Windows Phone 8 and Surface: Microsoft hits the big time

Windows Phone 8 and Surface: Microsoft hits the big timeForget about Windows Phone 7's painfully slow rate of progress until now – Microsoft's big mobile push is beginning now, with the announcement of its next mobile and desktop OSes, plus the genuinely unexpected Surface tablet launched in quick succession.

And with that comes a whole new set of problems, like hardware partners feeling betrayed, former industry bigwigs crawling out of the woodwork to give their 2p's worth, and surveys suggesting the whole exercise is a waste of time, anyway.

Microsoft already has some experience with the can't-please-everyone-all-of-the-time problem thanks to its preferential deal with Nokia on Windows Phone – erstwhile hardware partners such as HTC and Samsung clearly weren't too pleased to see Nokia swooping in to nab the prime spot on Uncle Steve's lap, despite scoring improved mapping software themselves out of the deal.

But Nokia's favourite status on Windows Phone is one thing, and Microsoft itself aiming for the heart of the Windows 8 tablet market with its own product before its partners even have theirs out the door is another.

Even Google's ownership of Motorola doesn't come close on the apple cart-upsetting stakes (not that Apple's tablet cart is likely to be even mildly disturbed, of course).

And while Steve Ballmer may have the air of a bull in a china shop sometimes, the fact that he didn't even attempt to address the awkward potential conflict of interest when announcing the Surface suggests even he realised that attempting to do so would come across as exactly that – bull.

The closest he came was the old “important piece of the puzzle, but not the only one” line and the revelation that Microsoft had told its key partners what it was doing. Tellingly, he wasn't prepared to divulge what they said in return.

One man who was prepared to weigh in on the subject, however, was former Dell CEO Kevin Rollins, who told Bloomberg he wasn't sure customers “are begging for a Microsoft-based system”, though in our experience we're not aware of anyone who ever has resorted to actual begging for anything made by Microsoft.

“They are very happy with Apple and very happy with Android,” Rollins continued, before adding: “The one thing going for Microsoft is they do have a large corporate base.”

That may be true to some extent, but Microsoft may be surprised when the dust settles and it finds out just how much of that corporate base remains after giving the iPad a near-three year headstart in today's anything-goes tablet-loving BYOD climate. Then again, Dell doesn't come out of that scenario looking too good either.

And just to top it all off comes a timely survey reported by MacTech - admittedly a decidedly unscientific one - revealing that 59% of tablet owners in the US would never even consider buying a Surface, with four out of 10 of those citing brand loyalty as the leading reason. And given the general make-up of the tablet market, it's safe to say that “brand” equals Apple.

It's all in a week's work for the crazy kids over at Redmond, and Microsoft certainly can't be accused of not trying. Is this the moment the balance of power finally starts shifting in Microsoft's direction? It's too early to say, but it can at least draw some comfort from the old saying that if they're complaining about you, you must be doing something right.

Read more about: Windows Phone

Add a comment
24 comments

antty  Jun. 22, 2012 at 07:07

I don't think you could have been anymore biased. Congratulations.

martinjjames / MOD  Jun. 22, 2012 at 07:40

I don't think you could have been anymore biased. Congratulations.

Why thankyou. Care to explain or are you just throwing around random insults because you feel like it?

JanSt / MOD  Jun. 22, 2012 at 07:44

I don't think you could have been anymore biased. Congratulations.

Yes, he could have. Let me show you:

I belief this was a marketing ploy. It was Microsoft's attempt to catch up with Apple's hype machine while delivering practically nothing. Scratch that... a kickstand! And it works.
The magic keypad: nobody was allowed to touch it.
The same nobody was also barred from taking photos of those surface slabs. Nobody can go home and search those photos for clues - how many hardware ports? What type... etc.
Magnetic hinge connectors. Wow, lemme see, who uses magnetic connectors? Who? Ah, yes.
Some bloggers rave about the keyboards, that nobody was allowed to touch. They rave about the great build quality - "can be used 10,000s of times without wear"... THAT, my friend, is bias. NOBODY's even touched those keypads. Bias cuts both ways.

No mention of battery life, either. A major part of the iPads' success is the fact that with REAL use they run 7 to 10 hours. Sales reps get through a working day and then some. Students get through a day in college.

Price: Can M$ compete with the Apple's pricing? Nope. Highly doubtful. Microsoft are a lot but not hardware manufacturers. They don't build their own chips. They don't get unprecedented rates from Foxconn. Service-providers or content-sellers? They don't have a gazillion movies, TV shows, books and apps in iZunes... to reclaim that extra 'bit' of cash.

