Microsoft will need to spend some serious cash if it wants to make Windows 8 and RT true iPad competitors.
Apple continues to top PC sales thanks to the iPad. Meanwhile, according to research firm Canalys, Microsoft will likely need to heavily subsidize the price of touch-first PCs and tablets if it wants Windows 8 to be anything like a success.
Echoing Tim Cook’s about Microsoft’s Windows 8 strategy being like converging a toaster and a refrigerator, the research firm notes that Microsoft’s approach could jeopardize the Windows 8 launch. Canalys notes that the big issue is that most Windows 8 features are designed for touchscreen use. That means that existing PC owners won’t get the full value or experience that Windows 8 offers unless they upgrade their hardware to a tablet, touchscreen notebook, or a hybrid device that functions as both.
There’s no way to be nice about it: Microsoft is not cool. Their products aren’t cool (sans Xbox!). Their logo isn’t cool. And then there’s their dancing, prancing, screaming, bear of a man slash CEO: Steve Ballmer. And on our brand new CultCast, we have to ask: could Microsoft bring their sexy back with a CEO who isn’t the official jester of the tech community?
And then, don’t miss our discussion on how one simple hardware upgrade can transform your aged Macbook Pro into an unholy speed demon! That’s right, you don’t need a Retina Macbook, just $200 and ten minutes can bring you a renewed computing power that would make even Tim Cook’s glasses start to fog!
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Microsoft couldn’t rely on a third-party to build a tablet like this.
Despite countless rumors suggesting it was on its way, when Microsoft unveiled its new Surface tablet late last week, a lot of people were surprised. It was a strange move by the Redmond-based company, who has traditionally focused solely on software and allowed other companies to worry about the hardware.
So why did Microsoft build its own tablet?
According to one of the company’s former employees, it took hardware matters into its own hands when it realized it couldn’t rely on PC makers to make the same bets Apple was making. You see, Apple has taken some incredible steps to make its iPad the behemoth it is today. And rival companies just weren’t willing to gamble.
As has been discussed in the past, the general consensus among those in the tech industry seems to be that the only way to compete with the iPad is to make your product cheaper than it.
This was moderately successful for devices such as the Kindle Fire, which sold in respectable numbers, but fell off after a short amount of time, even though it retailed for only $199. If history is anything to base expectations off of, the Microsoft Surface may be in trouble. The Next Web is reporting today that Microsoft’s entry into the tablet market may cost considerably more than the iPad.
Arguing the iPad can’t access legacy IT systems often means IT is ignoring much bigger problems
Plenty of people have offered their thoughts and opinions about Microsoft’s Surface devices after the company unveiled the two tablets earlier this week. One particular thread of conversation has been what Surface means for the iPad in businesses and enterprises. One piece that stood out to me was Justin Watt’s blog post Goliath Wants David’s Market.
Watt offers an interesting and well written argument that Surface may find success in many companies because they are still using legacy applications and processes – some of which may have originated long before Windows XP and OS X and have been patched countless times to over the years or decades to continue functioning. His core argument is that many iPad users access these tools using virtual desktop solutions like Citrix Receiver. As a result, at least for some tasks, the iPad functions as a Windows tablet. That could give Surface and other Windows tablets an edge over the iPad if they can directly deal with the legacy code involved or deliver the same virtual desktop experience.
The truth, however, is that many companies are chugging along on legacy solutions that were never designed to work with devices like the iPad. In fact, some widely used legacy systems have roots that weren’t even designed to work with Windows! In many companies, IT has been able to keep the age and state of those systems under wraps. But the iPad, and now the iPad versus Surface discussion, is now pushing that dirty little secret into the light of day.
For all the buzz about the Microsoft Surface, we don’t know really know the most important things about it yet. We don’t know when it’ll be released. We don’t know how much it’ll cost. As nice as the Surface looks, Microsoft didn’t even say if it would come with 3G, let alone with LTE. And according to Bloomberg, the reason they didn’t announce it is because the Surface won’t: it’s WiFi-only.
The word “innovative” has been thrown around a lot in the aftermath of Microsoft’s Surface announcement, but how innovative is the design, anyway? The thickest part of a MacBook Air is the keyboard, which allows you to balance it on your lap to type on it; where as the Microsoft Surface is just an Air flipped upside down, with the thickest part the screen, making it the first thing to go flipping off your lap.
Okay, we admit, this image is a little exaggerated, but it’s funny, and it does raise a good criticism of the Surface: ostensibly, the Surface is a tablet with a keyboard cover that allows it to be used as a notebook, but its form factor makes it impossible to type on unless you’re at a desk or a table.
Earlier this week, Microsoft revealed their new “iPad killer,” a sleek and sexy tablet they’re calling the Surface. The guys over at Gizmodo think it looks even better than the iPad and the MacBook Air. We don’t. Who’s right? What better way to find out than to grab Gizmodo’s Editor-in-Chief, Joe Brown, and let the fists fly on an all new CultCast.
Can Joe convince us that Microsoft is the coolest company in tech right now? Or will the CultCast crew enlighten the Gizmodo chief? Find out on a titillating new episode — and don’t miss the reveal of our favorite new gadgets!
Hit the subscribe button right now and read on for the show notes.
Majority of Americans won’t even consider buying a Microsoft Surface.
According to a poll conducted by discount site CouponCodes4u, less than one-quarter of American consumers will consider buying Microsoft’s newly unveiled Surface. The discount site used the poll to study the overall tablet space and to determine brand awareness and perceptions across the U.S. market. It found that only 22% of respondents would consider buying one of the Surface tablets.
The survey, which was taken by 1,578 Americans in the 21 to 35 age bracket, also found high brand loyalty among tablet owners for both the iPad and for Android.
Surface shakes up Windows RT and Windows 8 strategies, but not in a good way.
Microsoft’s announcement of its new Surface tablets got the entire tech industry’s attention yesterday. The announcement was big on drama but not so big on details. Despite showing off the new Surface devices and using them to build hype for Windows RT and Windows 8, Microsoft left out some key points of information like pricing and a clear understanding of how the devices will fit into mobile tech market.
The announcement also left many technology pros scratching their heads in confusion about Microsoft’s decision to own the entire computing process in the way that Apple does – from hardware to OS, to the app market. Another head scratcher, particularly for CIOs and IT leaders, is how or where Surface devices will fit into businesses.