Microsoft announced its new self-made tablet called Surface on Monday. The product looks like it could be interesting but none of the reviewers were allowed to really test the device, it performance or feature set. We don’t even know the cost.
After the presentation, we saw dozens of articles about why this product is a failure even before it hits the market and research firm ABI Research is no exception. On Wednesday, they declared that Windows based tablets will have “little impact” on the tablet market for 2012 (they estimate it will account for no more than 1.3% of the 2012 tablet shipments). I don’t have a problem believing this statistic considering the product won’t be available until the end of the year anyway (September or October).
The firm writes “Is Microsoft suggesting that organizations will make the ‘post-PC era’ move toward a mobile computing device and ditch traditional desktop and clamshell form-factors, or is the company hoping that employees will gain access to multiple devices?” […] “So far, businesses have been opposed to buying incremental computing assets for users due to the support costs.”
Is the tablet market a zero sum game, where devices steal clients from each other, or will Microsoft be able to bring in new tablet customers with its offering? Will the fact that there will be 2 separate versions running on different chips and different versions of Windows 8 cause customer confusion and fragmentation? No one really knows but Microsoft’s track record is split. They have had huge success with MS developed hardware/software with products like the XBOX and others like their in-house built cellphones have all failed.