Even at 1 million the Surface RT is considered a dismal failure by pundits. At the same time Google’s Nexus 4 smartphone, far cheaper (e.g. $50 with a two-year mobile plan commitment) and available at far more retail outlets than the Microsoft Surface, took a few weeks longer than the Surface to hit 1 million units. And it is considered a runaway success! You see the Nexus 4 is supply limited. But wait, so is the Surface Pro and that is a “failure”. And how about that iPhone 5 introduction? My wife waited weeks to get her hands on an iPhone 5, because they were sold out from the moment of claimed availability.
Doesn’t it seem like Microsoft is being judged by a higher standard than the rest of the industry? They are. And to a surprising extent, as frustrating as it is, it is fair. Apple has nothing to prove. Google has nothing to prove. Amazon has nothing to prove. Microsoft has a lot to prove. In the court of public opinion, or at least pundit opinion, Microsoft is expected to have big runaway success stories before it can leave its 20th century legacy behind and deserve to be uttered in the same breath with Apple, Google, and Amazon.
You have predefined yardsticks and then you have dynamic, every changing yardsticks. Microsoft - the company which many love to hate gets measured by the latter one, almost always. And talk of persistence, it still goes on and on, keeping every competitor honest.