Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Is the Microsoft Surface another Zune?

The Motley Fool has an interesting counterpoint to Microsoft`s release of their Surface tablet yesterday.
Here`s a quick take away:

"Remember the Zune? No? Fair enough. When it was released in 2006, it was thought that Microsoft could design a digital music player that would challenge the supremacy of the iPod. Zune was discontinued in 2011 after five years of abysmal sales. Not to be dissuaded, Microsoft fired a shot across the bows of the iPhone by releasing their proprietary KIN phone, aimed at capitalizing on social networking. After spending several years and $1 billion on developing the KIN, the phones were pulled from shelves within months, and retailers returned droves of unsold phones back to Microsoft.

But hope springs eternal at Microsoft headquarters, and the company is hoping the tablet will be less like the Zune and more like the company's hit gaming console, the Xbox. Building upon the success of their Windows operating system, which occasionally does manage to meet consumers' expectations, lead designer Panos Panay said the Surface is meant to work seamlessly with the operating system, so that “the hardware fades into the background.” That seems like an ominous endorsement. Apple sells hardware that is engaging and sexy; that people want to own. Microsoft has so far shown no talent for doing the same – even the Xbox is prized for its content library and user interface, not its hardware design – and touting their hardware as “fading into the background” does not instill confidence."

Way to early to tell, Microsoft has not released pricing on these tablets (or a firm release date) and in the end competition is great, especially for the us, the consumer.

More here

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