Search Data Points To Stronger Launch For Surface 2 Than Its Predecessor

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The Surface 2 appears to be easily besting the consumer interest that its predecessor, the Surface RT, engendered during its release in late 2012. In fact, the Surface 2 is now the most-searched-for, single device among the larger Microsoft line of tablet hybrids.

Here is the Google Trends for Search data regarding the four discrete Surface devices that have been released: Surface RT, Surface Pro, Surface 2, and the Surface Pro 2. Here’s the chart, tracking search volume from late 2012 to the present day (yellow: Surface RT; red: Surface Pro; green: Surface Pro 2; blue: Surface 2.)

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The Surface RT had a very modest launch in terms of consumer interest. The Surface Pro spiked following its later introduction. This mirrors with its sales that were stronger than some anticipated (myself included). The Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 have had twin spikes, hitting on their unveiling and release respectively.

The Surface 2, however, has enjoyed the sharpest spike, reaching search volume levels that are unmatched by any of the other Surface devices.

However, there is a wrinkle to the above chart that could indicate that, among some consumers, the Surface Pro line remains supreme. Searches for “Surface Pro,” even after the original model was discontinued, have remained strong (second place), overshadowing the new Surface Pro 2. Does that mean that among potential customers, there is nostalgia for the first-generation product? I don’t think so.

Instead, I think that people are merely searching “Surface Pro” when searching for the new model.

The following graph charts searches for the generic expression “Surface” over time:

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What we can see here is declining interest in the search “Surface” since the introduction of the line despite obvious spikes that coincide with the peaks in the first graph. Consumers are therefore more savvy in searching for the device they want, and not the line itself. That’s good for Microsoft, I think.

Connecting the two, we’re seeing increasing savvy, and strong Surface 2 interest, in comparison to other Surface devices. This puts the strong Surface Pro searches into question. I wonder if the larger difference between Surface RT and Surface 2′s names than between Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2′s names is helping people keep them apart.

Still, it appears that the Surface 2 is doing a far superior job at capturing consumer interest this holiday sales cycle than the Surface RT did last year. If you want to see Microsoft succeed in the space, you should find this encouraging.

The fun part to this is that we will get a simple revenue report card from the company after the current quarter is over, which we will be able to measure on a sequential quarter basis. How much total top line can Surface drive for its parent? That I can’t say, but reading the entrails, things aren’t looking too bad for the end of calendar 2013.