Surface: Tablet? PC? Ultrabook?

 MicrosoftSurface

Microsoft yesterday debuted the Surface. It’s their entry into the tablet market, or is it ultrabooks? Well, it turns out that the Surface is also their entry into the hardware market. For the first time that we know of in the company’s history, Microsoft is building the hardware for their computer. Up until now, their only major hit outside of software has been the Xbox platform, which seems to have taken a life of its own.

Now to see if they can nail the tablet. First, they have to figure out what they are selling.

We tallied up the talk during their conference. Microsoft executives and reps spoke at the event yesterday when the tablet was announced, and they referred to many devices, such as PCs, tablets, etc. Here are the totals:

Steve Balmer CEO
computing devices 1
pc 1
tablet 1
Steven Sinofsky President of Windows and Windows Live Division
type of computing 1
pc 6
tablet 9
device 3
Mike Anjuilo General Manager Microsoft
pc 15
tablet 3
ultrabook 1
Panos Panay Microsoft Surface General Manager
product 24
device 6
pc (commercial video 1)
machine 1
What Should We Call It?
It feels as if they are tied between calling it a tablet and a a PC. Words like product and device can be thrown out there, as well as machine, they are more general, more vague. The press release calls it a tablet once, but they seem to be trying their best to push the name Surface into our brains. However, the tablet doesn’t seem to have a direct approach yet. It’s trying to cater to both the tablet market and the ultrabook market. It falls somewhere in between, and it’s hard to imagine a device doing both extremely well. Even the iPad, which is the top-selling tablet, is not sold as a work machine.
Microsoft is going another route by releasing another tablet that runs around $1000, and features a full version of Windows 8. It will be interesting to see how this works out. This can be one of the most clever ideas ever, or the biggest blunder. It’s probably wisest to keep it focused on the tablet market, but they will ultimately have say over its fate.

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