Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has admitted that sales of its new Surface RT tablets have started "modestly".
Ballmer, who took over from Bill Gates as Microsoft chief in 2000, told French newspaper Le Parisien that the new tablets' first sales were "modest" before switching the conversation to the company's Surface Pro tablet launch, scheduled for January.
Ballmer's eagerness to plug the Surface Pro suggests Microsoft always planned to use the RT launch to whet consumers' appetite for the higher-end, more powerful Pro version.
The Surface RT has so far earned mixed reviews, with its hardware being widely praised while the software has been slammed for its inability to run legacy Microsoft applications the way that Windows 8 devices can.
The Windows App Store has also attracted plenty of flak for its meagre choice of apps compared with the Apple and Android marketplaces.
The Surface has been dogged with problems, with shortages across the UK since its 26 October launch, and some users being unhappy with the Touch Cover. The cheapest RT, which comes without the touch keyboard cover, has 32GB of on-board solid state storage capacity, and costs about £399 in the UK.
Last week, Microsoft revealed that the 32GB tablet actually has only 16GB of available storage.