Microsoft’s Windows tablets aren’t runaway successes, there is no denying that. Sure, they are struggling with their identities and trying to build up their emerging ecosystem. Beyond that though, stale marketing just keeps customers from really getting excited about Windows 8 tablets – even the Surface.
Some of us might find the Surface RT, Pro and other RT/Windows 8 tablets exciting, but clearly it is mostly isolated to Microsoft fans and those that have a real need of Windows technology for things like work.
So what can Microsoft do to change this image? I believe that the new features and image push that Microsoft seems to be taking with Windows Blue is part of what needs to be done. The other part? They need a killer product.
Sure, they have the Surface, and it’s awesome. That said, it is also more money than most folks want to drop on a tablet with an ecosystem that still hasn’t taken off compared to its rivals. As they say, cash talks.
The 7-incher IS the answer!
I’ve driven this point home many, many times but that’s because I feel it is so important. Earlier today I talked about how a low-cost Windows tablet with a 7-inch or 8-inch display is a big part of the answer. It doesn’t matter who builds it, as long as it is affordable and at least reasonably spec’d for its price.
Personally, I’d like to see it be a Nokia Lumia tablet or a Microsoft Surface Mini. If Microsoft was really serious about moving beyond its old system of relying on OS and product sales to make its money, the Surface Mini could be truly brilliant though.
What do I mean by that? Microsoft has services. It has Windows Store, it has Outlook.com, it has Bing and the list goes on. Now is time to rely more on these services and less on making money on the OS or even the hardware.
Can you imagine a Surface Mini tablet sold with a dual-core or even quad-core processor that runs on Windows RT, has a 7-inch display and a price of only $199 or lower? Impossible? Nah. If Google can do it with the Nexus 7, why can’t Microsoft do it with the Surface Mini?
They can, but they haven’t prove bold enough to go down that road yet. Throwing Windows Blue and a Surface Mini into the ring at a SHOCKINGLY low price for a Windows device could afford Microsoft the positive publicity they need.
As users play around with the cheapo Surface Mini 7, they could then be enticed to move on to more capable Windows Blue/8 devices like the Surface Pro or larger screen factors like a Mini 8 or even the Surface RT. In short, we need a gateway tablet. Consumers won’t take Microsoft seriously unless the price is so cheap that they feel there is no risk in giving it a go. That’s just my two cents, what do you think?