The Omnibus AFB Surface Topic

  • Posted: 18 June 2012 09:05 PM

    Let’s collect our thoughts here. I’m working on a longer post on the subject which I’ll post here in a couple of minutes.

         
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    Posted: 18 June 2012 09:08 PM #1

    Interesting product.

    If I were a Microsoft partner, I’d be concerned with them entering the hardware space. Will they do to the computer/tablet makers what they did to the music players who signed on with “Plays for Sure”?

    Also, an announcement without a release date or a price? really?

    Typical Microsoft announcement? Look at the cool thing we’re going to release one day soon. don’t go and buy the current super thing.

    [ Edited: 18 June 2012 09:12 PM by CdnPhoto ]      
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    Posted: 18 June 2012 09:14 PM #2

    Given the fact that there is no release date or pricing, it seems like one of the (many) MS products that promises much but may be implemented way in the future… and playing catch-up all the while.  Looking forward to technical analyses, if that is possible at this point.

         
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    Posted: 18 June 2012 09:14 PM #3

    Good for them for trying. 

    Microsoft’s clearly going it alone now.  Expect to see the exact same thing when it comes to smartphones somewhere down the line.

    The lack of more detailed specs, pricing and availability makes me wonder why they rushed the announcement out.  iPad is iPad and Android tablet aren’t exactly tearing it up.  Taking a little longer to get things right would’ve done quite a bit of good, I bet.

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    Posted: 18 June 2012 09:15 PM #4

    CdnPhoto - 19 June 2012 12:08 AM

    Interesting product.

    If I were a Microsoft partner, I’d be concerned with them entering the hardware space. Will they do to the computer/tablet makers what they did to the music players who signed on with “Plays for Sure”?

    Also, an announcement without a release date or a price? really?

    They would rather you delay purchase classic Microsoft, now that they have a nice demo, can they build it at a competitive price.  Its not like Microsoft has a great manufacturing track record.

         
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    Posted: 18 June 2012 09:17 PM #5

    From the first glance and the presentation I caught on Engadget, I’d say that those who want an Android alternative to the iPad may be very interested in the Surface.  The biggest issue will be how well Windows 8 works on the tablet, and whether developers are willing to create software for the device.

         
  • Posted: 18 June 2012 09:31 PM #6

    By the time this tablet hits he market, iPad 4 will be out!

         
  • Posted: 18 June 2012 09:38 PM #7

    Can you imagine Apple launching a new product and leaving out so many details?  It’s laughable, really.

    Ballmer is a ballsy guy.  If the press gives him a pass on what they didn’t reveal, then the champagne served at the event paid for itself.

         
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    Posted: 18 June 2012 09:42 PM #8

    At this point, I’m almost (almost!) rooting for Microsoft to be a decent competitor. There needs to be a viable platform alternative to iOS and the possible mess left from Android fragmentation.

    However, it seems we have to wait for another day (perhaps the day when Ballmer is no longer the CEO).

    I was absolutely shocked that they didn’t put such basic information as a price and release date on it. What’s the point of having the event? To gather excitement among developers and consumers? But it really doesn’t help in making a choice without knowledge of price. People will just shrug and buy the iPad. Amazon offered the Kindle ready-to-go, and that was the only product that made a dent in iPad’s market. Microsoft seems to again going with the OPUD (over-promise, under-deliver) strategy that killed them a dozen times.

    As far as the device itself, I think it looks good, and the keyboard-in-cover is sweet. (I would have totally be drooling if Apple did that, so I have to be honest with myself here). Windows 8 also seems well suited for it. But… Does it matter? Palm had a great alternative to iOS, let’s not forget. That story was completely botched by HP.

         
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    Posted: 18 June 2012 09:50 PM #9

    I guess we know why it’s called “Surface,” since most of the details are below it.

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    Posted: 18 June 2012 10:03 PM #10

    No mention of battery life, just battery capacity.  This MUST have 10+ hours of batt life to be comparable to the iPad.

    Really vague pricing.  “Comparable ARM tablets” probably means the Surface ARM will be $599 (comparable to 32GB iPad) and the Surface i5 will be $899 (comparable to the MacBook Air 11 inch 64 GB, guessing $100 cheaper because of no Thunderbolt)

    The Touch and Type covers are cool, and I dearly hope someday there’ll be something like that for the iPad as well.

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  • Posted: 18 June 2012 10:22 PM #11

    First, congratulations to Microsoft. The secrecy, the presentation, the quality of the product were all first class.

    I think that two big thing came out of this presentation.

