Tuesday, June 19, 2012

microsoft 'surface' tablet = a thin windows laptop by other means

jun 19th, 2012 CE


it is interesting that microsoft may have hit on a nice sweet spot. what people really want is a laptop with a big screen that is instant-on and has a good battery and is always-on and is a mobile (3G/4G) and is relatively inexpensive. having a keyboard may be a good thing too.

well, you can't hit all of those objectives simultaneously, so microsoft has hit a few out of the park, or so it appears:

1. instant-on
2. good battery (the ARM variant will have battery life)
3. always-on
4. mobile
5. possibly not inexpensive
6. cover has a keyboard built in
7. ok, the screen isn't that big (10" would be a netbook's size, which is actually kind of small for any real work)

this may affect the ultrabook makers more than it affects the ipad owners. to be honest, i am still trying to figure what a tablet is good for. i have a samsung galaxy note, which, apart from the smaller 5" screen and being pretty darn expensive, does meet most of the criteria above.

as for the business model, microsoft is trying to do an apple end-run, but it remains to be seen if a) customers, b) carriers, c) apps developers all want to be locked in by microsoft. they remember how microsoft wasn't exactly nice to them in the PC world.

microsoft may also have trouble with distribution and customer support. will the xbox channels be sufficient for this product? probably not.