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Tuesday, 19 June 2012 08:59

Microsoft tablet effort could upset partners

Written by Fuad Abazovic

Surfacethumb

Fear the competition, bite the hand that feeds you


With the introduction of its Surface tablet, borrowing some nice ideas from Apple, like magnetoc keyboard cover that attaches to tablet, Microsoft could possibly face some upheaval amidst its loyal partners and here is why.

You can imagine that Dell, Lenovo, HP, Acer and definitely some smaller players like Asus, MSI and the rest of the Taiwanese industry don’t really want to compete with Microsoft in the hardware department.

The more Surface tablets Microsoft sells, the fewer Windows 8 copies it sells to its partners and eventually it might hurt cannibalize its own sales numbers going forward, since it is unlikely Microsoft will enjoy big margins on Surface products. This is also a clear signal that going Android makes sense as its still somewhat open, but then again Google is about to announce its Nexus 7 tablet with the latest version of Android, but Google has taken a similar approach with Nexus phones in the past, with limited success.

Microsoft obviously wants to emulate Apple’s hardware success, as Apple nowadays is doing really well in the phone market and especially in the tablet space. Apple is also selling tons of traditional desktops and laptops and thanks to its closed approach it can afford to give away the latest versions of its operating systems for peanuts compared to Microsoft. At the same time, Apple is selling millions of iPads, tablets that didn’t even exist a few years ago and it is enjoying huge profits and healthy margins. Obviously, this is what Microsoft set its sights on.

As for the Microsoft, the next step can be a Microsoft branded phone, but we are sure that this won’t happen before Redmond has a chance to see how Surface tablets will do on the market and their success will definitely be closely linked with the pricing.

Knowing that Google will sell its tablet for $199 and that the iPad is must for all consumers practicing the Apple religion, Microsoft will have a tough time convincing people that Windows is the way to go. Let’s not forget that Microsoft partners all plan to come out with notebooks or tablets based on Windows 8 or RT, which makes Redmond’s life even harder.

It’s a risky move, but let’s see how it plays out. From all we know it could have been branded and cooperated with Nokia, which would probably make it even less attractive. [Zune, Kin anyone? Ed.]

Last modified on Tuesday, 19 June 2012 09:06
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