The tablet PC world is bracing for an intense turf war in the wake of Microsoft unveiling its tablet computer 'Surface' which experts believe will queer the pitch for Apple's iPad. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's announcement that the new tablet is part of a "whole family of devices" is a battle-cry competition will hear loud and clear.
So, even as Microsoft builds consumer excitement around Surface's compelling and innovative features, this product segment will see a new wave of innovations, predicated to a spiraling consumer demand for tablets. The growing popularity of the BYOD culture in enterprises will lend further spurs to this innovation spree, thereby accelerating the consumerization of technologies.
With Surface, Microsoft aims to drive home a few other tactical advantages. First, the tablet will give Windows software a strong positioning in the irrepressible mobile computing segment. Secondly, it will enter the market around the time the much-anticipated Windows 8 will be released, although the company has not specified the launch date yet.
Windows 8 has been designed keeping in view the tablet. This move heralds a new attempt at getting IT hardware up-to-speed with software innovation. Ballmer articulated this at the Surface launch event when he talked about the push and pull of software and hardware.
Surface is also a breakaway from Microsoft's traditional approach of working with key partners for product design and development. With PCs, Microsoft assigned the design and marketing of the hardware to companies like Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Lenovo and Acer, that licensed the Windows operating system and other software applications.
It is pertinent to recall that Google had bought out Motorola Mobility to build its hardware ambitions, alongside its widely popular Android OS. Of interest would be to see how this new 'hands-on' model will play out in the longer run. By the look of it, Surface will not only hot up the tablet PC competition and consumer interest but also usher in new IT hardware and software business models.