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Microsoft Surface sales off to 'modest' start, says Ballmer

Microsoft has revealed that sales of its new Surface tablet are modest despite one model selling out days after its launch.

Speaking to French publication Le Parisien, CEO Steve Ballmer admitted that sales of the surface are "starting modestly".

He went on to say that he believes that slow start is down to the limited places the Surface is sold. In the UK, the Surface tablet is only available from the Microsoft website and in the US, it is sold in a few Microsoft retail stores and pop-up shops.

Despite its limited sales channels, high demand for its £399 entry level model of the Surface meant that it quickly went out of stock. Ballmer admitted that this was a "good sign" and that the company would "fix this problem quickly".

Ballmer also told the French newspaper that the Surface Pro will launch within three months of Surface RT.

The Surface tablet launched in late October as part of a Windows 8 extravaganza which saw the unveiling of Microsoft's new Windows 8 operating system as well as a host of Windows Phone 8 handsets. The Windows Surface tablet has on the whole been well received by tech insiders but it has drawn criticism for the lack of apps available on the Windows Store.

In contrast to the Surface's modest sales, Microsoft sold four million upgrades to its new Windows 8 operating system within the first four days of launching. Last month, The Wall Street Journal reported that Microsoft anticipated selling as many as many as three to five million Surface tablets in Q4 of this year.