth-based iBeacons could give Apple a strong chance.
Box is experiencing some good times these days with new features, new funding and a high profile CEO, but Box has to be careful as it grows to say true to its root and not fall into the trap becoming just another enterprise software company.