Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has set his sights high, but not too high, for the Microsoft Surface tablet revealed last month.
"We may sell a few million," he said during the Worldwide Partner Conference yesterday in Toronto.
He said overall sales of Windows PCs could hit 375 million in the next year, but that he's unsure exactly how many of those will be Microsoft Surface tablet sales.
But he said that the Surface "will have a distinct place in what's a broad Windows ecosystem."
Recon Analytics analyst Roger Entner told TechRadar today that Ballmer's predictions may be in line with reality.
"I think he manages expectations, and a few million should be achievable, especially on a global level," Entner said. "Especially if the price point is attractive."
Microsoft hasn't yet revealed the Microsoft Surface price point, but a source reported last month that the Nvidia and superior Intel version could cost $599 and $999, respectively.
That may be a little high, according to Entner, who said that Amazon hit the sweet spot for sales last year.
"The Kindle [Fire] over Christmas sold like hotcakes at around $200," he said. "If you want to move millions of units in a quarter, that's where you have to be."
Ballmer also said recently that Microsoft is "trying to make absolutely clear we are not going to leave any space uncovered to Apple."
Microsoft is clearly going after Apple's iPad, and not Android tablets, which explains the high price when compared to the Kindle Fire's sweet spot.
"I think that that's a much more realistic competition," Entner said.
"You should always aim at the 800-pound gorilla," he continued. "Even if you miss the 800-pound gorilla, you have a good chance of beating the smaller guy in the room. And that's Android."
But Microsoft will "still have to be able to have a better price-value combination than Android has," he added. "And that's going to be challenging."
Entner said that it's possible Microsoft could miss the mark with the first iteration of the Surface tablet, but even if they do, they'll likely get it right "with the next one."
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