A tablet that runs your Windows apps finally arrives, but will consumers pay the price?
Steve Sinofsky may have simply been a man ahead of his time, and though that’s sometimes a great thing, it can also sometimes mean being rhythmically out of synch with time as well.
Sinofsky lead the Windows 8 project and he also recently left his position at Microsoft. It seems his leaving has much to do with Windows 8 project that he oversaw and hasn’t done so well thus far. There’s an old saying that goes, “for those that can’t do – teach”, and it seems it may apply to Steve as he now teaches at Harvard. Or does it really apply to him? Perhaps Windows 8 is not really a failure in a subjective sense and subjectively Sinofsky really did “do” a good job, but Microsoft’s latest brand of devices (tablets in particular) certainly does seem to be a bit objectively out of synch with time.
According to Microsoft’s CFO/CMO Tami Reller, “Microsoft has certified nearly 2,000 unique Windows 8 devices since the operating system launched”. The Windows 8 pack of devices include:
* Tablets that dock with a keyboard
* All-in-one desktops (iMac like systems)with touchscreen.
* Laptops that convert into tablets.
* Standard laptops (with touchscreen) and more
Out of that entire group of devices though, the tablet has been the market killer of them all, at least if you’re an Android or iOS tablet.
This week Microsoft is going to launch their next, and greatest, tablet hope of them all – the Microsoft Windows 8 Surface Pro.
The Microsoft Windows 8 Surface Pro costs $899. If that doesn’t sound like a tablet price to you, well, that’s’ probably because it’s a bit more of a real PC than your average tablet. And that where the visionary portion of this Surface project may be seen as one that may be a bit ahead of its time.
The Surface Pro can be said to be a perfectly timed product because Microsoft has in it’s Surface Pro, a Windows laptop/tablet that has a powerful Intel chip that’s comparable with many high end laptops, and best of all, it has the ability to run standard Windows programs. That’s actually something huge, and it’s something no other tablet on the market can do.
On the other hand, the Surface Pro can be said to be a product that’s out of synch with time because although people are opting for tablets over PC’s, Microsoft’s marketing approach seems to be as ill timed as the rest of their recent marketing decisions (see Related Links at bottom). First, instead of launching a one of its kind Surface Pro, Microsoft chose to launch low end Surface RT tablet that‘s not designed to run standard Windows apps and has an underdeveloped app eco-system that people must rely on in order to even use the tablet. Second, although the Surface Pro appears to be a wonderful PC/tablet concept, it may be one that not too many people are willing to afford. Especially as the current tablet market seems to be demanding less expensive tablets that do more, just as Microsoft now puts out a product that does more (runs your Windows apps), but also costs much more than similar tablets that others may opt to use and have software applications with functionality equivalent to their Windows programs.
With all things considered though, the Surface Pro does seem to bring Microsoft some hope though. With the ability to run native Windows app, it might actually be something people want. Even still, it’s going to have some challenges in the current market.