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Surface Pro 2

Microsoft still isn’t divulging official Surface numbers, but it looks like it’s at least making a (tiny) dent in the tablet market.

Microsoft shipped 900,000 Surface tablets for the first quarter, accounting for 1.8 percent of the tablet market, according to IDC’s latest tablet numbers. Altogether, Windows 8 and RT tablet shipments across all manufacturers hit 1.8 million during the quarter.

Those numbers are slightly less than Strategy Analytics’ latest figures, which noted that 3 million Windows tablets were shipped for the quarter. The true numbers likely lie somewhere between those two figures.

While Microsoft is clearly just getting started with the Surface devices, its numbers seem particularly poor compared to Apple’s 19.5 million iPads shipped in Q1, as well as Samsung’s 8.8 million units shipped. Surface shipments were likely hurt by their limited availability and the late release of the Surface Pro, which started shipping in February in the U.S. and Canada.

PC shipments also dropped precipitously in the first quarter, and IDC wasn’t shy about blaming Windows 8 for the decline.

The Surface Pro made up most of the Surface units shipped, according to Strategy Analytics. I found the Pro to be a far more useful device than the Surface RT, mostly due to its speedy Intel processor (which can also run older Windows programs).

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