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Why Microsoft Surface Tablet will be dead on arrival

Microsoft recently unveiled its Surface Tablet hybrid. Its a tablet that can connect with a iPad like smart cover which has integrated keyboard and track-pad. The Surface has Magnesium chassis, vapour deposition coating, cutaway edges, ClearType HD display. It will come in two versions normal and pro. The normal version has ARM processor and comes with Windows 8 (WOA, RT or whatever they are calling it now). The pro version has x86 Intel 3rd Gen Core-i5 processor(Ivy Bridge). The ARM version has a 720p HD display and x86 version has 1080p display.

Now, to actually compare the Surface to other tablets and hybrids in the market, Surface doesn't offer anything revolutionary or new to the market. The only revolutionary feature it has is a smart cover which has keyboard and track-pad. Seriously, it feels like Microsoft has accepted that touch can never replace physical keyboard. This strategy is a failure from the get-go. Even though, iPad has many optional keyboards for those who need, still they are never the selling point of iPad. On other side the biggest feature of Surface is the keyboard. And, don't forget this hybrid approach is nothing new Asus Transformer comes with a keyboard and its actually a lot better then a rubber gimmick keyboard Microsoft is offering. 


The display is another key factor here, Surface RT supports only 720p screen which is what current mobile phones have and Surface pro will have 1080p screen, which is satisfactory from current standards but with new iPad and Macbook Pro offering ultra high resolution retina displays and Android OEMs currently testing high resolution displays on their tablets, 1080p later this year will available in low and mid range tablets, while Surface is a premium tablet. 


Surface will come with an OS that's a new OS, which is currently under testing and the reviews are anything but positive. The Metro UI is called ugly and inefficient by almost every reviewer and user alike. The OS lacks apps and in case of ARM version it even lacks legacy software, while the x86 version will bring the legacy compatibility, it also adds complexity to the tablet and not to mention the compatibility of malware and viruses for Windows.


Microsoft at core is a software company and has been very successful by partnering with various OEMs to get their products to the market, that's how Microsoft defeated Apple in PC market. Except for Xbox 360 and Kinect, every hardware product has been an utter failure, e.g. Zune, Kin, Xbox, Windows Slate,Tablet PC, UMPC, Home Server, MSN Direct Smart Watch, MSN TV, etc... And this move is really going to alienate the OEMs from Microsoft, since they are now directly competing with them in the market. The current market is different from what it used to be. Apple has much more stronger hold on the market at high end. The low and mid range is dominated by Google Android which is free for all OEMs to use and modify, while Microsoft is not allowing any modifications in the OS and has strict hardware requirements for OEMs to adhere. Already world's fourth largest PC maker Acer Dismissed Microsoft Surface Tablet.


Another, important factor that will lead to Surface failure is the price. Microsoft didn't announced actual pricing but said that Surface RT will be priced similar to competing tablets, which means expect it to be priced similar to iPad, but Bloomberg expects that Surface will be pricier then iPad. And, Microsoft announced that Surface Pro will be priced similar to ultrabook. That means in the price point expect both Surface tablets to be in high end market with with mediocre features. What Microsoft doesn't  understands is that there's no market for the Surface with Windows 8 Pro, People who primarily use a laptop, will buy a laptop with a bigger screen, better keyboard/trackpad and a hinge that supports the screen at the same or lower cost. People who primarily use a tablet, will buy a lighter tablet at a lower cost. So, who is this tablet for? People who want a bulky tablet and a small laptop at a high price? That's nobody. Buying a separate tablet and laptop will cost more, but it's a better value.


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