Preview of the Microsoft Surface Tablet
On Monday June 18th, 2012, Microsoft unveiled its new laptop/tablet which is hoped to grab a share of the market away
from heavyweights such as Apple iPad and the influx of brand name and non name tablets running Google's
Android Operating System.
This new line of tablets from Microsoft has been named Surface and
instead of Microsoft supplying the operating system (Microsoft Windows 8) to the laptop/tablet OEM manufacturers,
Microsoft has decided to design, build and sell the hardware as well as the operating system. Microsoft is still
supplying the operating system to their trusted hardware partners to install on laptops and tablets.
Is this a huge gamble
for Microsoft? Yes and No is the answer..
Microsoft will NOT recoup the investment in the Surface and the mobile version of Windows 8 BUT the underlying reason
Microsoft to develop and sell this tablet isn't for immediate profit like most companies, but to jump start innovation
at the OEM hardware vendor level (Toshiba, HP, Nokia, Samsung, Lenovo, etc).
This new tablet will run Microsoft's new Windows
8 operating system, which implies some compatibiltiy between Windows 8
tablet applications and desktop applications. Previous versions of mobile OS's from Microsoft were based upon
Windows CE, which developers did not embrace. Every new version of Windows Mobile OS has little compatibility to the
Desktop version and poor compatibility to other versions of Windows Mobile (CE). This was the downfall of every version
of Windows CE/mobile, and one of the reasons some developers of corprate applications are sitting on the fence
when questioned whether they will develop apps for Windows 8, considering Microsoft's lack of migration strategy and
support for applicatoins on all previous CE/Mobile platforms.
Now with Desktops, laptops
and tablets running the same version of Windows 8, you should see more Enterprise's embracing the Surface Tablet
especially after the XP to Windows 7 migrations happening in almost all corporate/enterprise networks.
The Windows 8 Operating system is another key element in the fight against the Apple iPad/Android. One of the main
some enterprise customers have not embraced and deployed Apple iPad's to their mobile workforce is the problems with
having an app for desktops/laptops and developing another version of the same app for iPad's. For cororate/enterprise
users, the primary concern is Office products and support which is the achillies heel for the mighty iPad and those
Android tablets when attempting to infiltrate the enterprise market. Are there enough other applications out there
ready for Windows 8? Not many yet.. Question is whether the big vendors SAP, Infor, Peoplesoft, other CRM's are
developing a Windows 8 app/version that is compatible with these laptops.. Maybe Microsoft can influence these vendors
to speed up development with the possibility of technical support/consulting from Microsoft?
With Windows 8, there is the potential for
less "double development" with one operating system and thus one app for desktops, laptops and tablets. Large
Enterprise customers can also benefit from the Microsoft System Centre Enterprise apps for management of these tablets,
which in many implementations, iPad's lacked.
What does this mean to the average consumer? Well parents will still buy laptops, or maybe Microsoft Surface for their
kids to use for school, but the kids will also buy an iPad for the cool factor.. This tablet is squarely aimed at the
enterprise, with the bonus benefit of appealing to the average consumers. Fact is, each household will still have a
standard Windows Xp/7/8 PC for all their needs, but the Surface Tablet does have a small market in the home market.
Microsoft won't make a large profit on these Surface Tablets, but just by developing this tablet, Microsoft will have
accomplished it's goal of
jump-starting innovation, and development amongst their hardware partners, which in the end will help Microsoft/Windows
8 grab a share of the tablet market which Microsoft has been attemping to do for a decade.