This event was a show trial. Look, we can be funner than Apple. We even have whacky colours. And a Kickstand - that really shot the HTC HD7 to fame, didn't it.

The Lumia presentation went similarly. And THAT was a much more realistic proposition. After all, they were made by an actual hardware manufacturer. One who also provided services and content. One whose last hit was the 2 1/2 year old Nokia N8.

Microsoft haven't awed anyone in 10 years +. And they came to this show trial with some Nokia defenders and non-functioning hardware. Wow, yeah... g*d forbid Martin oughta be 'biased'.

barneythedog  Jun. 22, 2012 at 10:35

[quote Microsoft haven't awed anyone in 10 years + [/quote]
Have you never heard of x-box ? They are pretty good, I think about 30 million units sold....

martinjjames / MOD  Jun. 22, 2012 at 11:24

I don't think you could have been anymore biased. Congratulations.

Yes, he could have. Let me show you:

I belief this was a marketing ploy. It was Microsoft's attempt to catch up with Apple's hype machine while delivering practically nothing. Scratch that... a kickstand! And it works.
The magic keypad: nobody was allowed to touch it.
The same nobody was also barred from taking photos of those surface slabs. Nobody can go home and search those photos for clues - how many hardware ports? What type... etc.
Magnetic hinge connectors. Wow, lemme see, who uses magnetic connectors? Who? Ah, yes.
Some bloggers rave about the keyboards, that nobody was allowed to touch. They rave about the great build quality - "can be used 10,000s of times without wear"... THAT, my friend, is bias. NOBODY's even touched those keypads. Bias cuts both ways.

No mention of battery life, either. A major part of the iPads' success is the fact that with REAL use they run 7 to 10 hours. Sales reps get through a working day and then some. Students get through a day in college.

Price: Can M$ compete with the Apple's pricing? Nope. Highly doubtful. Microsoft are a lot but not hardware manufacturers. They don't build their own chips. They don't get unprecedented rates from Foxconn. Service-providers or content-sellers? They don't have a gazillion movies, TV shows, books and apps in iZunes... to reclaim that extra 'bit' of cash.

This event was a show trial. Look, we can be funner than Apple. We even have whacky colours. And a Kickstand - that really shot the HTC HD7 to fame, didn't it.

The Lumia presentation went similarly. And THAT was a much more realistic proposition. After all, they were made by an actual hardware manufacturer. One who also provided services and content. One whose last hit was the 2 1/2 year old Nokia N8.

Microsoft haven't awed anyone in 10 years +. And they came to this show trial with some Nokia defenders and non-functioning hardware. Wow, yeah... g*d forbid Martin oughta be 'biased'.



Yeah, exactly. That's just what I was about to say :p

barrybarryk  Jun. 22, 2012 at 11:45

Yeah it's not like it's running an unreleased OS that still has unannounced features, and unusable product demos? It's months from release, it's entirely common, I'm surprised the damn thing wasn't in a glass box.

And the port info was released, but it was very spec light then again I'm sure there'll be more news on thing before it's released

JanSt / MOD  Jun. 22, 2012 at 11:53

I don't think you could have been anymore biased. Congratulations.

Yes, he could have. Let me show you:

I belief this was a marketing ploy. It was Microsoft's attempt to catch up with Apple's hype machine while delivering practically nothing. Scratch that... a kickstand! And it works.
The magic keypad: nobody was allowed to touch it.
The same nobody was also barred from taking photos of those surface slabs. Nobody can go home and search those photos for clues - how many hardware ports? What type... etc.
Magnetic hinge connectors. Wow, lemme see, who uses magnetic connectors? Who? Ah, yes.
Some bloggers rave about the keyboards, that nobody was allowed to touch. They rave about the great build quality - "can be used 10,000s of times without wear"... THAT, my friend, is bias. NOBODY's even touched those keypads. Bias cuts both ways.

No mention of battery life, either. A major part of the iPads' success is the fact that with REAL use they run 7 to 10 hours. Sales reps get through a working day and then some. Students get through a day in college.

Price: Can M$ compete with the Apple's pricing? Nope. Highly doubtful. Microsoft are a lot but not hardware manufacturers. They don't build their own chips. They don't get unprecedented rates from Foxconn. Service-providers or content-sellers? They don't have a gazillion movies, TV shows, books and apps in iZunes... to reclaim that extra 'bit' of cash.

