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Aggressive pricing seen as key to Microsoft Surface's chance of success

post #1 of 128
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Microsoft's new ARM-based Surface tablet will likely need to undercut the price of Apple's iPad in order to have a fair chance in the marketplace, analysts believe.

Shaw Wu with Sterne Agee said in a note to investors on Tuesday that Microsoft will need to price its ARM-based Surface close to, or even below, Amazon's $199 Kindle Fire. The risk would be Microsoft taking a loss on the hardware, as Research in Motion has done with the PlayBook and HP did to sell off TouchPad inventory.

Separately, Brian White with Topeka Capital Markets also believes Surface "will need a healthy price discount to the iPad" if Microsoft hopes to gain traction. He said Microsoft will likely have a difficult time undercutting the iPad, since Apple's iPad 2 is priced at just $399.

In addition, White also believes that Apple could release a smaller, so-called "iPad mini" this September at a price point between $250 and $300. That would make it even more difficult for competitors like Microsoft to undercut Apple, and would also open up the iPad to a new market segment.

Wu noted that Microsoft's press conference, held in Hollywood on Monday, was very Apple-like in its presentation. He sees it as a positive that Microsoft is being more proactive in addressing the mobile device market where it has had little traction, but also noted the Surface will cannibalize Windows partners like Dell, HP, Acer, and Lenovo.

Surface 1


Industry sources who spoke with Wu indicated that one of the reasons Microsoft has decided to take more control and produce its own hardware is the lackluster results Nokia has had selling devices based on the Windows Phone platform.

"Despite heavy promotion and advertising and carrier desire to have a viable alternative to Android and iOS, Windows Phone 7 has found disappointing customer acceptance," Wu wrote.

To White, Monday's event was a clear sign that Microsoft is looking to find its identity in the post-PC era. He said that Microsoft's decision to control both hardware and software in creating the Surface was "the sincerest form of flattery to Apple."

In White's view, the ARM-based Surface tablet will be more of a threat to the Android ecosystem than Apple's iPad. And he thinks the Windows 8 Pro Surface tablets, featuring Intel processors, could have a place in "certain parts of the enterprise world." But he said Monday's presentation gave him no reason to think most consumers would prefer Surface over an iPad.
post #2 of 128

Microsoft themselves quoted this as being 'around about ultra book' pricing levels. That's one damn expensive tablet.

 

I noticed that, although Microsoft tried to make the keynote 'Apple-like' the thing was very poorly done. The Surface shitting itself in the first few minutes of the demonstration didn't impress many either.

 

I did like some of the ideas they've implemented, and kudos to them for not doing an outright Samsung, but it may not be enough.

 

Time will tell.

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post #3 of 128

An inconvenient tablet.

An inconvenient laptop.

It runs Windows. 

 

Remember the re-branded Toshiba Gigabeat MS called the Zune?

This is a re-branded Acer Iconia. It's been done before. Consumers didn't really go crazy over the idea. This thing will be dead and buried in two years. 

 

MS had a chance, like everyone else, to change the game completely. As with Windows Phone, they didn't. It's just . . . adequate. Which is hardly enough in this market. 

 

You can make it dirt cheap. MS still won't be able to move enough of these things to make the effort worth it. 


Edited by Quadra 610 - 6/19/12 at 5:43am
post #4 of 128
Most people will want to take a look, at least.

I think there's no chance in h377 the Surface (aka serve-us) will sell for $199. --that's instinct, not industry knowledge. My guess would be $399 for the ARM and $699 start for the Pro.

Microsoft doing hardware and software? I'm thinking that's hard to suddenly jump into. I'm not at all convinced this can be a home run. Something somewhere will be a screwup. Even if it's behind the scenes meaning they lose even more on the products than expected.

But as a competitor I think this is a decent showing. It's not an iPad because iPad will destroy any wanna-be iPad. It's something different. It's thicker, hardware keyboard, sd card slot and USB. It has the kickstand and a new OS that is built for a different take on touch (inline android, which is the same take on a touch OS.).

