I am really amazed that Microsoft has entered the tablet marketplace and risk alienating itself from the established players like Samsung.
But to answer Junko's question, maybe Microsoft believes the current players are not getting it right. Maybe they feel their software is not performing to full potential because the current players have designed too many compromises into the hardware. Thus the problems with security, locking up, etc.
I have always felt MS should follow the Apple model for high-end equipment and design it themselves so they can optimize the software for a particular architecture, something they cannot do when the software has to work on a dozen different platforms and, at the same time, be backwards compatible.
So maybe that is their motivation, to finally "get it right" and end the endless barrage of complaints.
OK. I too love the irony that the world's largest software company is turning to hardware engineers to save its skin. Well put.
But nobody really answered my question.
So, what’s in it for Microsoft, with these Surface tablets? What sort of business model does Microsoft have that will create a revenue stream beyond hardware sales?
I agree. Believe me or not, I now take my iPad along with my PC on the road. Why? Strangely enough (and I had never thought of this before I bought iPad), when I am using iPad, that's simply for my own personal pleasure. I don't do my work. I read magazines, websites, speak to my friends and family on skype, etc., but I don't feel compelled to write a story and post it on our website. iPad gives me a personal space -- and that's a relief to me.
This time, Microsoft will have difficult time for Surface. There is no legacy requirement to purchase Surface and Apple, Samsung will give very good alternate to customer. Price mentioned above is also quite high.
The sources also estimated the end-market price of the Windows 8 Pro-based Surface tablet PC with Ivy Bridge processor to be at least above US$799, while the Windows RT-based model, featuring Nvidia's Tegra 3, will be priced above US$599.
Sign me up!!! I can't wait to get my hands on one of these. Maybe it is the era in which I grew up developing software...but developing using MS tools has for me been FAR easier than the Linux tools and the Mac tools (both of which I own and use regularly).
Apple has to TELL me that I will love XCode on their web site. "Tools you'll love to use." Ummm...not so much.
As a developer I think the possibilities are crazy with Surface. The graphics are going to be great...the underlying OS will be pretty rock solid...all in all from a DEVELOPER standpoint I can't wait.
As for users...if MS can get a HUGE number of quality apps on this thing, it might just work out. A LOT of people were naysayers about the XBOX when MS launched it...and it is arguably now the premier gaming platform (don't give me any guff about PS3 - I own both and play on both so I know from whence I speak).
I agree, smaller and lighter can indeed be a compelling reason to buy a tablet. Many times, in planes, trains, and automobiles, and even when waiting in long lines, I am tempted to use my laptop but don't -- because it's too much trouble to set up. A tablet is definitely better for times like that. Perhaps Microsoft's new entry will make tablets even more compelling and they will become an irresistible purchase for those of us that are holding out.
I will never be accused of being a Microsoft cheerleader but I disagree that they shouldn't bother competing with the iPAD. We are all competing with the iPAD, every market segment. We have no choice and that especially goes for Microsoft. And if there is one company on the face of the earth that, coupled with that competitive mandate, has the resources, market recognition and position to effectively compete with Apple, it's them.
That the tablet is "me-too" I ask this: what can be done in a tablet format to differentiate anyone? Apple invented it and it's basically a computing LCD slab that doubles as a Li-Ion storage device. About all that can be done is adding features that are annoyingly absent with the other guy. It look like they’ve done that.
Plus as a hardware guy I just LOVE that the world’s biggest SOFTWARE COMPANY had to turn to my contemporaries - HARDWARE ENGINEERS - to save their skin. Bit-heads beware! Heh, heh.
Steve jobs new this. He knew that ones and zeros don't just dance around the ether on their own. They need a platform and if one controls the hardware, one controls the ones and zeros. It took him 40 years to prove it and by virtue of this action Microsoft is publically admitting that he was right. It's a good day for hardware engineers everywhere.
I had many of the same thoughts before I got an iPad. But don't underestimate the significance of smaller and lighter.
I can and do take my iPad just about anywhere, including places I would never dream of taking a laptop.
Microsoft lost its mojo a long time ago. The reason they dominate the PC market is legacy, not great products. There is no legacy to help them in the phone and tablet markets, so their paltry market share there is a better reflection of the quality of their software.