The stage is set. A new age of Surface tablets is upon us. The second generation units were officially unveiled by Microsoft at a NYC event yesterday, and sales are expected to begin next month.

And speaking of expectations, we now have some projections on sales numbers.

These new numbers come from the hit or miss (usually miss) DigiTimes. And this time the infamous upstream supply chain sources that the website so readily cites are claiming that Redmond will ship around 3 million tablets in 2014.

This should be good enough for a 1.15 percent share of the tablet market.

Both the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 are on track to go on sale on October 22, four days after the launch of Windows 8.1. But at the same time Microsoft and its retail partners also have to deal with the unsold first generation models that the company plans to sell alongside these new slates.

Obviously, they will be available at discounted prices, and that is something that could eat into sales.

Another thing that could potentially affect Surface sales is the myriad of new devices that are on track to hit store shelves between now and the end of the year. Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 may have been the first Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 tablets out of the gate, but more slates are fast incoming.

Nokia is widely expected to release its very own Windows RT 8.1 tablet in the next few weeks. And other hardware partners have already made their refreshed offerings official.

Nevertheless, it will be quite interesting seeing just how the final numbers fly in once the competition heats up. We should have a better idea of the situation a few weeks after the New Year, once the shopping season ends.

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  1. Even if the Nokia tablets and other company slates cut into Surface sales, it’s still a win for Microsoft. As long as Windows and Windows RT devices are being sold, that’s a potential sale of a Surface or some other Microsoft product the next time around.

  2. With all those cool accessories, 3 million units sold are possible.

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