Update: Microsoft sent the following statement to clarify Ballmer’s use of the term “modest”:
When asked about Surface, Steve’s use of the term “modest” was in relation to the company’s approach in ramping up supply and distribution of Surface with Windows RT, which is available via our online stores and Microsoft retail stores in the U.S. and Canada. While our approach has been modest, Steve notes the reception to the device has been “fantastic” which is why he also stated that “soon, it will be available in more countries and in more stores.”
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer told French newspaper Le Parisien that sales of Surface — the company’s first branded computing device, which became available Oct. 26 — “are starting modestly,” according to Dow Jones Newswires.
Ballmer told Le Parisien that he attributed the modest start to Surface only being available in a few places: online and in Microsoft stores.
He also confirmed what Microsoft execs have said since first announcing the device this past summer: That Microsoft would be coming out in about three months with a Surface device running Windows 8 (rather than Windows RT, the version of Windows 8 designed for ARM-based tablets that is the only version of the Surface that’s currently available).
Also, over the weekend, there have been reports of a few people experiencing problems with the seam of the Touch Cover — the nearly flat keyboard cover that attaches to the Surface magnetically — splitting where it attaches to the tablet.
Microsoft said it’s “in active contact with our Customer Support operations and are aware of a small number of instances of material separation. Customers can contact Microsoft Customer Support if they have any questions.”