Microsoft Windows tablet OEMs combined to ship 3 million devices in Q1 2013.

The team at Strategy Analytics examined sales channels for the Windows 8 and Windows RT based devices to determine Microsoft’s 7.5 percent share of the global branded tablet market.

In comparison the study found that 19.5 million Apple iPad devices were sold over the same period, a 48 percent share of the overall market. Apple’s sales equaled more than the entire branded tablets market during the same period in 2012.

Windows 8 TabletsStrategy Analytics also determined that the tablet market en masse reached a record 40.6 million branded tablets for the quarter.

Microsoft Windows 8 tablets are manufactured and sold by some of the biggest names in tech including Lenovo, Samsung, Asus, Acer, Dell, and HP, among others.

The lack of Windows 8 tablet sales are being blamed on several variables including limited distribution to retail outlets, a limited number of top tiered apps, and confusion in the market.

Original equipment manufacturers have complained that Microsoft Windows 8 tablets have not done enough to promote the platform and its “no compromises” experience.

While Windows 8 tablets have suffered low sales volumes the tech giant has promised to fix user complaints with the release of Windows 8.1. The new OS is expected to bring back some form of the ‘Star’ button alongside the option to boot directly into desktop mode.

Microsoft could also experience a sales volume increase when it starts shipping 7 and 8-inch tablets in Q2 2013. Smaller sized tablets now account for 50% of the market. If Microsoft can capture the same number of mini-tablet sales the company’s overall volume could push sales towards the 6-7 million devices milestone.

With Google Android and Apple iOS tablets dominating the market Microsoft has one heck of a battle ahead of it.

Are you willing to give a Windows 8.1 tablet a try or have you abandoned the OS for a newer option?

[Image via The Verge]