So this is good. It's a real fight (or will be when it actually ships). Whether Surface has much of a chance in the near term is highly questionable. But didn't they with Xbox buy their way in until they had learned lessons and gained traction? When you've got that much money and that much need, this is the best way to go for them.
post #5 of 128
This will be fun to watch. If MS are licensing WinRT to OEMs for $90 and pricing the Surface at $200 the magic question is how much did RIM's value just go up to the Dells and Lenovos of the world? Will HP be smart enough to have made real progress on WebOS behind closed doors?

There is nothing wrong with disruption, but if HP wasn't as ineffective as they have proven themselves to be time after time, I would expect a fantastic new office suite, messaging suite, and hardware-integrated servers to start being heavily marketed.

I'm not sure Microsoft can keep the dominance this time around. The writing is on the walls for their partners...
post #6 of 128

Its going to be like a box of chocolates...pretty on the outside but once you start to bite into the chocolate you realize it tastes like shit!

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post #7 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

 

 

The Surface shitting itself in the first few minutes of the demonstration didn't impress many either.

 

 

LOL...It did what??? 

post #8 of 128

When you arrive ~3 years late to the party, with a different (and as of yet, unsupported) OS environment; you must accomplish 2 of the following 3 objectives.

 

* Better

* Faster

* Cheaper

 

If you can't hit 2 of these 3 targets - might as well close up shop and go home.

post #9 of 128

In order to have a fair chance of success in the market, they'll have to dump MS Windows and run less crappy software like Symbian or Android.

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post #10 of 128

I just don't get the 16:9 form factor.  It's so unattractive to me.  How do you use this thing for common web surfing?  Do you have it tall and skinny, or super wide and short?  It just seems like it would be a cumbersome way to view a web page properly.  If there is anything the iPad completely gets right, it's the size.  Just like a piece of paper, it's very useful landscape or portrait.  And when you watch a movie, you still get a nice wide screen display.  Sure there are black bars on the top and bottom that the Surface wouldn't have, but you're still getting the same amount of movie real-estate for the actual movie display.  Then when you go back to 99% of the other tasks you do, you have a much better form factor.

 

The Surface isn't an epic fail, but I just don't see a big demand for this. Time will tell.

post #11 of 128
If anything, what was striking about this prototype is how much Microsoft wants to *remain* in the PC world, not find a space in the "post PC" world.

If anything, response among geeks has demostrated a long standing desire to replicate the desktop in a tablet, which explains the overused (and highly subjective) phrase of this being a "real" tablet where they can get "real" work done. (Strangely, no one has suggested how to load up all those "real" applications onto a tablet with no optical drive, Yes, of course there is wireless, but shouldn't a real tablet have an optical drive choice?)

Of course, people are going to spend their money on what they want, and Microsoft has figured out their best bet is to remain firmly planted in the PC world.
post #12 of 128

Complete BS!

There are literally scores of $49.99 no name brand tablets on the market that will overshadow this surface tablet.

MS is fooling themselves if they think that swanky POS is going to be a game changer. Somebody has been drinking the kool aid, again. Isn't there a 12 step program for foolishness like that?

Their business model is under fire. The iPad is virus free, fast and does what the average computer user needs. MS wants us to buy big a** pc where most of the price is for their goddamn OS and intel's chips. The rest are dime a dozen parts.

Surface=fail.

post #13 of 128

The gold in your comment was that the iPad is useful in either portrait of landscape mode

Absolutely brilliant!!!!

That surface is some sh** MS whipped up just for the sake of showing something off. I bet you that crap won't see the light of day.

MS will say that it wasn't really going to be sold as it is, but was an idea builder for OEMs. 

post #14 of 128

You ain't lying. MS is a 500 pound orangutan. Very hard for them to get up and shift form a tried and true business model. But they better!The iPad is killing the pc sales. Apple shifted the paradigm. No other tech company would have done this. Now all hell is breaking loose as old business models are getting their asses beat down.

post #15 of 128
The Surface doesn't need an optical drive. It will come preloaded with Microsoft's own App Store. Check the Windows 8 specs in Microsoft's website.
post #16 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elian Gonzalez View Post

<snip>(Strangely, no one has suggested how to load up all those "real" applications onto a tablet with no optical drive, Yes, of course there is wireless, but shouldn't a real tablet have an optical drive choice?)<snip>

Short answer: no.

