Make 4, sell 4, claim you are a hit!
I will agree that perhaps Microsoft could be diligent and keep releasing the same thing and it will eventually sell. I mean you have to realize that in spite of Windows gaining nearly 95% PC market back in the day, Microsoft never had rapid adoption of new versions of their OS. I mean how many people say "I'll wait for the service pack" when deciding when to update to a new version of Windows, and a significant portion of people have never upgraded past Windows XP.
The same kind of sentimentality could happen with Microsoft's hardware. Don't buy version 1 of a product, wait for them to work out their quirks and then buy version 2 or 3. Perhaps we are starting to see this trend with Surface. Certainly early adopters of Xbox360 and Zune paid the price of not waiting.
Realize that Microsoft still has a significant market of corporate users. These corporate users are still clamoring to have a GOOD Windows tablet that works seamlessly with Microsoft's infrastructure. You can berate Microsoft all you want and claim Linux is superior or other Slashdot ingratiating FUD, but the reality is corporations run on Microsoft, period. If Microsoft can find a tablet to hook into the corporate market, it will be a huge win. Whether that trickles over into the consumer markets will yet to be seen, but you can be sure some CEO using a Windows tablet at work all day long is not going to come home to an iPad.
But, Microsoft hasn't figure out the magic yet that will get the corporate crowd to flock to Surface. Certainly my foray into this territory leaves a lot to be desired for when I was handed a Surface Pro to develop for. A Tablet/PC hybrid doesn't work well in either situation, using touch on a standard Windows desktop is useless, and Microsoft's attempt to force Metro on the desktop user base was equally ill conceived. My Surface Pro sits in a box in a drawer in my desk and I only pull it out to test software on once in a while. I don't see anything about Surface Pro 2 that will make me change that.
While these faults may have sealed the company's fate, I won't rule them out just yet. Perhaps all they need to do is to keep the Surface brand alive till Version 3, which seems to be their magic number in terms of when a product finally takes off.