In an obvious marketing ploy to make it appear that its newly released Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 tablets are selling, Microsoft advised consumers to purchase the device now or face a shortage of the gadget.
Surface General Manager Brian Hall, in a blog post on Oct 2, wrote, "It also looks like the pre-order stock of the Surface 2 (64GB) and Surface Pro 2 (256GB and 512GB) are close to selling out - also at Microsoft Stores."
What he actually meant was the buyers who ordered their tablets would not receive their units before the Oct 22 date when the device appear on store shelves since the shipment date for the 64GB Surface 2 model and 128GB Surface Pro 2 is Oct 25, while for the 256GB and 512GB models it is Oct 29.
It was the same strategy adopted by Microsoft in 2012 when it gave the same warning to buyers that it has run out of Surface RT pre-order inventories days before Oct 26, 2012 when the tablet appears on Microsoft stores.
Following the warning, Microsoft released its initial inventory of the 32GB Surface RT on Oct 17 and a zero pre-order stock by Oct 20.
But the reality was that Microsoft ordered 3 million to 5 million first-gen Surface tablets from its Asian contractors in the 4th quarter but sold a much lower number of Surface RT tablets that led the company to write off in July 2013 $900 million excess inventory.
The company eventually discounted its Surface RT and Surface Pro models as it paved the way for next-gen units which it released on Sept 23, priced at $449 and $899, respectively.
In debunking self-serving sell-out stories, NPD analyst Stephen Baker pointed out, "[Sell-outs] don't ever really mean anything ... They could have made just 10 of them, then said, 'We're out!'"
Using Microsoft's way or defining sold out, its Type Cover 2 and Touch Cover 2 are also sold out due to its shipping date of Oct 29.