    Microsoft vs. Microsoft’s Partners

    The first is that Microsoft is competing with its own partners - again. This story does not end well. When the Zune appeared, the playsforsure partners disappeared. Microsoft is about to launch a Windows 8 initiative that will, in my opinion, make or break the company. And they just turned their weapons on their own allies. We’ll see how this all works out. But the short term advantage of making their own tablet may well be outweighed by the long-term disadvantage of them having betrayed all of their manufacturing partners.

    More is More or More is Less

    The second issues is one of philosophy. It is, therefore, harder to express, harder to grasp and much, much more important.

    Do you think for one second that Apple could not have added a kickstand, an integrated pen and an integrated keyboard to the iPad? They didn’t neglect to do this…they CHOSE not to do this. Why?

    The question that most people ask is “Why not do both”. Why not have both a desktop and a touch OS on the tablet? Why not add a pen? Why not add a keyboard? Choice is good. Why not let the customer choose to use the device the way they best see fit? Why not both?

    It’s a compelling argument. And we’re going to be hearing it ad nauseum over the next several months. So what is Apple’s answer?

    Focus and Simplicity.

    ?That?s been one of my mantras ? focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it?s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.?-Steve Jobs

    “...the result of that focus is going to be some really great products where the total is much greater than the sum of the parts.”-Steve Jobs

    “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”-Steve Jobs

    ?People think focus means saying yes to the thing you?ve got to focus on.  But that?s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas??-Steve Jobs

    One of Jobs? greatest talents was as an editor, selecting what not to include in a product. Think of all the products that have way too many features. Few companies know their customers well enough to be able to say “no”.

    But it’s not enough to say “no”, you’ve got to know what things to leave in and what things to leave out. Apple realized - long before anyone else did - that touch was the key to a tablet computer. Styluses and keyboards are useful, but they pull the tablet away from its essence. They’re used in a pinch, not as a staple.

    “Both” is the enemy of focus. “Both” is the enemy of simplicity.

    When it comes to these two conflicting philosophies - simplicity and focus vs. more equals more - we’re about to get the ultimate test. The marketplace will vote with its dollars come this fall.

    Was Steve Jobs and Apple right about the what’s important in a tablet or are Steve Balmer and Microsoft?

    I’ll tell you this - I wouldn’t bet against Apple on this one.

    [ Edited: 18 June 2012 10:31 PM by FalKirk ]      
  • Posted: 18 June 2012 10:25 PM #12

    Mav - 19 June 2012 12:14 AM

    Good for them for trying. 

    Microsoft’s clearly going it alone now.  Expect to see the exact same thing when it comes to smartphones somewhere down the line.

    That’s a good point. I hadn’t thought of that but I think you’re right.

    it also makes the possible purchase of Nokia by Microsoft seem more plausible.

         
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    Posted: 18 June 2012 11:12 PM #13

    FalKirk - 19 June 2012 01:25 AM
    Mav - 19 June 2012 12:14 AM

    Good for them for trying. 

    Microsoft’s clearly going it alone now.  Expect to see the exact same thing when it comes to smartphones somewhere down the line.

    That’s a good point. I hadn’t thought of that but I think you’re right.

    it also makes the possible purchase of Nokia by Microsoft seem more plausible.

    Yes I had the same thought - a Nokia purchase seems very likely now.

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  • Posted: 18 June 2012 11:29 PM #14

    Is this an iPad competitor, a proof of concept for OEMs, or all of the above?

    As a proof of concept it is a success, showing all that it can do to potential OEMs having trouble with Android for tablets. The OS may very well become the #2 behind iOS, then over time chip away at Apple’s lead. I would not discount MSFT’s ability to through lots of cash at this project, and in doing so become a significant player.

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    Posted: 18 June 2012 11:30 PM #15

    FalKirk, it’s pretty obvious to anyone paying attention.  If Microsoft is going it alone in tablets, and Nokia’s in dire straits, and Microsoft still wants to do smartphones…

    Nokia is sadly making itself an increasingly “attractive” takeover target (really only because of its tanking market cap). 

    My first cel phone was a Nokia.  I bought NOK stock or options or something when Nokia was on the upswing and fuzzily recall having a green trade.  But Nokia couldn’t adapt.  Now that I think of it, I should’ve shorted NOK several years ago.  Nokia actually had a smartphone that when it froze (which was often), had NO hardware off/force reset switch - at least, not one that was obvious (I tried the hold the important-looking/power buttons down for 10 seconds and everything).  That’s right, I had to actually rip the battery out to turn it off.  Good thing for replaceable batteries, huh.

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    The Summer of AAPL is here.  Enjoy it (responsibly) while it lasts.
    AFB Night Owl Team™
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