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Misunderstandings About Microsoft Surface

June 21, 2012

In a nice post on the Microsoft Surface anouncement, Paul Thurrot describes it is “vaporware.”  Most likely the internals have not been definitively determined and may change based on what happens with technology in the next few months. What are not vaporware are the case and keyboards—the things people are excited about.

As In indicated in an email I sent to Paul, a better term is probably a “Tech Demo for Windows 8.”

 When you keep that in mind I think it is pretty easy to answer a number of the questions Paul poses in his post:

 “And why didn’t Microsoft reveal pricing for the devices? Is it waiting to see where Google comes in on its expected self-branded tablet?”

 The launch sis 6 months away. Who knows what component prices will be then? This is MS setting the bar for what a Win 8 device can be.  This is not a Kindle Fire where the objective is to dominate the market based on price. By not giving a price MS is saying price won’t be a reason to choose or avoid Surface vs. other options. (May or may not be true, but I think this is the intended message.)

 “And will the cost include a keyboard case? If not, how much will those cost?”

 Good question, but my theory suggests a price for the collective that will not make Surface less expensive than its OEM competitors.

“Why will the Intel version of the Surface ship a whopping 90 days after the launch of Windows 8? Why will only the Windows RT version be made available right away?”

This is an odd fact. I’m guessing they want to give early adopters a reason to try a WinRT tablet rather that gravitating toward the more versatile Intel version.

“Microsoft has decided to compete with everyone, even its friends.”

Not really. I don’t think MS’s goal here is to sell a lot of products like Apple does with iPads, the goal is to give people a reason to wait for a Windows 8 tablet, whether or not it is Surface or not. This is about branding not sales. Do you think Best Buy perceives the MS Stores as competing with them?

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