Hardware is tough business, and few companies know this better than Microsoft. Other PC hardware companies were quick to precaution and warn Redmond of this fact.

Acer, being the most vocal.

Unsold software can be accounted for in this virtual day and age, but unsold devices, inventory that can become a generation old within months are another matter entirely. Launches have to be planned, the media managed, and the hardware, marketed.

However, Microsoft is firm on its transition towards a devices and services concept.

Switching from software to hardware is not something that can be done overnight, and after two years in the tablet game, Redmond admits that it really is difficult to become a hardware company.

Thomas Hansen, vice president, SMB Worldwide, Microsoft Corporation speaking at the Canalys Channels Forum Asia explained that the company was working to make its Surface Pro 3 tablet available in more countries across the world.

And that Microsoft still, to this day, has to deal with issues that slow down its transition to become a hardware firm:

β€œIt takes time to build a hardware company. Speaking candidly, we are learning.”

That is the reason why Redmond has a cautious attitude towards the expansion of the Surface tablets, and is not launching the device where it tablet has a lower chance to succeed.

Japan, for example, is one such market.

Microsoft explained how they are planning a limited trial in the country to figure out whether launching the Surface Pro 3 there would be a good idea. The pilot program is set to run for a few months, and the company will then decide to take some further steps.

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