Does Microsoft Have The Heart To Win The Tablet Fight?

Tuesday, 06 August 2013
  • By
  • Jeff Ammons
  • Tags:
  • Technology

Shawn Wildermuth wrote an excellent post entitled Is It Too Late For Winows RT Tablets?

I'll wait here while you go read his post.

Hey you came back!

I've been thinking about this topic for a long time and rather than post a long, rambling comment on Shawn's blog, I figured I'd post a long, rambling post on my own blog…


So here's my take on his post:

I couldn't agree more.

If I were Microsoft I would immediately start a “Publish an app, get a Surface RT for FREE” campaign.

  1. Get more store apps
  2. Get more users (developers are users too)
  3. Stop paying to warehouse the guesstimated 6 million unsold tablets.

I only know a handful of people with Surface tablets (of either flavor) and virtually all of those people got their Surface device as a give-away at a Microsoft sponsored conference.

Among non-Microsoft developers, I've heard no one seriously express an interest in them.

Never mind how very, very badly the launch was handled (Shawn was spot on with his assessments), the killer fact NOW is that computer hardware is like fresh produce: it has a very limited shelf-life before it is literally worthless. If they don't move these Surface RT tablets within a couple of months, they won't move them at all. Except to a land-fill or EBay.

The next Nexus 7 is available NOW. The new Kindle Fire will be available within a couple of months (most likely). The next iPad and iPad mini are just around the corner. The Surface RT didn't win the spec war vs last year's competing tablets. It sure as heck won't compare favorably against THIS year's crop.

For me personally, I'd pay $99 for a Surface RT tablet at this point and not a penny more. I have a Kindle Fire HD, and it meets my needs perfectly. As Shawn said, I don't want to do work on my tablet. It is my fun device. I watch videos, read and play a few games on mine. My laptop is for work.

Don't get me started on the “we must reserve functions for Pro so we can sell them to enterprise customers”. Grr.

Someone at Microsoft needs to sit down and spend the weekend watching the Rocky movies. We need Burgess Meredith screaming at Steve Ballmer to stop thinking like a rich guy who's already won the title, and start fighting the clearly stronger foe (pick Mr. T or Dolph Lundgren, doesn't matter which) as the underdog with heart who won't stop, won't quit and won't worry about losing some of his own blood in the process.

To quote Mickey (Burgess Meredith):

"All this happens pretty soon and you ain't ready. You know you're no where near in shape. So I say for God's sake. Why don't you stand up and fight this guy HARD? Like you done before that was beautiful! But don't lay down like this! Like uh I don't know like some kind of mongrel or something. Cause he's gonna kick your face in pieces! That's right! This guy doesn't just wanna win you know, he wants to bury ya, he wants to humiliate ya."
Lose money on each sale. Hell, yeah. Hurts a lot, but that's what you gotta do if ya want to win, Steve my boy. Apple hits ya, ya gotta hit back harder. Google puts out a sweet tablet for $200, ya gotta put out a sweeter one for $150. You have to make them wish they could do what you're doing.

In other words: Stop resting on your laurels and start fighting for your life. Sacrifices will have to be made in the short term if you want to really get back into the tablet or phone markets. If you aren't going to fight to win, drop out and don't look back.