Microsoft May Barely Break The 'Surface' With Upcoming Tablets

MSsurfaceMicrosoft may be coming to market with its upcoming "Surface" line of tablets after ignoring the hard lessons Google has learned about breaking Apple’s hold on the market. Although the low-end "Surface" running Windows RT and the higher-end Windows 8 model both should be available in the last quarter of this year, ABI Research is projecting the devices will account for only 1.3% of shipments this year.

"The company is introducing a fragmented OS strategy with Windows RT and Windows 8," the analysts said in a news brief. This is precisely the problem with Google’s languid tablet efforts. While Apple offers developers a more unified iOS base, Android tablets from many manufacturers like Asus and Samsung have worked on various versions of the OS. The moving target has made it difficult for developers to get behind any single platform with compelling designs. ABI suggests Microsoft had forked its own market by offering Surface tablets that may not accommodate all apps.

The enterprise is the most likely target of Microsoft marketing, since Windows 8 compatibility across devices should be an attraction to business IT. But ABI is doubtful. "Is Microsoft suggesting that organizations will make the 'post-PC era' move toward a mobile computing device and ditch traditional desktop and clamshell form-factors, or is the company hoping that employees will gain access to multiple devices?" the brief argues. "So far, businesses have been opposed to buying incremental computing assets for users due to the support costs."   

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1 comment about "Microsoft May Barely Break The 'Surface' With Upcoming Tablets ".
  1. Angela Hey from Techviser , July 3, 2012 at midnight
    Microsoft has historically been better at managing standardization between devices than other vendors (think Windows vs Linux). The whole point of Windows originally was to offer many, many drivers so that different devices were supported in the same way. So I would not expect the innovation and fragmentation that you see with the Android platform. Note that Apple's CEO Tim Cook has said that tablets are different from laptops - so Apple has iOS and OS X. I agree that the market share for Windows tablets won't be all that high, because of competition. Windows RT will appeal to people who want a tablet that runs Office Apps, but primarily want to browse. Windows 8 will appeal to people who want a laptop/tablet dual-purpose device that is enterprise compatible and that you can also touch. Many laptops will need to be upgraded in corporations and not all will want tablets, especially those that need to run old Windows applications.