The Surface marketing push is slowly showing gains, at a cost

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The Surface marketing push is slowly showing gains

For those keeping note, we've seen the Surface commercials evolve rapidly over the course of its lifespan. From intricately choreographed dances to head throbbing dubstep, to Sara Bareilles yelling 'Honestly' in our ears to the now simple voice over feature comparison videos out today. It seems to go without saying the Surface commercials over the past few years have been a peppery collage of hits and misses.

In a report from industry insiders, Microsoft is estimated to be paying $50 million per year for those hits and misses and they are now finally seeing some gains from it. While Microsoft's tablet market share is just as low as it's smartphone offerings, buoyed around 4% according to ABI Research, it has increased a half point year over year.

"In general their marketing push behind the Surface seems to be paying off, as Surface Pro shipments increased substantially this past holiday season," said Jitesh Ubranin, IDC's senior research analyst for Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker. "In terms of share, they have experienced some gains in the commercial market compared to Q4 2013. But it's important to note that the Surface Pro 3 has been very well received in both the consumer and commercial markets."

Microsoft has also managed to take this warm consumer reception and reverse the early onset deficit the original Surface put them in and shipped roughly 1.3 million tablets last quarter to the tune of a $1.1 billion in revenue, that's an increase of 24%. That reversal is coming at a cost, however, according to report:

"ABI's preliminary [tablet] report sees growth and progress for Microsoft," said Josh Orr, senior practice director for ABI Research, adding that the company had to spend "an order of magnitude greater than the other companies because they are late to the party. They have to make their presence known to everyone."

With that said, the idea of Microsoft single handedly competing with the likes of Apple and Samsung for Windows tablet market share in the near future, is still a very slim pipe dream. In comparison Apple and Samsung shipped 21.4 million and 11.1 million tablets last quarter.

The Surface marketing push is slowly showing gains

It would seem Microsoft's deaf ear and persistence is slowly paying off and with outside circumstances (cough *Superfish* cough), their retail presence may be going through an "Apple early days"-like transition. ABI's Orr said that much like Apple, "Microsoft is starting to see some crossover interest between its products with Xbox fans taking a shine to Windows Phone," he thinks this could eventually happen with the Surface.

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