Microsoft Surface Usage Continues to Grow Following Surface 2 Release

Microsoft Surface Usage Continues to Grow Following Surface 2 Release

  • 26 November 2013

In Chitika Insights’ previous report on the Microsoft Surface RT, data pointed to a substantial growth in the device’s North American usage share following a price decrease in mid-July. In this latest analysis, Chitika Insights found that usage of Microsoft’s latest tablet device, the Surface 2, experienced some notable growth in the month following
its North American release on October 22, 2013. Additionally, Surface tablet usage share as a whole continued to rise from October through November. As with the earlier analysis, due to North American Apple iPad users generating more than 80% of continental tablet Web traffic, Chitika Insights focused this study on non-iPad tablet traffic for
additional clarity.

To quantify the usage share of Microsoft Surface RT and Surface 2, Chitika Insights sampled tens of millions of U.S. and Canadian non-iPad tablet online ad impressions running through the Chitika Ad Network. The data used within the most recent analysis were drawn from impressions catalogued across the time frame of October 23 through November 23, 2013. Data points are plotted on the basis of a seven day rolling average. Each point represents the average usage share over the previous seven day time period.

As seen in the above graph, one month following its North American debut, Surface 2 users generated 6.5% of combined Surface RT and Surface 2 traffic within the continent. While this is a notable impact on an existing product ecosystem within a four-week timeframe, for some competitive comparison, Chitika Insights found that 3rd-generation iPad users generated 10% of total North American iPad Web traffic three weeks following that device’s March 2012 release.

Looking at the larger market, combined Surface RT and Surface 2 usage share equals 6.4% of all North American non iPad tablet Web traffic. In terms of share growth, Microsoft is largely keeping up with its competitors in the space, gaining 0.7 percentage points in share since September 30, 2013. In the same time period, the usage share of all Amazon tablets dropped by 1.8 percentage points, while the usage share of all Google tablets rose by 0.3 percentage points. Samsung (+2.1 percentage points) and Barnes and Noble (+1.1 percentage points) surpassed the share gains of Microsoft, likely due to the release of new tablets and device price cuts, respectively.

Microsoft’s growth within the tablet space has taken some time, but it’s reasonable to surmise that the company’s long-term strategy for the device category is now paying some dividends. While not exponential, its Surface devices have exhibited steady usage growth in recent months, with share increases largely following the mid-July price cuts of the Surface RT. The early progress of the Surface 2 could be viewed as another small positive for Microsoft’s long-term tablet prospects, but the device faces a crowded competitive environment this holiday season. Surface 2’s level of success over the next month is likely to dictate its immediate fortunes and any tactical adjustments by Microsoft.