The tale of two companies
Microsoft it seems has done what they wanted to achieve with Surface. Surface seems to be the first product that Microsoft does after ending their anti-competitive lawsuits recently. You know the story; Microsoft used their very dominant software package called Windows to get the market to be pro-Microsoft. They added Internet Explorer to their retail package and wiped Netscape off the face of the planet. Suddenly, the lawsuits started across the pond in Europe and Microsoft had to do quite a bit to retain their trust from competitors.
Millions of dollars later, and countless hours booked by legal teams ensured that Microsoft always had their hands tied while start-ups like Google and Yahoo appeared. The companies had the ability to compete against the Redmond Company due the legal system ensuring that Microsoft did the right things. Microsoft went through many difficult years and I believe this led to Bill Gates moving on.
That is the past and it seems that Microsoft is about to re-emerge as a challenger in the market. Lets be very clear about one thing, when Apple was struggling to stay alive, Microsoft was a rocket ship. The roles have been switched and Apple now has a market cap of over $600 Billion dollars. Microsoft is in the single digit billions. There are 2 products at the center of Apple’s dominance; the iPhone and the iPad. Microsoft has not really had a proper rival for either until now. Let me state the following: I believe the Surface tablet is a turning point for Microsoft. The iPad will no longer be the one tablet everyone has or wants. I see corporate companies buying large amounts of these tablets to make the IT departments happier (The iPad has made security difficult for IT departments all across the world). Secondly, I think Microsoft has thrown caution to the wind and put the pressure on their partners to make better tablets. Lets be clear about one thing, the Surface announcement basically put all of their partners on notice.
Some, like Acer, have said that they might consider walking away from Microsoft as their software partner over Surface. I bet there are others who are thinking of doing the same; they just did the talking behind the scenes.
Microsoft, I think, need to be given some respect and they might surprise us all with the Surface. As someone who loves gadgets, I think we are about to enter a very interesting period in consumer electronics. Apple needs to ensure that the next iPhone is a hit (The Samsung Galaxy S III seems to be to a real contender for best smartphone) and the iPad is also in need of a wow factor. Oh, what happens if the new iPhone is actually the infamous iPad mini?