Yesterday, Microsoft announced their tablet strategy with Microsoft Surface, a well designed tablet going head to head with iPad and Android Tablets. I thought I will add my quick thoughts on this announcement.
- In spite of all the positives about Surface, what stands out is that Microsoft is clueless about the availability and pricing. If I were Steve Ballmer, I wouldn’t be running an event where I can’t even announce the availability and pricing. Even better, I would have the tablets ready to go on sale exactly at the end of the event and “Wow-ed” the customers. It is important to not give any thinking time if they really wanted to take advantage of impulse buying. To be frank, I would have bought the tablet on an impulse buy if it was available immediately after the event.
- Microsoft Surface will be a killer tablet if they include MS Office with deeper integration to Office 365. I would expect a seamless experience with MS Office and Cloud.
- If I were Microsoft, I would position the device as an enterprise tablet device than a consumer device.
- Ecosystem is the key to success of Surface. I am really not convinced that they have a strong strategy on that front. If they had one, they would have touted it during yesterday’s event. Unless they have a good set of tablet apps, it is going to be tough to convince end users.
- If the stylus showcased Microsoft offers a smooth writing experience (unlike in the case of iPad or Android tablets), it will be a big winner. There is still a decent market for a tablet that could offer a seamless writing experience similar to paper.
- Microsoft Surface should be tightly integrated with Microsoft cloud properties. If Microsoft fail to do it, they don’t deserve to be in the cloud business.
- The impact on iPad will be minimal but if Microsoft executes well, it could impact Android tablets as Android on tablets is still a painful experience. Any impact on Android tablets will eventually give Microsoft some leverage on smartphone space.
These are some of the quick thoughts I had after following the event. I will reserve my opinion till I get to play with the device (whenever it is available in the market).