This event was a show trial. Look, we can be funner than Apple. We even have whacky colours. And a Kickstand - that really shot the HTC HD7 to fame, didn't it.

The Lumia presentation went similarly. And THAT was a much more realistic proposition. After all, they were made by an actual hardware manufacturer. One who also provided services and content. One whose last hit was the 2 1/2 year old Nokia N8.

Microsoft haven't awed anyone in 10 years +. And they came to this show trial with some Nokia defenders and non-functioning hardware. Wow, yeah... g*d forbid Martin oughta be 'biased'.



Yeah, exactly. That's just what I was about to say :p


GMTA, as they say on twitter :D

barrybarryk  Jun. 22, 2012 at 11:57

Turns out Windows is pretty popular too

JanSt / MOD  Jun. 22, 2012 at 12:01

[quote Microsoft haven't awed anyone in 10 years +
Have you never heard of x-box ? They are pretty good, I think about 30 million units sold....[/quote]

Yes, of course. And your comment would be more relevant IF MS hadn't pitched the surface thingies as a) Enterprise-ready, "serious" Tabs and b ) as 'content creators' rather than consumers ... see ;)
Maybe I should have been more precise. Apologies. But imho in terms of desktop software and, cough, hardware, who has been amazed by a MS product? Name a stunning Win-running laptop that is a household name that even people who don't own it recognise?
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying they cannot possibly ever do it. I'm just saying the Surface presentation was hot air. Scratch the Surface and you find more surface...

JanSt / MOD  Jun. 22, 2012 at 12:06

Turns out Windows is pretty popular too
It IS popular. But it's popular in the same way Kleenex or Always Ultra or no-brand toilet paper are. Be honest: the vast majority of Win users use Windows because it is what it is: the OS on the laptop they bought in Argos. The OS on the PC at Work. Most folks (not judging here) have not heard of Linux. Cannot/do not want to 'afford' Mac OS

Imagine all laptops and PCs came tabula rasa. No OS... See how much people woulde love to pick from 8 versions of Windows every couple of years ;)

barrybarryk  Jun. 22, 2012 at 12:06

lol what, having no 'brand name' laptops is hardly a problem for Microsoft. Windows is running on the vast vast majority of laptops and desktops, in terms of market share for their OS among consumers Apple and OS X aren't even a drop in the pond.

JanSt / MOD  Jun. 22, 2012 at 12:08

lol what, having no 'brand name' laptops is hardly a problem for Microsoft. Windows is running on the vast vast majority of laptops and desktops, in terms of market share for their OS among consumers Apple and OS X aren't even a drop in the pond.
But that is kind of my point o_O (re no brand name)... yet the whole presentation was just about that... Kin, Zune yay :p

barrybarryk  Jun. 22, 2012 at 12:12

That might be because MS have never made a brand name PC before, but you're living in dreamland if you think more people would choose OS X or Linux over Windows given the choice.

I use Linux but I use it in a VM on top of windows because in the real world for day to day use Linux just isn't up to snuff, and both OS X and Linux have the same problem in that they aren't compatible with the software most people need.

JanSt / MOD  Jun. 22, 2012 at 12:23

I disagree. It's not about software compatibility. It's task capability that matters. This years I helped 5 total non-geeks with their underpowered win7 netbooks/laptops. I killed their Windows and replaced it with a clone of my Ubuntu setup. It took me less time to show them how to use the alternatives than it takes to upgrade Windows (or search for how to change a wallpaper in Win 7 "starter“ hahaha)

Sure, there are jobs that would make a changeover inefficient. But the vast vast majority of web-and-some-office-work folks would not have any problems with OSx or Buntu or or or...

That is my opinion, anyways.

JanSt / MOD  Jun. 22, 2012 at 12:24

Damn... Didn't I promise to never ever talk about MS again? :D

barrybarryk  Jun. 22, 2012 at 12:36

Except if anything goes wrong in Linux (which it frequently does) a novice user has no chance of diving into a term and fixing it. Preach all you like about linux being a saviour OS but consumers have had the choice of buying OS free laptops and desktops for years, they still buy Windows ones.

And office folks won't have a problem with OS X because there isn't a chance in hell it'd be anywhere near a work network, hell any of the office networks I've administered have a MAC ban on Apple MAC addresses because they just aren't secure. Sure there's virtually no drive-by malware for OS X bar the odd browser exploit but OS X just won't stand up to a targeted attack. It's why there are virtually no OS X servers.

