Microsoft just showed why it desperately needs a new Surface Pro

Key Points
  • Surface sales were down during the quarter
  • Microsoft blamed lower Surface Pro sales, specifically
  • It's time for the Surface Pro 5; the Surface Pro 4 was introduced in October 2015.
Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft
Ruben Sprich | Reuters

It's time for Microsoft to launch the Surface Pro 5.

just reported its earnings for the quarter ended March 31, and revealed a 26 percent drop in Surface revenue. Here are a few likely reasons why that happened.

First, Microsoft's new Surface Book with Performance Base and Surface Studio, the latest products in its family of computers, are too expensive and cost at least a couple of thousand dollars. They're designed for professionals who are willing to spend a lot of money for a computer, not for the everyday user.

It's the Surface Pro laptop/tablet hybrid that's most appealing to consumers…or at least was most appealing. It's no wonder Microsoft blamed slower Surface sales on "lower than expected Surface Pro unit volume," on a call with CNBC.

Microsoft first announced the Surface Pro 4, the latest model, back in October 2015. Consumers who might be interested in it are rightly choosing products from competitors, like HP, Dell, Samsung and others, who are selling thinner and lighter tablets with newer components.

Microsoft needs to update the Surface Pro family with Intel's new seventh generation chip, which is available in computers made by nearly every other manufacturer at this point (with Apple being one holdout).

Microsoft has an event in May where it will unveil new hardware, though the Surface Pro 5 isn't supposed to be on the docket. Instead, Microsoft's expected to introduce its new Windows 10 Cloud platform which will help it battle Google Chromebooks.

It might be wise for Microsoft to unveil the Surface Pro 5 there, too.