The Future of the Surface

The Future of the Surface

by Rory Donahoe August 13, 2013
Tech

Some sources outside of Microsoft have confirmed that they’ve been working on components for a new line of tablet PCs. Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsung confirmed it just last week that they have been working closely with Microsoft on the next version of the Surface RT, and other reports say that Qualcomm will provide the processor.

Microsoft is losing the most recent tablet war, and losing badly. While Microsft has managed only $853 million in revenue combined across all of their tablets, Apple has sold 14.6 million ipads in its most recent quarter.

It’s imperative that the next generation of Surface tablets outsell the current ones, but there’s some hurdles to overcome. Namely, price. Acer has recently cut their tablet to a pocket friendly $299, and Win 8 tablets are also coming down in price. There’s also the prevalent OEM skepticism towards Microsoft from consumers.

Microsoft also has to convince users that Windows 8.1 is the new hot jam, and will reinvigorate the adoptability of the Windows OS, which has dwindled since the mobile revolution. This isn’t a bad argument either, as the 8.1 release will coincide with the release of business applications and enterprise hardware upgrades that may tip the scales towards Windows as not just a flat computer for playing Angry Birds, but as a mobile office.

So, how can Microsoft pull it off and make their Surface a success? My advice, give us a wider range of tablets to choose from. While it’s been Apple’s strategy to release the light and heavy-duty version of their products, Microsoft may be better off with a larger array of custom tablets to meet the needs of different people. To put it simply: the lower end Surface doesn’t do enough, and the high end Surface does too much.

Microsoft should also abandon the mobile OS, and stick to what they’re famous for, their desktop OS. Microsoft’s goal should be to cut into the tablet market not by competing with it directly, but by forcing their Windows OS into the mobile market, effectively broadening the reach of their signature product. Access to invaluable software on a mobile platform might be the advantage they need, both financially, and to secure the longevity of their classicly immobile OS.

ThoughtLabers have 3 iPads, 1 Surface, and 1 Nexus. If someone wants to donate $800 to me for the Microsoft cause, I’d love to pick one up.

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