I had quite a few emails from readers after yesterday’s post on the Surface. I asked permission to reproduce some of them anonymously as I thought the points deserved airing, especially since a few reckoned I was overlooking things.
Here we go…
You might be missing the point.
What I took from the launch and pricing (although I’ll confess I haven’t looked in detail yet) is that Microsoft aren’t going after you, Tom, me and my wife just yet. I don’t think they were going after us and screwed it up, they just aren’t going after us.
What Microsoft are doing instead is buoying up the IT reseller channel. I know of several resellers who have been prepping for this for several months now. Off the record, one in particular (household name, etc.) has basically turned 180′ and is ditching its Android tablet range completely for Surface. They’re not quite ditching the Galaxy S2 and S3 phones, but they are seriously de-investing in them.
I’m also given to believe that Nokia’s love for the IT reseller channel has been building up recently, ahead of Surface and Windows 8.
It’s boringly predictable, but the aim seems to be to offer an alternative to BYOD, and go for corporate IT departments rolling out tablets. It has to be good to get over the “I prefer my iPad” objection, which it seems to be. Do consider that, generally speaking, enterprises usually buy what their reseller sells them.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Xbox live etc and consumerisation came later, but I’m not surprised that they aren’t there now.
And here’s another in a similar vein:
It would have been really interesting to see a new business model as an approach to differentiate from the competition. True.
That being said, we should be focusing on the actual product and if it will deliver. You said MS trusts it will, but you seemed to imply that it was a risky approach. Why? Apple is at the end of the maturity phase of the iphone and ipad life cycles. They are milking the cash cow, feeding people with updates to keep up with the technological pace (no evolution at all, let alone, revolution). They were the first to the market so they will be the first to wear out.
You apparently think that Apple is light years away from the rest. They are not anymore (look at the Lumia 920 outselling the iPhone in Carphone Warehouse in France and Italy). The iPad covered a huge market gap that really embraced the tablet, but even with their really agressive enterprise strategy, selling iPads to business users is like selling netbooks, the product succeeded only becaused it was the closest thing that covered that gap I was talking before.
Bottom line: The iPad is to the enterprise segment what Netbooks were to the consumer segment of light computer users. And the Surface and other Win RT tablets could very well be what the iPad was to Netbooks. No need to innovate pricewise, the product should speak for itself. I believe this is the strategy and if you really think what you said about the Surface, this strategy should be more than Fine.
I think, once again, I was looking for an immediate ‘wow’ that removed all barriers. I’m still very much excited at the prospect of the Surface (and derivatives) giving Apple and the rest of the market a bit of decent competition. It’s been rather depressing when the only game in town was clearly Apple — where even at launch events of new products, everyone in the room was thinking, “It’s not quite the iPhone/iPad/whatever”. The market need some good competition!
Thank you M and EB for permission to reproduce your comments.