The tablet wars are heating up

It seems as if Microsoft is adding some necessary heat to the tablet wars. This week, they revealed their upcoming tablet called the Microsoft Surface.

Microsoft has been particularly quiet in the eReader and tablet department. Then a few weeks ago, we heard that the PC giant was pledging some $300 million to Nook, Barnes and Noble’s e-reader business. That gave many of a e-reader geek pause because if Microsoft was investing that heavily in Nook, what does that mean for Amazon and the Kindle platform?

Apple’s iPad has dominated the tablet market since its launch in April of 2010. Barnes and Noble’s Nook color and the follow-up Nook Tablet are popular but they don’t quite meet the same market demands as the iPad. Many people I’ve spoken to agree with me that the iPad is in a class by itself. It’s not an e-reader, it’s not a computer, it’s not a gaming console, but it is a pretty good attempt at providing all the functionality of those in one compact and concise platform. It certainly looks as if the Microsoft Surface might be the first real challenger on the scene.

I have only seen Microsoft mobile at work in passing. A friend’s mother has a Windows phone and I had the brief benefit of ‘playing’ with it. Considering how privacy conscious I am, I didn’t dig too deep into the functionality. The impression I got was that it was as closed as the Apple iOS ecosystem yet more “friendly” somehow. With my limited experience with Windows mobile and what I’ve learned about the upcoming Surface, I think the iPad is in for some serious competition.

One thing is certain – I am dying to see what the Surface has to offer. What about you?

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  • Sabha Vaidhya

    It is really good to see that a close competitor had come to iPad. but unless the price is competitive the people may not go to the Surface. The price must be affordable and then the Surface will definitely sweep the Market.

    • Agreed, Sabha. I am particularly anxious to see the price range the Surface will enter the market at. I hope they are listening to the critics on this one.

  • mgozaydin

    I do not like Apple because of its monopolistic attitude .
    I am glad serious competitors are in the market now
    Plus Apple is simply expensive sğince there is a competiton.
    Do you think it is fair to sell a product costing only 25 and selling it at 100
    Is this the mantality of capitalism .

    • I’m not entirely sure I would price the iPad at a $25 build cost, but I take your point. Apple products do seem to be grossly over-priced. They are certainly out of the reach of many people in this economy.

  • A. S. Bhasker Raj

    Microsoft Tablets should be price competitive and affordable in the market, since there are many players in this field.

  • Thabo

    It is interesting to learn that Microsost has finally decided to enter the tablet war. The entry was long overdue. My view though is that they have left it until its too late. People are now used to the Ipad and their Samsung Galaxy tablets. Experience shows that first movers to the market space gain a competitive first mover advantage. Unless Microsoft craft a compeling value proposition they will definately loose the war. Watch the space.

    • Microsoft were ahead of the curve about 14yrs ago with XP tablet edition. They were only evere reallly a s/w h ouse and have relied on 3rd parties to produce the h/w. The Toshiba Portege was an excellent example and even had a stylus for handwriting notes. It was all a bit ahead of its time though and it needed the iPad (unfortunately) to popularise the tablet format. I recently tweaked a customer preview of windows 8 to work on a windows tablet and its pretty good. Can’t wait to get hold of the Surface which should be way better.

    • paulreon

      Thebo. You seem to have forgotten that Apple were at the cutting edge of the PC market only to be steamrolled by IBM. When they released the PC1, so, no experience does not show that the first movers necessarily win.

      • I had actually forgotten that Microsoft had introduced a tablet PC a few years ago but I am willing to bet that a great deal of people did not even know about it.

        Thanks for reminding us!

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