No More Surface Tablets?

Discussion in 'Microsoft' started by Ed Hardy, Jul 2, 2014.

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  1. spinedoc77

    spinedoc77 Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I think the term tablet for the SP3 would be taken negatively and they are better off labeling it a laptop replacement with the fringe benefit of being a semi-usable tablet. You can already see the fallout on this as tech reviewers directly compare the SP3 to the ipad air, lamenting that it's too heavy, the form factor is too big, the battery life isn't enough, it's too hot and has fans, is too expensive etc etc. We all know it's a huge missed point by the reviewers but the public at large doesn't and part of marketing IMO is also handling reviews which the public will read and put stock into.

    The hard part is that the reviewers have a good point IMO if we are comparing tablet to tablet, this doesn't work in MS favor, especially when their true tablet competitor is something as weak as RT. They are saying hey we have windows on a tablet, but only if you want a laptop-esque form factor, but if you want more of a tablet form factor we will just take away full windows. Terrible strategy IMO.
     
  2. Osiris

    Osiris Scribbler - Standard Member

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    But I didn't say tablet, what a tablet is has already been defined by apple and consumers, and that isn't going to change any time soon but 'Tablet PC' is something only Microsoft does because its easily characterised by a full Operating system, now that is where marketing needs to make that appeal to consumers but by declaring SP a tablet pc even if consumers don't like the marketing it gets them asking, oh a MS tablet, wait no tablet pc whats that? what does a tablet pc do that my ipad doesn't? tablet pc's do inking, whats that? oh wow wheres this been the last 10 years, What does it do that my $99 android tablet doesn't? wow you mean its basically my home and work pc in the form factor of a tablet etc.

    The thing writes itself. By defining it as a tablet pc it also eliminates this horrible comparison that most tech journalists let alone consumers haven't been able to come to grips with, its a tablet? no a laptop? MS says its the laptop that can replace my tablet...dafuq maybe its the tablet that can replace my laptop hrmm ahh too confusing iill just stick with what I know.
     
  3. spinedoc77

    spinedoc77 Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Maybe, it's definitely an interesting premise you bring forward. I think "tablet" has been too firmly entrenched in consumers minds to mean "ipad", although google has had success breaking into that but they did that mainly with pricing. MS had the original "tablet" or "tablet PC" way back when, but no one remembers that except for us techies.

    Now in terms of differentiating a MS tablet and marketing it as being able to write with a stylus, run full windows, etc I whole heartedly agree, this IS where MS should have concentrated 99.9% of its marketing to. This is the reason why RT doesn't make sense to me in any way, shape or form and only served to bring MS down, it's the albatross of MS tablets. I know I'm a broken record, but a full windows, Atom powered surface priced the same or a bit less than the ipad would have gone a LONG way in the war IMO. Of course we also would have the "pro" that the SP3 is today, larger, more capable, more laptop-able and more expensive.
     
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  4. dstrauss

    dstrauss Comic Relief Senior Member

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    I think Microsoft blew it with the "tablet that can replace your laptop" theme. They fell right into that iPad trap again, thinking they could argue that the SPro 3 is obviously better than any iPad-keyboard mash-up. What they should have focused on is that this is the thinnest, lightest, most powerful Ultrabook on the market that can also replace the need for a tablet - then they would have set the agenda better. Oh well, marketing is just not their long suit (it's not even a potential come from behind hand at the poker table).
     
  5. Mi7chy

    Mi7chy Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I'd say keep the Surface Pro branding and change Surface RT to Lumia so there's no confusion.
     
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  6. kornchild2002

    kornchild2002 Scribbler - Standard Member

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    That's probably because iPads are so popular. The term "iPad" is even used when describing tablets whether they are made by Apple or not just as the term "iPod" was used instead of "mp3 player" back in 2003-2008. Microsoft is pretty much at a middle ground now. They can either go after the ultrabook market (and hence, the MacBook Air) or they can go after the tablet (iPad) market when it comes to advertising for the Surface Pro 3. I don't think there is truly one best direction for the Pro 3 as it really could go either way and the pricing of the i3 Pro 3 doesn't put it too far ahead of a 64GB iPad Air (it's the same price as a 128GB iPad Air).

