Yesterday Microsoft held an event in Los Angeles where they announced the Surface, a self-branded tablet device that will be available in both ARM and x86 versions. The device features an impressive build quality in an attractive form factor as well as some interesting features. We believe the Surface will resonate well with the enterprise community and help Windows 8 OS garner interest, developer attention and market share.
Microsoft has learned well at the PR altar of Apple and executed perfectly at this ?secret? launch. Microsoft has not just imitated Apple but has potentially even outdone Apple in terms of attention to detail on the covers, keyboard, perimeter venting, digital ink and that?s all before you even talk about the device applications and features.
Given the anemic progress of Android vendors (Samsung aside) in tablets and the terrible historical track record of Microsoft?s Oems in tablets, introducing a competitive product which showcased the ability of Window to compete in the category really was in the critical path.
First impressions are of a device which has seen millions of man hours (ok maybe not quite that much) dedicated to not just designing a product but placing a market in the tablet market which has not but surely will cannibalize the PC market at some point.
Microsoft is smart to have showcased both the RT and Windows 8 Pro versions and to provide a roadmap and a challenge to its existing OEMs to match that!
An event that lived up to the hype and expectations, what a surprise. Well done Microsoft. The Surface announcement do not materially impact our forecasts for tablets by OS as this was already factored into our thinking.
Clients to our Tablet and Touch Screen Strategies service can read more about our take on the Surface tablets here