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Un-toasting the Surface

October 16, 2012

I had dinner with a few really smart people this evening and despite my enthusiasm for the Surface, the general consensus was that it is toast. Sure, we haven’t seen pricing or availability or even a hands-on experience, but it is pretty much toast.

Even in Microsoft’s traditional market of the enterprise, the view was that the iPad is already embedded, IT departments are used to dealing with it, and displacing it will be very hard for the Surface.

But here is an interesting point:

First, Microsoft has many Enterprise-level partner agreements with its customers. That means that Microsoft’s own tablet will be available in bulk for those customers, preloaded with Windows 8 that’s ready for corporate work. You’re looking at millions of units just for corporate use.

So, in effect, the Surface may be considered pre-sold to enterprises via existing contracts. Will that hold true for execs? Maybe not. Maybe they get to keep their iPads. But it may hold true for the rank-and-file.

And the other point:

Finally, Microsoft’s support is going to be long-lived. They still support Windows XP. That means that while your (my) iPad 1 is no longer support just two short years after its release, the Windows tablet will likely be supported by Windows 9, Windows 10 and possibly beyond.

Maybe end-users are getting sick of the hyper-upgrade cycle of Apple. If end-users aren’t, I’m pretty sure enterprises are.

Is the Surface toast? Maybe.

But then again… maybe not

Windows 8 Tablets: The most successful tablets ever. | ZDNet.

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