    So do they go after the mainstream audience and compare it against an iPad or do they go after the PC market and compare it against other ultrabooks negating a large portion of the PC crowd? I think the answer is somewhere in the middle but it's clear that MS needs some focus with their advertising campaigns. The Surface Pro 3 is a fine product, much like the Pro 2. However, just like with the Pro 2, it might not be able to carve a market for itself if MS can't properly push it.
     
  7. dceggert

    dceggert Owner of a TabletPC Museum Senior Member

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    I like to pick on members of my extended family when it comes to 'marketing' discussions. Some of these family members 'have' to have the latest iPhone no matter if it costs them the full price because they are skating on their contract or not. When I ask them why (I just got rid of my Palm Pre 2 after 5 years because the battery would not hold a charge anymore) I am told "I will not be seen DEAD using that old one, I have to have this..." So, when it came time to get a phablet they naturally got iPads. 'What are you going to do with that?' I ask....'oh, Facebook, Twitter, email, you know, stuff like that." I ask, 'what about Word, Excel, or other creation stuff?' "No way, what is that anyway?" Keep in mind I have said before that if you just want a consumption device for the couch a used Core2Duo laptop for $100 is your best bet. After spending $300-$400 on a phablet, then people have to have a case to stand it up, then they need a bT keyboard or a dock...my gosh, $800+ by the time they are done for what purpose? Anyway, I digress...

    Flash forward now about 2 years and the daughter is in college and the Mom just started too! I get a panic call one day..."I need Excel for class and something called Access. What is it?" I explain and say that there is likely a deal at the college bookstore for students or they can go online and get it pretty cheap from MS as students. They hangup. A few days later more panic... It seems they adopted Macbook Airs and now they cannot follow along in class with what the instructor is doing because their stuff is different..."what should we do?" I suggest getting a laptop or TabletPC. "A PC, yuk, no way. Just tell me how to fix this on the MacBook...."

    And there you have it. MS will not be able to compete well with Apple groupies. The only phablet market they will have true inroads to is Android based.

    As for the SP3 marketing targeting the MacBook Air, well, the Mac people will not listen and the PC people will say 'oh, it is like a MacBook, why would I want that?' So, in the phablet market at least, in my opinion, MS may be just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. MS needs to be hitting it hard on capability, usage, time savings, and features AS A PC. MS needs to run tutorials on how to better get things done and sell it hard to corporations...a few white papers here and there is not enough. The corporate world is MS's best target market right now and, unfortunately, the SP3 is lacking compared to laptops on specs.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2014
  8. spinedoc77

    spinedoc77 Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Definitely agree with this, but I don't see why MS can't go after BOTH markets. Include the keyboard in the cost of the SP3, done! See how simple that was. For the ipad market you all know my broken record speech about an Atom surface, but there it is.

    I understand they will have to step on their OEM's toes somewhat, I guess this is where negotiation come into play. It does confuse me though because in comparing the SP3 as a laptop replacement are they not already stepping on the toes of the laptop OEM's? How much could they step on their toes if they make an Atom SP? Especially in light of how few Atom tablets the OEM's are producing, and also in comparison to how many laptops they produce.
     
  9. jnjroach

    jnjroach Technology Strategist Super Moderator

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    Kevin Turner, COO at Microsoft reaffirmed MS commitment to the Surface and Lumia Platforms today during his keynote to MS Partners, as well as their commitment to OEMs.

    He talked about Productivity everywhere but also said the Office Experience will always be best on Windows Phone and Windows, and he said better marketing around OneNote and Inking in OneNote.

    He also promised $99 Windows Tablets by the Holiday Season (under 9" Screens).
     
  10. dceggert

    dceggert Owner of a TabletPC Museum Senior Member

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    So they are going straight after the Android phablet market. I wonder if these will be RT or full Windows beauties?
     
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