Despite these "less than rosy" results, things aren't completely grim for Microsoft. They have aggressively cut the pricing on the Surface RT to $350 USD, and they are well on their way toward transforming their business. Sometimes transitions cause deep pains, and that is the nature of adapting to markets. Consumers are a fickle lot.
In the end, Microsoft probably knew the Surface RT wouldn't see much success, but it was never about that initial battle. It's basically a giant marketing stunt designed to alter the public consciousness, so that in the future we view Microsoft as more than just a software company.
Dgstorm posted this in the news sections. I submit, wouldn't an AD campaign have cost less than 1 billion? If they wanted us to see them as more than just a software company, or as a PC Company more to the point, they could have made some PC hardware that people actually bought? Just spit-ballin here, just a thought. Besides they have always been a hardware company. Just not a PC company.
"The Microsoft Hardware Division was founded in 1982 on the principle of deep integration of hardware with software."