Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Microsoft Surface

Update: Vote and view poll results for whether you will buy the Surface here: Surface WSJ Poll
The Surface announcement is a massive kick in the pants to all the OEMs. It signals a tectonic shift in Microsoft’s business model and its relationships with device manufacturers. This is Microsoft's tacit acceptance that OEMs cannot build hardware that showcases the capabilities of their software platform to the fullest.

Based on the press reports, the device is not bulky, is smudge-resistant, and is super responsive. Again, these are all first impressions, but I doubt that Sinofsky will allow a sub-par device to see the light of day. I am glad that they are taking their time to do this right.

This said, here are some of my concerns:
- No pricing information
- No release timeframe: I don’t want a firm date or month, but at least give me a release quarter!

Harken back to 2007; there are a number of similarities between this announcement, right down to the buzz it created and the extreme level of secrecy, and the first iPhone announcement. That announcement turned Apple’s fortunes around and cast the company into a new light. I get a strong sense that this is the recasting of Microsoft and Ballmer’s final chance at redemption. MSFT stock is at 30.87 as of this writing. Let’s see how this plays out…

Windows Phone OEMs be warned. This announcement opens the door to a Microsoft-branded phone!

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