Well well well, look who is getting back into the tablet game! Microsoft. Least we forget that before the iPad became a part of our every day vocabulary, the Microsoft operating system was powering the first versions of “tablets.” I remember my boss had a tablet, which was really just a lap top with a screen that swiveled to sit flush on top of the key board and a stylus that allowed you to write directly on the screen. Very sleek, but nothing compared to the iPad or the Android powered tablets we see today.
But now our friends from Redmond have come out with a new tablet, one that is going after the Galaxies and iPads of the world. But is it too little too late?
The video demonstrating the device is sleek and the device itself looks intriguing, but the reality is it looks like…a real thin laptop. See video:
Is Microsoft wasting its time? Maybe. But they are big enough that they can afford the investment and even if this is a lost leader they need to try and wrestle away some of the momentum that Apple and Google are enjoying in the tablet world.
The reality is that tablets, like the iPad, are cutting into the Microsoft domain of corporate IT. I remember a meeting I had about a year ago with a dozen members of my company at the time, including executives. There was one laptop open. 5 years ago there would have been one laptop for each participant. Instead we were all on our iPads. IT departments have been racing to find a way to monitor these new devices and ensure they are secure. It used to be so easy – windows and Blackberry servers and you were set! Not anymore.
The introduction of the Surface for Microsoft might give the IT departments an out, a way to get tablets in the hands of their employees while retaking control of the device. It is a gamble, and I do not think you will see people giving up their iPads. However, the Surface gives Microsoft a fighting chance to become relevant in tablets and could curtail the explosion of non Windows devices getting into the corporate ecosystem.
As the laptop’s role as the computing power horse for corporations continues to wane, the Surface might just give Microsoft a chance to regain some of the market share they are losing.