Microsoft is expecting the imminent launch of its Surface  tablet to shift at least as many units as two of its rivals' devices, says the WSJ . The firm has ordered the manufacture of three and five millions devices in Q4 of 2012, putting its projected sales on a par with those of Google's Nexus 7 and the Fire model from Amazon's stable of Kindles.
These amounts, however, are dwarfed by supplies of the new iPad Mini, which are two to three times that size, with Apple hoping for sales of around ten million before the end of the year. Microsoft yesterday unveiled a TV ad during Monday Night Football on ESPN, which basically shows the Surface as a cross between those new Nokia Lumias  and something from an all-age Glee fest. All that was missing was a shot of note-perfect prison inmates, their jumpsuits matching their snappy Surface keyboards.