So, as a brand new dawn creeps over the hills, the first bursts of sunlight illuminate a compilation of metal, glass and plastic that is the saviour of the tablet market for the Windows 8 platform. And it shall be called Surface. It will be all that the iPad is not, do everything that the Android software is incapable of doing, and turn us all into the Windows fan boys (or girls)as we reach for it like some consumer product monolith that’s bound to alter the very existence of mankind.
This then is the dawning of the new era for Microsoft. Not that it hasn’t made hardware before. We have a plethora of hardware products from the ubiquitous Microsoft mouse, to the success story of its hardware arm, the XBOX.
This product, I believe, is fundamentally different in a couple of ways. First, it represents their chief, feeble attempt to manufacture a hardware product that runs the full Windows operating system on it. Secondly it probably has nothing to do with creating a new product, and has more to do with wanting to spank Apple on the backside for having, unceremoniously taken the lead as the manufacturer of choice for tablets. It seems that this is less about “look at me” and more about “me too”.
With that in mind, will this be a success? There is only, in my opinion, one thing that may mitigate this. It is the one, age old thing that always separates; the worthy from the worthless, the unrelenting truth that no matter how good the product is, and its success will ultimately be determined by this inevitability!
Yes, I’m sure that the Apple fan boys will say that quality comes with at a cost. If that were true, we wouldn’t have to explain Katy Price to the world. No, you can spend a lot of money on something and it still turn out to be a turd. Examples include, Windows Vista, the Apple Newton, and just about anything on Channel 5.
What Microsoft need to be careful of is that this product does what it says on the tin, and is within reach of mere mortals. If it can, then we may see the emergence of a new contender in the tablet market, which Microsoft effectively created and failed in, and Apple not only succeeded in, but also locked the Redmond folk in a locker for failing to capitalise on their own invention.
Links to this week’s stories.