Although I am also surprised that MS didn't try to squeeze one in there. Optical drives are out, and will be gone by 2015... just about the time when MS gets this right with Windows 9,

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post #17 of 128

They can make it whatever price they want. What's important is the pricing and availability of anti virus software haha.

post #18 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

I noticed that, although Microsoft tried to make the keynote 'Apple-like' the thing was very poorly done. The Surface shitting itself in the first few minutes of the demonstration didn't impress many either.

 

 

Yeah, nothing like ending the presentation with a slide with prices, followed by another that reads "SHIPPING TODAY". Guess Microsoft ain't got that down yet. They're trying to convince everyone that they have hardware chops by talking about the Microsoft Mouse? Really? Apple's been building computers since 1976, when Steve Jobs was making them BY HAND in his parents' garage. Microsoft wants you to think they've sweated the design and manufacturing details too, but they built a Ford, not a Ferrari.

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post #19 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hodar View Post

When you arrive ~3 years late to the party, with a different (and as of yet, unsupported) OS environment; you must accomplish 2 of the following 3 objectives.

 

* Better

* Faster

* Cheaper

 

If you can't hit 2 of these 3 targets - might as well close up shop and go home.

Exactly right. MS may make is cheap - take a loss for sometime and faster sometimes is a function of time - but BETTER that I think is THE key to this and unfortunately MS will have a hard time with that one.

 

And it has to be more than vaporware.  I think MS would have gained some respect if they had announced a real date on which the product would be available. 

 

What I see now is another tablet and another attempt to beat Apple. 

post #20 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Microsoft's new ARM-based Surface tablet will likely need to undercut the price of Apple's iPad in order to have a fair chance in the marketplace, analysts believe.
Shaw Wu with Sterne Agee said in a note to investors on Tuesday that Microsoft will need to price its ARM-based Surface close to, or even below, Amazon's $199 Kindle Fire. The risk would be Microsoft taking a loss on the hardware, as Research in Motion has done with the PlayBook and HP did to sell off TouchPad inventory.

Yet another clueless comment from Wu. His history is one of the worst of all the analysts - and that's pretty bad.

The TouchPad was priced at $400 - just below the iPad. The Playbook was originally $500 for the base model - same as the iPad. Both of them were dumped on the market when it was clear that they wouldn't sell and the manufacturer had to empty the shelves. Neither HP nor RIM set out to sell at those prices and it would be foolish to do so.

Amazon is a different case. They are offering the unit at a deep discount from fair market price (possibly even low enough to lose money on the device) in order to gain a revenue stream from selling eBooks. Basically, the product is a razor and the eBooks are the blades. In addition, by many reports, the Fire is a somewhat limited tablet. It's not really comparable to the iPad or the upcoming Microsoft tablet.

Microsoft would not obtain a recurring revenue stream from their tablet, so they have to sell it at a price where they can make money on the package. Now, if they are convinced that it would sell more PCs, then there might be some justification for cutting the price, but I can't see how that would work. It is very likely that the best price point would be between Fire and iPad. Exactly where the price needs to be depends on features and their costs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

Microsoft themselves quoted this as being 'around about ultra book' pricing levels. That's one damn expensive tablet.

I noticed that, although Microsoft tried to make the keynote 'Apple-like' the thing was very poorly done. The Surface shitting itself in the first few minutes of the demonstration didn't impress many either.

I did like some of the ideas they've implemented, and kudos to them for not doing an outright Samsung, but it may not be enough.

Time will tell.