JanSt / MOD  Jun. 22, 2012 at 12:51

Except if anything goes wrong in Linux (which it frequently does) a novice user has no chance of diving into a term and fixing it. Preach all you like about linux being a saviour OS but consumers have had the choice of buying OS free laptops and desktops for years, they still buy Windows ones.

And office folks won't have a problem with OS X because there isn't a chance in hell it'd be anywhere near a work network, hell any of the office networks I've administered have a MAC ban on Apple MAC addresses because they just aren't secure. Sure there's virtually no drive-by malware for OS X bar the odd browser exploit but OS X just won't stand up to a targeted attack. It's why there are virtually no OS X servers.


All true-ish. But lets backtrack: this started as 'not awed anyone' vs 'popular' ...The correct points you make are all based on the fact that for years MS ruled as the default. They give PCs to schools and colleges etc etc.... So, of course, one cannot wean the world off of that conditioning in a few months. But that doesn't mean people are in awe of the greatness of Windows and stunned by the design of Win laptops... That is why I compared it to everyday items we take for granted. Items where it really doesn't matter if you chose the no-label brand or Boots' etc etc...

As to Linux - I hope I didn't sound preachy?! Ubuntu is far from perfect, and I actually have some filthy thoughts about Shuttleworth :p But it can save an underpowered computer from oblivion.

sparkymark75  Jun. 22, 2012 at 12:57

Far too many anti-MS writers on this site. Always using Mac-based sources for statistics or survey's, sigh!

barrybarryk  Jun. 22, 2012 at 13:05

Ive never met anyone that uses Ubuntu (or any other flavour of Linux) as their main OS because of it's features. Either they're militant open source supporters or they like a free OS or like you said it's for resurrecting some old hardware while still running a modern OS.

On pretty much every PC I have I have some form of Linux from my xbmc box, my nas box to my VMs on my desktop & lappy it's has it's uses and in alot of situations it's far better than either OS X or Windows but as an actual day to day desktop OS? It's way too unstable, updates practically every day certain features spend weeks or months broken and that's without the pain in the ass that is loading on a clean ubuntu install only to find your wireless isn't working. A linux box without an internet connection is so far beyond useless it's untrue.

And what we're talking about here isn't even comparing Ubuntu or OS X to Windows, it's Android and iOS to Windows. Don't like MS? fine, Don't like Windows? fine but even suggestion iOS or Android are in the same league in terms of functionality is absurd.

JanSt / MOD  Jun. 22, 2012 at 13:09

Far too many anti-MS writers on this site. Always using Mac-based sources for statistics or survey's, sigh!

Huh?
Okay, regulars know that >> I << really do not like MS, but hello? Sure, most app/games reviews are iOS and/or Android, but what do you expect when WP has a 2% share? Should we have a Bada section. also?
We regularly quote Gartners and other MS mercenaries. This is primarily (and then some) a site about MOBILE PHONES. Unfortunately, the last bestsel;ling phone running Windows software was the HTC HD2. (Which is still outselling many WP devices) What does it matter what anyone of us thinks about Windows 7 or Vista?

Some regular visitors to Mobot are actually owners of WP phones, too...

And lets be honest - Schadenfreude may be a German word, but the whole world enjoys a bit of fun-poking when a Big-One fails. And so far MS's mobile strategy has failed.

matt101101 / MOD  Jun. 22, 2012 at 23:22

How did I miss all this fun? I really need to spend less time working :p...

Barry, I'm writing this now on a PC which is running Linux Mint 13, why? Because I want to and because I feel it's a better OS for general "stuff" than XP Professional. I can't say I use Linux as my main OS, as I switch between OS' on an almost daily basis, it just depends on what I'm feeling like and what I need to do that day. I have drives with various Linux distros installed on, as well as Windows XP and 7 computers (Mac OSX can GTFO, I'm not a designer or video editor, so it's pointless for me). Saying Linux is unsuitable for daily use is as ridiculous as saying Windows can't be used for anything specialised and is only good for Office and eMail.

barrybarryk  Jun. 23, 2012 at 00:58

Says the guy who also dual wields?

Try living without a backup WIndows install then get back to me

matt101101 / MOD  Jun. 23, 2012 at 01:19

Windows isn't a backup, it's a mere alternative.

JanSt / MOD  Jun. 23, 2012 at 09:50

Email:

You don't need an account to comment. Just enter your email address. We'll keep it private.

Comment: