A recent article on Bloomberg.com reported that, according to three people with knowledge of the company’s sales, Microsoft has sold only  around 1.5 million of its Surface Tablets since its launch last October. The sources, due to the fact that the sales have not yet been made public, wished to remain anonymous.

Surface Sales Reach 1.5 Million

Though Microsoft declined to comment, the new estimates are comparable to research firm IDC’s recent figures. In the firm’s latest report, IDC expects worldwide tablet shipments to total  190 million units in 2013. It also predicted  that Windows 8 and RT would grow to account for 2.8% (roughly 5.32 million units) and 1.9% (3.61 million units) of the market, respectively.

The sources told Bloomberg that Microsoft has sold little more than a million of the Surface RT and only 400,000 of the more expensive Surface Pro, which was released just last month. These figures fall quite short of the projections made by analyst Brent Thill, from UBS AG who predicted that the company would sell 2 million of the Surface RT in the December quarter alone.

Although the shipments may increase 49 percent in 2013 to 190.9 million with unit sales expected to surpass 350 million by the end of 2017. This year, the devices are expected to outsell notebooks for the first time, according to Williams Financial.

The failure to meet these expectations of pre-orders and forecasted number delivers a severe blow to Microsoft’s stake of the Tablet market that has been dominated by Apple.  This may be for a number of reasons.  Apple’s iPad already has established a name recognition in the market with many more apps available.  Even with fewer apps, Microsoft’s devices have the same price point as its well established rival. The question that will be on everyone’s minds is if Microsoft can overcome these numbers and become a viable competitor. The company may have to look at some changes to its strategy.

[Image via gsmnation]