I’m still reading the major blogs about the Microsoft tablet announcement today (06/18/2012), however I wanted to share a few initial thoughts. I’m all over the place in this post. It’s a hodgepodge of thoughts slapped into a post (late at night). :P
• Kudos to Microsoft for taking the “hardware” initiative above and beyond the Xbox, Keyboards, Mice, etc. MS is showing OEMs what it feels is a great product that blends hardware and software together. It’s a baseline for OEMs to surpass with their products.
• A smart-cover-esque cover with a built in keyboard? Now that’s cool. It appears that there is one for the lower end tablet that only offers a virtual keyboard (no tactile feedback), and another cover for the higher end model that includes tactile feedback as well as a built in multi touch trackpad.
• I’m not sure if MS felt that they needed to make a keyboard accessory right out of the gate – because of Windows 8… but it is a brilliant idea. However, the tablet better offer an option to have an onscreen keyboard always available. Also, I haven’t read if the kb/cover can function while being disconnected – most likely it can’t. This also makes me wonder if MS feels like it’s touchscreen keyboard is lacking in some way, and instead are subconsciously telling people that they should just use the kb/cover more often.
• MS is doing right by not really releasing the hardware specs. Like Apple, the processor speed and other similar type specs are no longer selling points.
Examples on how MS still doesn’t get it . . .
It’s clear that tech companies “borrow” (steal if you want) ideas from each other. Really a smart-cover-esque cover that connects via magnets on the side? < roll eyes >
One major thing that MS still doesn’t understand is about announcing products.
Lets look at Apple. Apple announces products that are damn near release. They keep it under wraps (to the best of their ability) until it’s perfect (in the company’s eyes) and announce it and announce a sale date. This protects them. What happens if they announce a product 5-6 months before release and something drastic happens to the design or some major flaw in manufacturing occurs? Customers would hang them!
MS should have announced the “Surface” tablets within – but no longer than – 30 days before shipping the products. I haven’t even gotten to the fact that the Intel version of the Surface tablet wont ship for 3 months after the crippled ARM based Surface RT model hits the streets! Oy Vey. What a mess.
Since they have announced it, and the major tech sites are stating that the “demo” time was so strictly controlled – I call the Surface tablets, what they really are: VAPORWARE! It’s sad to say that. I think that there are some merits to the hardware, though I’m not passing judgement yet because it was just announced and I haven’t read enough about it.
What about the two models? Releasing two models, but leaving the more powerful one to be delivered 3 months later? What are they thinking? Is it a money grab? Are the expecting people to flock to the lower end hardware right away, then upgrade (whole new hardware purchase) 3 months later for a device that should have been released on day one? I don’t get that.
MS is already crippling their product – especially the RT model, because of Windows 8 RT. They are crippling all ARM based devices that want to run Window 8. Why are they even offering an RT model of the Surface? Besides my money grab question above – I’d venture to guess it’s about the hardware costs. Think about it, the Intel version has a Core i5 processor in it! Someone has to pay for that. With the likes of the (then popular) low cost Kindle Fire, people may not want to spend more than $300 on a tablet… Thus putting MS back with shitty hardware. If they released an Intel version (maybe not i5) and priced it comparatively to the iPad, they may make inroads. At this time, I don’t think they need to start at the low end market to compete with the likes of the Kindle Fire. Seriously the Kindle Fire is a piece of shit. People flocked to it because of Black Friday sales, and the Amazon Kindle name.
Real quick… back to announcing way to early… By announcing this vaporware, MS is giving their competitors a major head start. They basically gave them the blueprints and said – here is the bar, surpass it, and don’t mind us because we are making money off you anyway because of Windows licensing (well at least for Windows 8 tablets, and we can’t forget they are making money off of Android due to patents… so X-P)
Heat vents? Seriously – the damn thing has HEAT VENTS! LMAO Really MS? I can see the headlines now, dumbo suing after burning hand on Surface tablet due to covering vent.
In addition to the heat vents, the thing has a full body kickstand? Are they trying to make a ultra-thin like computer that can easily be turned into a tablet? I’m not really sure at this point, but it looks like it may be a royal pain to hold and use as a tablet. They are clearly marketing it as being used with the keyboard cover, and with the kickstand. So, like Windows 8, I think it’s “lost” as to what it’s really supposed to be.
More soon (and hopefully not so much hodgepodge)…