Microsoft steps up Surface production -

While Microsoft's Surface tablet does not seem to be doing as well as Steve Ballmer hoped, that has not stopped him placing more orders from his Asian suppliers.

Apparently the cunning plan is to stick more of the tablets into the retail chain in the hope that it will sell better. The Surface has been given mixed reviews and not had as many sales as had been predicted. The reason for this has largely centred on it being too expensive.

Microsoft's moves to place more orders could be for two reasons. The first is that it is planning to cut the price of the tablet after it sticks it into the retail chain. This could boost the popularity of the tablet, but it is a gamble. It could also be thinking that the whole effort is a big mistake and by making more it will look more plausible as a tax write-off.

Reuters presents a third and less likely possibility that the tablet is actually selling better than the inflated figures that Microsoft had been leaking out to the world.

It quoted Panos Panay, general manager of Microsoft's Surface project, which forms part of the company's Windows unit claiming that the public reaction to Surface has been exciting to see.

Without mentioning numbers, he said that Microsoft had increased production and is expanding the ways in which customers can interact with, experience and purchase the Surface.

To be fair so far the Surface has only been sold by Microsoft itself, in its own brick and mortar stores in the United States and Canada and online in Australia, China, France, the UK and Germany. Expansion into more traditional retail chains might require more in the way of stock. However, a larger, heavier tablet, Surface with Windows 8 Pro, will be introduced in January, running on an Intel chip that works with all Microsoft's Windows and Office applications.

This is going to be so expensive that we can't see it being a starter. Microsoft plans to price the new Surface from $899 for a 64GB version.