Monday, July 22, 2013

Microsoft Needs To Continue To Invest In Surface, If Not For Its Own Fate, But To Put Competitive Pressure on Chomebook and Apple

I know that many folks are very happy over the near $1 billion charge that Microsoft took out on the dismal sales of Surface tablets. I reckon it's for both the RT and Intel versions. However, Microsoft, successful or not (Xbox is a success while we can get into many of its other failures like Zune), has never been known to go to bat once and leave the game entirely.

It spent years on Zune and ended with an utter failure that decimated not only its own effort in the portable and streaming music industry but those of its partners as well. Xbox is a bit more successful and I think it's beginning to eek out a bit of profit even though the console market could be in trouble. For argument's sake, let's call this a success.

Either way, Microsoft didn't put one out product, see it fail, and walk away entirely. Even with Kin, which lasted only months, Microsoft is back now with Windows Phone with increasing success.

So, while Surface sales have not caught on like many in Redmond and Microsoft fans hope (I like to consider myself one of them. I have a Nokia Windows Phone), I also believe that Microsoft has learn from the market, which it usually do, and will make changes to the next generation hardware and put on a new marketing push later this year.

And maybe Microsoft will lose another billion between 2013-2014 but it is essential that it fight, bite, and scratch its way to relevance in the tablet market which most believe is the future of computing.

It's essential because we not only need Microsoft's vision for the future of computing, it also serves as a competitive force that Apple and Samsung cannot ignore. On top of that, because Microsoft has both an ARM and Intel version of the Surface, the future generations of tablets will continue to put pressure on the growing Chromebook market as well as Intel-based tablets.

It's likely that Apple will release its own OS X Intel Mac that is a hybrid between a laptop and a tablet (I'll explain why later).

For now, I'm taking a way and see attitude towards the Surface even thought one can be had for $350. I'm waiting to see what improvements Microsoft will make for Surface 2 before I decide.

For Microsoft, it doesn't have a choice even if it doesn't want to serve the market. It has to serve itself if it doesn't want to become irrelevant in the future of mobile computing. Already, Windows 8 adoption and sales have dropped due to a drop in global demand for PCs as tablets continue to grow wildly. Eventually, it could get to the point when even Microsoft's core businesses like Office gets affected as people realize they can live without it.

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