'Around Ultrabook' pricing would be far too high. I hope they come to their senses before launching the product. One of the key factors in setting price is that the iPad is widely perceived as the tablet to have. Everything else is seen as "the tablet to buy if you can't afford the iPad". There are exceptions - as a small number of people absolutely refuse to buy Apple products due to the kind of FUD that gets thrown around here all the time (and similar FUD from Apple haters everywhere else), but if you're going to pay $500-800 for a tablet, there are few real reasons to buy anything else.

If they price it at Ultrabook levels, it will fail - immediately. If they price it somewhere below iPad levels, it has a chance- with the extent of that chance depending on the features and quality they bring to the table. Of course, there's always the possibility that Microsoft will offer something so overwhelmingly fantastic that it would justify a significant premium over the iPad, but that just doesn't seem likely.

ETA:
I just read some information about the tablet. It looks like "around Ultrabook pricing" applies to the Intel version - which will run regular Windows apps. That is a big enough advantage over the iPad that it is not out of the question. I could picture $800 for the Intel version and $400-450 for the ARM version. Not only does the Intel version run Windows apps, it also has a much better screen. So it's entirely plausible.
Quote:
Originally Posted by maccherry View Post

Complete BS!
There are literally scores of $49.99 no name brand tablets on the market that will overshadow this surface tablet.

Please name even one $49.99 tablet that is a quality device that is going to be better than Microsoft's tablet (which, of course, is impossible to do since you haven't seen Microsoft's tablet yet). Every $49 tablet I've seen is a POS with EXTREMELY limited capabilities and/or terrible build quality. I've got one of the best of the cheap tablets (list at $189, but actually sells for $70-90) which I got to play around with and for when I need to do something under extreme conditions and wouldn't want to risk an iPad. It's junk.
Edited by jragosta - 6/19/12 at 7:27am
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post #21 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post
... but they built a Ford, not a Ferrari.

An Edsel?

post #22 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

Microsoft themselves quoted this as being 'around about ultra book' pricing levels. That's one damn expensive tablet.

 

That's for the PRO model, and that's about right. 

 

But Wu and White are talking bout the Consumer model. I think that White is thinking logically. Something in the range of the wifi model iPad give or take no more than $50 dollars is probably what will be needed price wise to get folks to give the tablet a look see. Unfortunately I suspect with the lower app collection that look might not last long. But perhaps it will be enough to give Microsoft time to grow that needed marketplace a bit more. 

 

As for Wu, I think he's off saying it can't be more than the Fire. After all, this is a larger model so folks will expect the price to be a bit higher. And frankly I think that Apple is correct that pricing too low implies something is cheap (as opposed to inexpensive). I fear this is one of the things that has doomed the Fire. Not only the implication but the fact that they made it to sell at that price point so yes in some ways it is cheap(ly made) and it turned off a lot of folks, especially after that password, no parental controls etc was added into the mix

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post #23 of 128

But seriously... Isn't this thing, particularly with keyboard attached, just an expensive notebook? With stand, it looks like any thin laptop.

post #24 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by scades View Post

But seriously... Isn't this thing, particularly with keyboard attached, just an expensive notebook? With stand, it looks like any thin laptop.

All depends on the price.  At worst case it's the same price as a MBA.  At best it's around iPad2 pricing.  There's no way they'll see even 1/3 of Apple's sales - they're way too late to the party for that.  IF it runs well, and IF you can throw Office on it, I can see it doing pretty well in the enterprise space and easily becoming the #2 tablet out there. 

post #25 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elian Gonzalez View Post

 (Strangely, no one has suggested how to load up all those "real" applications onto a tablet with no optical drive, Yes, of course there is wireless, but shouldn't a real tablet have an optical drive choice?)

 

There is a USB3 port and there is an SD card slot.  Somehow, I don't think that physical media is a requirement in this day and age.

post #26 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by xflare View Post

LOL...It did what??? 

 

Crashed harder than the Google Maps demo. They had to change units. Didn't look so polished. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rattlhed View Post

I just don't get the 16:9 form factor.  It's so unattractive to me.  How do you use this thing for common web surfing?  

