Microsoft calls new MacBook Pro a 'disappointment' as Surface sales surge

Last month, Surface devices racked up their best sales to consumers ever seen, according to Microsoft, and the company reckons that more people than ever are switching from Apple’s notebooks to Surface hardware.

Yes, Microsoft is doing some serious trumpeting when it comes to the company’s convertibles. The firm said that Surface sales enjoyed their biggest numbers ever in November, staying strong on both sides of the Atlantic, with the ‘best single week’ ever recorded in the UK, and the Surface bundle which was exclusive to Best Buy in the US selling out on day one.

Even the humble Surface Pen contributed to Microsoft’s coffers, and apparently over in Germany the stylus was the bestselling item on Amazon for more than 12 hours straight.

Of course, you’ll notice that among the claims of storming sales, there are no exact numbers given. So we contacted Microsoft to try and get some hard figures.

A spokesperson for the company told us: “We don’t break out unit sales, but Surface continues to drive significant sales and we’re pleased with the high demand for our newest devices. Surface Book and Surface Pro 4 continued to drive record Surface revenues in Q3, yielding the second $1 billion quarter in a row and a 61% YOY increase to $1.1 billion.”

  • The latest MacBook is thinner than a MacBook Pro and comes in Rose Gold

MacBook defectors

Clearly, though, things are going well, and indeed Microsoft felt bold enough to get in a major dig at rival MacBooks.

In the blog post announcing all this, Brian Hall, CVP Microsoft Devices Marketing, said that more people are switching from Macs to Surface devices than ever before.

Hall wrote: “Our trade-in program for MacBooks was our best ever, and the combination of excitement for the innovation of Surface coupled with the disappointment of the new MacBook Pro – especially among professionals – is leading more and more people to make the switch to Surface.”

Fighting talk indeed, with the use of language such as ‘disappointment’ when it comes to Apple’s latest notebook creation. Although there have certainly been a fair few pot-shots taken at the new MacBook Pro, mainly on the grounds of connectivity, and some users who are experiencing less than ideal battery life.

Apple will quite possibly have some flak to fire back, and last month was doing some trumpeting of its own, saying that the new MacBook Pro models had sold better online than any previous generation. Again, though, no actual numbers were pinned on these sales claims, although that’s hardly surprising given this was very much early doors.

When numbers aren’t involved, the sense of a certain degree of posturing is obviously inevitable – but hopefully we’ll get another batch of hard figures in due course from both companies, before too long.

Meanwhile, it’s certainly clear that Microsoft’s confidence is buoyed right now.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).