Asian upstream suppliers for Microsoft are reporting through various sources that the company has slashed orders for the Surface RT tablet in half based on faltering demand for the tablets.

Microsoft originally said they would ship four million Surface RT devices by the end of 2012, but they recently reduced the orders to only two million units.

Original design manufacturers (ODMs) also report weaker orders from other Windows RT-based tablets, based on the new OS not performing as well as expected in the market.

The Surface was designed as a reference or ‘ideal’ tablet that would illustrate a goal for OEMs to reach for, but lower demand has been reported in many anecdotes and Microsoft has been tight lipped about sales.

Consumer demand for new RT-based tablets from Asustek Computer, Samsung Electronics and Dell has also been weak.

This is probably a reason for today’s announcement that Microsoft’s Intel-based Surface Pro tablet will be released in January 2013 – a scant month away.

Microsoft has priced the new Surface Pro at $899, without the keyboard – the addition of which would take it just over $1000.

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  • Terry Harkins

    This is not surprising, really. If they didn’t know, Microsoft is finding out that this is a tough, mature market to enter.