Yesterday Microsoft started to announce more details about its new Surface tablet PCs. Since I first came across the Surface table (remember that cool device that we expected to see pop up in all creative shops?) I, along with a good chunk of the market expected a quicker play from the MS folks. But is it too late for them?
I have to admit it, when it comes down to the whole Apple vs Microsoft thing, I have to root for the latter. I always love companies that do something for society aside from take their money for new gadgets. Microsoft donates more money to supporting charity and advancing cures for many diseases than most people are aware of. But there is more to it. Microsoft deserves a nice comeback. Here’s why.
Microsoft has always been an innovation company. They just unfortunately had a rough time finding the creative to join their cause. It’s like Pixar (yes, I know Mr. Jobs had his fingers in there), where you had creative on one side, and technology on the other, and they finally brought them together. Microsoft needs this. They need some really good backers from an innovation side to help them realize their products.
Don’t get me wrong, Microsoft has the right products, but if I was them….this is what I would do. First, since sadly the producers of BlackBerry mobile devices has stepped away, now might be a good time for Microsoft to talk to RIM and start to see what partnerships they can build. Think of your typical office, everyone for the most part (even cloud based organizations) use some Microsoft product. What if Blackberry products were redesigned to have better native integration with the Microsoft software family (Office, Office 365, Windows, etc), since it really would be nice to just be able to use PPT on our tablets, right?
There is a good market for Microsoft devices, large corporations who like standardization have lots to benefit from the flexibility that a Microsoft tablet would provide. Microsoft should look at the business market for tablets and phones. It’s not sexy, ofcourse not. But until they can prove that they have a solid case of adoption from business users, attempting to take a chunk from the Android vs Apple tablet market is risky. Android is already proving to be a force to be reckoned with in the mobile phone market, but what Android lacks is better utility from a software side. There still really isn’t decent productivity software like MS Office. So maybe an Android partnership would benefit as well.
In either case, I would honestly love to see Microsoft pull a stunt like the old days and climb back up to the top of the mountain. Apple’s time of innovation might slowly be creeping up to an end, so now is the perfect time to repeat history with Microsoft back to calling the shots.