Its been a little while since Microsoft introduced its answer to the iPad and there are still many questions that have gone unanswered. I subtitle this blog a holistic view of tech for good reason, our thoughts on this piece of hardware are best viewed thru the big picture lens.
Boxers will tell you that the blow that causes a knockout is the one you did not see coming, your body has not had that split second it needs to prepare itself for the blow an its lights out. Sometime in 2011 maybe even 2010 Microsoft began to understand that a threat was lurking to its dominance of the PC market place. The emergence of Mobile had taken it by surprise (everyone remembers Ballmer’s 2007 infamous dismissal of the iPhone ) left without a viable product to offer Apple began capturing a huge amount of windows users and the “Halo Effect” locked them into the Apple’s ironclad ecosystem. Even worse , Google had begun to capture hardcore Windows users and geeks through Android , users that would do anything to avoid being an Apple consumer found comfort in Apple’s new found enemy, Google. Microsoft stood by and watched Google envelop these precious users into their own ecosystem.
Instant Karma’s gonna get ya
The next and more lethal blow came from the introduction of the iPad. A Tablet form factor that Microsoft had envisioned ten years earlier , implemented and determined not to be viable. I can not go on without taking notice of the Karma at play here, In the first computer war Microsoft was successful by stealing Apple’s windows interface and using it to build an empire and place Apple at the brink of bankruptcy. In computer wars two Apple takes a product that Microsoft had envisioned and uses it to challenge Microsoft dominance. The meteoric rise of the iPad and its dominance of the development community proved there was a new dynamic at play. At that point it became clear to Microsoft that its companies legacy product the Windows platform was susceptible to damage and they began to move. Many pundits point out that Microsoft could have easily rested on its laurels and survived very comfortably on its affiliated businesses. Either that is true and Microsoft just decided to fight or Microsoft saw a threat to its Windows platform a blow that would cause its structure to collapse. Either way as I have detailed in another post, Microsoft worked extremely hard to get back in the game and that ” Pressure makes Diamonds” and under pressure Microsoft has executed its game plan flawlessly. Even more impressive is that Microsoft knew that the best they could strive for was to be able to position themselves to be in the right place should their competitors falter. THIS IS CLASSIC MICROSOFT, A BALLSY MOVE INDEED For greater depth read this post
The question now becomes two-fold, first is it too late? & second is their product worthy ?
Ahha, here’s that Karma thing again, due to a number of factors both internal and external Google and their Android system has not been able to capitalize on the success of their phone to move into the tablet market. Next week that may change as Google introduces their iPad, hence the rushed Surface introduction from Microsoft in hopes of stalling their users purchases. Due to a prolonged recession Microsoft has gained some valuable time in the enterprise market who have held off upgrading their systems since XP. If Microsoft delivers on time (fall 2012) No it’s not till late.
Regarding the product: Microsoft’s problem is that they are counting on The Surface to convince those sitting on the fence to hold out just a little longer for their very impressive machine. So instead of waiting for a better previews with a more baked product they introduced a machine that could be viewed as vapor ware. As I said earlier they really had no choice if they were certain that Google would be introducing their tablet next week. The RT version offers a iPad like experience and in the demo we were shown , it seemed impressive especially for programmers by allowing them to write for just one core kernel and be able to have product on three devices the Surface, Windows Phone 8 and the Metro Desktop.
I am literally afraid , Microsoft still has that look in their Eye
Just when it looks like Microsoft gets it and can be allowed to live in the new tech world, the introduction of The Windows 8 Tablet becomes a little freighting. Like that twinkle you notice in a mad person’s eye, it gives one pause. Was this product created to validate Microsoft’s legacy tablet in order to please Bill and Steve egos , like some final statement that they were right all those years ago. I can only guess it is meant to soothe their enterprise customers, who do not get what’s going on but can still understand this technology thereby restoring their faith in Microsoft. I am almost convinced they will never introduce this product. It just does not make sense.
Is that what Steve Ballmer meant when he said ” We designed Windows 8 for the world we know”
hip Hip Hooray!!! , hip Hip Hooray!!!
Whether the Surface tablets are successful or not its impressive that Microsoft took the time and care to offer a line of top quality products without going the route of Google & Samsung. respect
Some of these questions need to be answered before we are able to know if Microsoft’s tablets are product worthy?
- Will they come with cellular connectivity
- Will they have virtual keyboards as well as the keyboard covers
- How much will they cost
- When will they hit the market
- How will they be distributed and sold
- Where will they be distributed and sold
- What’s will the battery life-like
- Will Xbox games be offered