 

I've done it and it's not horrid. If you are used to using your tablet in landscape and fortunately many are. I see a lot of iPads on set between the cast using them for reading their sides, chilling, the crew having their stuff on them. And few times is anyone using portrait even for reading ibooks and such. That the smart cover/case props in landscape only might be part of why. 

 

As for web surfing, pages might have a little extra 'white space' on the sides but otherwise there's no real negative to staying in landscape. In fact many times the text etc is bigger as the page flexes to fill the bigger screen so that's another reason to use landscape. Making that issue one that I think will end up being moot for most folks. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by maccherry View Post

The iPad is virus free, fast and does what the average computer user needs. 

 

The same could prove true for the ARM based 'consumer' Surface model that is running Metro and only apps out of said store. 

 

The Pro version however is the one that could still have issues and we'll see how that goes. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Yeah, nothing like ending the presentation with a slide with prices, followed by another that reads "SHIPPING TODAY". Guess Microsoft ain't got that down yet. 

 

This was more about getting there first. Same as the Google Maps thing. Microsoft wants to come off as first for the Metro/Win 8 hardware to trump their OEMs, forgetting that first and best are not the same thing. And forgetting that they just gave their OEMs the details to best what is about to come from Microsoft. Apple does the same to a degree but since they are putting theirs to market faster than the other boys can run that photocopier of 'inspiration' (well when there aren't rumors spilling everything two months before Apple does) the general public has seen the goods as well as the blogs and the cues become more evident. Not to mention that there's little time for the excitement to cool off for Apple stuff. You see the deets, you run to order it NOW. Not you see, you have six months to talk yourself out of it and meanwhile you find something else that looks just as good. 

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post #27 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

 

Yeah, nothing like ending the presentation with a slide with prices, followed by another that reads "SHIPPING TODAY". Guess Microsoft ain't got that down yet. They're trying to convince everyone that they have hardware chops by talking about the Microsoft Mouse? Really? Apple's been building computers since 1976, when Steve Jobs was making them BY HAND in his parents' garage. Microsoft wants you to think they've sweated the design and manufacturing details too, but they built a Ford, not a Ferrari.

 

+1

 

This is still the Microsoft of the 90's and 00's.   Anybody get that 'soon to be released' version of Longhorn?   Given themselves 6 months (-/+) to get their 'holiday' version out, and 9 months for a 'corporate' version is all about them getting 'ahead' of the apple release cycle (iPhone in the fall, iPad in the spring) in words.

 

I think the key thing is that MS will have all the F1xxx corporations at least buy a fleet of a couple hundred to test out, and there semi-pro FanBoi's of the Windows ilk just as  Boiish as Apple's ... although the lines are much shorter;-).   I see it selling a million once it releases, and Microsoft hoping beyond hope to find 'switchers' to base on this.  

 

Then they find a message to support their keyword  'productive.'       iPads are for consumers.... Surface tablets are for 'producers' (a much more macho verb)...  Who want's to be a 'sheep' when you can be the Farmer?

 

I think everyone can say that iPads are very 'producer' friendly... it's just that 90% of the world's consumers are... information... 'consumers' (I let writers write books... I don't need a keyboard to read them).

 

 

 

Apple's also been building OSes, since 76... Even Microsoft didn't build it's Pc-dOS in 81... Gates/Ballmer/Allen bought it, and built it to support IBM's PC.  In short, MS's DNA is supporting a larger 'manufacturer' of HW, and when it switched over to being the 'master' of the relationship (supplying any OEM's with the OS), they really didn't care about usability/quality, or even more so, architectural elegance.    Xbox not withstanding.

 

Apple has been designing HW and SW in parallel for 37 years, with the 'hiatus' while Jobs was out effectively skunkworking the 'NeXT' Mac platform (pun intended).   Microsoft's concern about quality is laughable, when looking at their definition of user experiential quality  (classic:  to 'stop' the computer... you go to the 'start' menu).

 

There is no 'bet the business' here in the 'Surface.'   In fact, I see no such 'laser focus' as I see in quality. The fact that they built it on 2 OSes running on 2 chip architectures with 2 UIs (keyboard and stylus) basically have them hedging the their bets on this, let alone their classic Intel Iron Line.   I can't see how they can focus on HW build quality when they have so many variables in the mix.

