Microsoft Surface Tablet Shipments Projection

Count ABI Research as a Surface skeptic. The research firm on Wednesday said that Windows-based tablets will have “little impact” on the tablet market this year and will account for just 1.3% of tablet shipments in 2012. The most obvious reason for this is that Windows tablets aren’t expected to be commercially available until October, but ABI also questions whether Microsoft’s overall tablet strategy will be effective in peeling users away from their iPads.

“Is Microsoft suggesting that organizations will make the ‘post-PC era’ move toward a mobile computing device and ditch traditional desktop and clamshell form-factors, or is the company hoping that employees will gain access to multiple devices?” the firm writes. “So far, businesses have been opposed to buying incremental computing assets for users due to the support costs.”

ABI also says Microsoft could be hurt by releasing a fragmented tablet operating system since one version of Surface will run on Windows RT while another will run on Windows 8 Pro.