When Microsoft launched the Surface with Windows RT, it was supposed to be the answer to all of their iPad problems. It runs on cellphone chips, yet still looks like regular Windows 8. It’s supposed to be awesome. But sales of Windows RT tablets haven’t been strong, and now Samsung is saying that they’re second guessing the platform.
In a recent interview at CES, Make Abary, Samsung’s senior vice president who oversees the company’s tablet business, said that Samsung has decided they won’t launch their Windows RT tablet in the U.S. after discovering there’s not much demand for them.
There’s been plenty of debate over whether or not Microsoft will ever bring its Office productivity suite to Android and iOS devices. Many reports have claimed it will, while Microsoft itself has denied the rumors. But now product manager Petr Bobek has confirmed that it will happen next year.
Microsoft may try to challenge the iPad’s place in the classroom, but time isn’t on its side
The iPad became a big hit in the K-12 education market over the past year. Pioneering schools that brought Apple’s tablet into the classroom last school year proved that the iPad can be a excellent learning tool – one that has immense power to transform education.
As the new school year begins, and hundreds of thousands of students across the U.S. become iPad users thanks to one-to-one iPad deployments, there’s already talk that the iPad’s success in schools will be short-lived. The belief is that iPads will quickly be replaced by tablets running Microsoft’s Windows RT or Windows 8.
Two key PC-makers drop plans for Windows RT tablets, leaving just five companies making the devices.
Microsoft has positioned its Windows RT tablet OS as an iPad competitor, particularly in business and enterprise markets. Windows RT devices, which includes the ARM-based version of Microsoft’s Surface, are designed to be less expensive than Intel-powered Windows 8 tablets and are meant to push the new touch-oriented Metro interface.
Microsoft has even gone so far as to introduce special licensing terms for businesses that will offer free access to a virtual desktop from Windows RT devices while other platforms, including the iPad, will need to buy a new type of license for such access.
Windows RT would seem a perfect choice for businesses that want to support mobile employees with a tablet, except that Windows RT seems keep hitting one wall after another – the latest being that two of Microsoft’s longstanding OEM partners have decided to pass on creating Windows RT tablets.
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.
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.
Microsoft unveiled today what will be the future of their phone software, Windows Phone 8. Building upon the foundation of Windows Phone 7, Microsoft’s newest iteration of its phone operating system brings some new features and enhancements that tie both Windows on the desktop and Windows on mobile devices together. With the introduction of Windows Phone 7, Microsoft laid the groundwork for a new, company wide strategy which closely resembles that of Apple’s.
Many of the improvements and added features to Windows Phone 7 are now making their way back to the desktop, in the form of Windows 8 and Windows RT, the tablet variety. Windows Phone 8 further unifies the operating system structure across all devices, and also brings some new functionality to the table which will compete directly with iOS 6, come fall.
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.