Microsoft announced the arrival of it’s new tablet, the Microsoft Surface yesterday…. Sort of. As it turns out, there’s no price, no release date (sometime before the holidays, and they are a bit fuzzy about the specs.
It is an interesting productivity device. The Surface will run Windows 8. It will have a pen and two versions of a keyboard with a kickstand. It will essentially function as an ultrabook.
Which begs the questions.
Why would people choose this device over an ultrabook?
It will have the same software as a windows 8 ultrabook. So, I don’t see people rushing out to buy this tablet for a slick new interface.
Hmmm, will it be cheaper than an ultrabook? Who knows, they haven’t announced the price yet.
Some have described it as a high powered ultrabook as it will have an intel powered version rather than an arm processor. But wait! The intel versions won’t be available until next year.
Perhaps it will have better battery power than an ultrabook… Except that’s another area that’s left fuzzy. A very telling omission is that Microsoft didn’t mention the battery life of this machine in their announcement.
I can’t imagine that the smaller keyboard and stylus will attract people to leave an ultrabook for a smaller tablet.
Microsoft wants this tablet to be the swiss army knife of tablets, appealing to the masses. However, I think their lack of focus on a target audience may be the downfall of this device.
Target Your Audience
This is a lesson that you hear from many marketers. It’s important to target your audience. I’m not sure if Microsoft got this lesson with this tablet.
Other tablet makers have had success targeting their tablets to a specific audience.
Apple did it when they announced the first iPad. Just look at the first few minutes of their announcement. Steve Jobs tells you what people need and then segways right into how the iPad will fill that need.
How about the Kindle Fire? Amazon specifically focuses on a crowd that is looking for a smaller, cheaper tablet that they can fit in their pocket. This is a very specific niche designed to target the audience that the iPad misses.
What is Microsoft targeting?
Is it the high productivity person that wants to be productive on a tablet? Someone that wants a full computer on a portable device? Laptops fill that niche, with iPad 2’s competing on the other end.
With a vague release date and specs, as well as a lack of a real target audience. Will the Microsoft Surface be DOA?
It will be interesting to see how this marketing lesson will play out for Microsoft.
It strikes me that they may have missed their mark on this very basic marketing strategy. Target your audience.
I don’t see that they have a focused, targeted niche. This tablet doesn’t seem to fill a need.
What do you think?
Here’s a few images of the upcoming Surface:
Will this tablet be a hit or miss?