Microsoft Clarifies Its Surface Hub Sales Numbers

Posted on December 13, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft Surface with 12 Comments

Microsoft Clarifies Its Surface Hub Sales Numbers

Yesterday, Microsoft noted that it had shipped Surface Hubs to over 2,000 customers in 24 markets, with an average deal size of approximately 50 units. After outsiders like myself started fumbling around with the math, the firm provided a clearer view of what’s happening.

It’s still good news. Really good news, given how expensive these devices are. But for sake of clarity, let’s takes a look at what changed.

Yesterday, Microsoft’s Brian Hall posted the following:

In only nine months since our launch, we’ve shipped Surface Hubs to over 2,000 customers in 24 markets. The average deal size is approximately 50 units, but we’ve seen orders as large as 1,500 units to a large car manufacturer.

Microsoft has since updated the post to the following:

By the end of 2016, nine months since our launch, we will have shipped Surface Hubs to over 2,000 customers in 24 markets. The average deal size we see in the pipeline is approximately 50 units, but we’ve seen orders as large as 1,500 units to a large car manufacturer.

OK, so two changes, both minor:

We’re still talking about a nine-month selling period. The first change is subtle: The original blog post suggested that Microsoft had already shipped whatever number of units, but the change reveals that whatever number of units will ship by the end of the year. That’s just two weeks away, so no harm no foul.

“In the pipeline.” In speaking with Microsoft PR last night, I learned that the “average deal size of 50 units” bit was for orders, not sales. That is, Microsoft never had the stock available to ship 50 Surface Hubs to those average customers. It received orders for 50 units, and then began doling them out in allotments (of, say, 10 each). So by this time, it has not actually registered actual sales of 50 units, on average. It has registered orders of 50 units, on average. And has delivered some number to each. This is likewise a subtle change, in this case of the accounting kind. Again, no big deal.

Microsoft has noted that it changed the original blog post “to clarify Surface Hub demand data,” which is the right thing to do.

Nothing to see here, folks. Surface Hub is off to a great start.

 

Tagged with

Join the discussion!

BECOME A THURROTT MEMBER:

Don't have a login but want to join the conversation? Become a Thurrott Premium or Basic User to participate

Register
Comments (14)

14 responses to “Microsoft Clarifies Its Surface Hub Sales Numbers”

  1. 5664

    Rock and roll! Now when can I convince someone to sell me one for $500? :D

  2. 5842

    2000 customers, 50 unit average per customer is 100K units. If price per unit is ~10K then surface hub is the new $1B/year line of business for Microsoft. This is essentially what Microsoft is trying to say. Fighting about meaning of words shipped, sold and pipeline is meaningless. We are not talking about airplanes or bridges here.

  3. 940

    "The average deal size we see in the pipeline is approximately 50 units"

    In our business lingo, a "deal" is not a "sale" - as they say; they have "deals" and "orders" why use two different words if they actually would have had average *orders* of 50 units.

    Furthermore "in the pipeline" in my mind is not "to be shipped".

    I'm not in the marketing department so what do I know...

    • 5611

      In reply to matsan:

      When I ordered my new car, it was still considered a sale by the dealer. I had put down a small deposit together with a finance agreement, and the car was delivered 8 weeks later, having been added to a slot on the production line.

      I would imagine that this Surface Hub scenario isn't really any different.

      • 940

        In reply to WP7Mango:

        But if you go to your car dealer and ask for "a deal" or you want "to order", that's two different things in my book at least. 

        • 5611

          In reply to matsan:

          Yes, the "deal" is what we agreed for the price of the car. I didn't pay list price, I negotiated a 20% discount. That was the "deal". But it didn't become an order or a sale until I put down a deposit to secure the production of my new car.

          In terms of Microsoft's Surface Hub, I don't know whether the "deal" might include the actual order itself, because they are delivering it in phases. My car wasn't delivered in phases, so it's not really like-for-like.

  4. 5767

    No matter what the numbers are fantastic.

  5. 5510

    LOL...this reminds of the time when Sony boasted how many PS4 were sold and Microsoft came back with the number of Xbox One's shipped.

    NOW, we are being told that "Surprise: Surface Hub is a huge success (literally)" and it's kinda like the same deal with Xbox One, shipped and not sold. This advancement of a false narrative (IMO) is not healthy, especially when there is a consistency of confusion when analyzing facts.

    Again, this is all coming from Brian Hall and his words need to be taken with a grain of salt.

Leave a Reply