 

To complete the analogy above.... not only are they building Fords, but they are building Lincoln's too, using a different engine and different wiring harness to the dashboard, and supporting different steering devices on each.   


Edited by TheOtherGeoff - 6/19/12 at 7:39am
post #28 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freshmaker View Post
There's no way they'll see even 1/3 of Apple's sales 

 

I wouldn't say 'no way'. They could, especially if you group both models together. There are some folks that do want the tablet form with 'real computer' parts and this Pro model might attract them. And thus they might get that 1/3. Higher than that, I'm doubting until the app market is better, especially for the Consumer models. 

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post #29 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by scades View Post

An Edsel?

 

Pinto

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post #30 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

 

 Microsoft wants you to think they've sweated the design and manufacturing details too, but they built a Ford, not a Ferrari.

 

 

2011 Profits:

 

 

Ford:                $20,200,000,000.00

Ferrari:                  $210,000,000.00

post #31 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

 

I wouldn't say 'no way'. They could, especially if you group both models together. There are some folks that do want the tablet form with 'real computer' parts and this Pro model might attract them. And thus they might get that 1/3. Higher than that, I'm doubting until the app market is better, especially for the Consumer models. 

 

... or until it actually works.

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post #32 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by JerrySwitched26 View Post

 

 

2011 Profits:

 

 

Ford:                $20,200,000,000.00

Ferrari:                  $210,000,000.00

 

Yes, you're right. Those figures told me a lot about design details.

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post #33 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by scades View Post

But seriously... Isn't this thing, particularly with keyboard attached, just an expensive notebook? With stand, it looks like any thin laptop.

 

It's a whole lotta nothing, really. It's like anything Acer and whoever else has already tried, with a couple of gimmicks thrown in. And *then*, even if we forgive the "nothing new" hardware, we have to look at the OS. Windows 8. Metro. Etc. Now what?

 

It's interesting, isn't it?  My stepdad always says, "Whether you're excited, angry, sad, or hopelessly in love with someone or an idea, wait a day."  All that hubbub last night. But for what?  Wait a day, and *then*, in the clear light of the next morning, look at this Acer-Iconia-with-a-different-logo. It doesn't really seem all that special now. In fact, a day later, it looks like a disaster in the making.

 

MS figures that if OEMs, with the Acer Iconia, and the Transformer Prime, can't differentiate themselves enough because they lack the mindshare that comes from brand-power, that MS can offer a similar design with *their own* logo stuck on it, and it'll sell. 

 

The problem is, that Microsoft's brand power is in the gutter these days. It's all supported by compulsion and duress in the enterprise, and by a box to play Halo on in the consumer sector. 

 

Nobody really wants a "Windows Phone." Not after June 2007. Certainly not after January 2010. So how is a "Microsoft"-branded tablet really different from an Acer or Toshiba? It aint. Unless MS is banking on being *the only one* to make a Windows 8 tablet. Which in itself is hilarious. 

post #34 of 128

*Can* they get it cheaper than Apple though? Don't take if for granted they can be more efficient than the Tim. Not to mention iOS is possibly less resource hungry than Windows 8, further lowering costs.

 

The problem they will have is that a lot of people have already tried the iPad.

post #35 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

 

 Microsoft wants to come off as first for the Metro/Win 8 hardware to trump their OEMs, forgetting that first and best are not the same thing. And forgetting that they just gave their OEMs the details to best what is about to come from Microsoft. Apple does the same to a degree but since they are putting theirs to market faster than the other boys can run that photocopier of 'inspiration' (well when there aren't rumors spilling everything two months before Apple does) the general public has seen the goods as well as the blogs and the cues become more evident. Not to mention that there's little time for the excitement to cool off for Apple stuff. You see the deets, you run to order it NOW. Not you see, you have six months to talk yourself out of it and meanwhile you find something else that looks just as good. 

 

The other advantage Apple has in their tight delivery cycle is that they have already locked into their supply chain 105% of their production run of  'quality' components at a market bottom price.  MS in announcing/showing a proto box 6 months before, basically allows all their tablet/book competitors to go out and compete for those components... futher increasing the topline cost of this device in materials for MS, and likely lowering the quality...  

 

I don't see how a MS strategy of 2001 when it was on top of the corporate/OEM PC software world works in a post PC consumer hardware world of 2013.

 

Heck, Apple has all the control points here, like they did with Zune...   they release a 7.5" tablet at $249 (iPod Touch +), and lower the price of the 'next' iPad to say $449 (10%)... and they can squeeze any MS product to price/performance death.  Ballmer/MS won't tolerate another Zune, and can't erosion of their control of the 'personal desktop' which Win8 RT is being built to address.   

post #36 of 128

I think MS has managed to put something pretty attractive together and the covers w/the keyboard and trackpad are interesting.  I won't touch Windows 8 w/a 10 foot pole, so I won't own one of these, but they did design something much more attractive than they usually do.  The Windows 8 App Store needs to hit the ground running with thousands of apps ready to support both the Metro and normal side of things if they want to have any chance.  Debuting with 5 apps will not do it.

post #37 of 128

If there are ctrl+alt+delete buttons, you can count me in for one of these <g>

post #38 of 128

Microsoft will take a big lost on each tablet to gain market share and traction.

 

If Apple comes out with a smaller and less expensive tablet then surface could get sacked.

 

If surface battery life is bad or the apps don't come out or the UI sucks then forget it. DOA.

 

Time will tell.

post #39 of 128
Aggressive pricing? How much will they pay me to own one?
post #40 of 128
Some interesting comments here. I saw the live blog last night, and I watched the video of the presentation today.

There are several points I think need mentioning.

One it that it seems to be a nice product, mechanically. Better than I expected.

Two, isn't so kind. There were a lot of gaps in the presentation that should have been filled. They made the point that the name "Surface" meant that the software was up front and center, as it is on an iPad (though, of course, they didn't mention the iPad). But, other than briefly showing Netflix, and saying that it would be available at launch, and showing Word for less than 30 seconds, as part of their showing that the rear camera was mounted at a 22 degree angle so as to enable proper pointing when the kickstand was down, there was NO mention of software at all, other than to, again, very briefly, in an almost offhand way, mention that their entertainment services would be available.

No software folks! Now, I don't believe that there won't be software for RT when it first comes out. That would be a total disaster. But we're no more than four months away from delivery, assuming that nothing is delayed. They must know which major developers are working on software, what it is, and how far along they are. Normally, even if the software is well away from release, they come to a presentation like this with canned features they can show off.

It's hard to understand why Microsoft didn't have at least a few developers show off product. It gives me a bad feeling.

Then, no talk about battery life for either product. That's a goal from the very beginning of a products design cycle. To not give it now isn't good. Either they actually don't yet know, which would be bad so late, or it's bad, which would be worse.

No 3G/LTE or GPS!!! Really? These days? Hard to believe. Almost no technical specs on their website, where we were told by Sinofsky that there would be a lot more info available.

The RT model is about 1.5 pounds, and the x86 model is close to 2 pounds, that and the fact that it's 16:9 with HD Rez is most of what we know about specs, other than there's an i5 mobile chip inside the x86 model. Yes, there's either an HDMI or Displayport (no over the air video or screen mode?), and a USB 3 port. That and the thickness is about it.

At first, it will just be sold from their web site and their 20 stores. Not much distribution.

Surprisingly enough, the release dates of these devices are the opposite to what was expected. It was thought that the x86 model would be out when Win 8 came out, and the RT model would be out some months later, but that's not the case. I imagine they want RT out for the holiday season, as that's the consumer model.

Interesting, but too much was left unsaid.

This is typical of what I'm reading about this.

http://www.thestreet.com/story/11585344/1/surface-how-microsoft-can-fix-it.html?puc=CNNMONEY&cm_ven=CNNMONEY
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