Microsoft Surface vs Apple iPad: Tablet Wars Arrive Early
It took Microsoft 11 long years to launch Windows 95 as the ultimate Macintosh killer. But it took Microsoft only two years and five months to launch Surface tablets in response to Apple’s iPad. So, is Microsoft actually getting more nimble in its old age? The VAR Guy, shockingly, says absolutely yes.
As you may have heard, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer unveiled the Surface tablets today in Hollywood. The first two Surface tablets, slated to ship later this year, feature:
- An ARM processor running Windows RT
- An Intel processor running Windows 8 Pro
The Surface launch event sounded consumer-centric (check out these photos) … but there could be mobile device management (MDM) opportunities ahead for VARs and MSPs.
Microsoft spent much of the past five years overcoming its Windows Vista sins. By focusing so heavily on Windows 7 as a fix for Vista, Microsoft largely missed the smart phone, tablet and touch computing waves, The VAR Guy believes.
But it’s still early in those mobile device revolutions. Businesses are struggling to manage the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend. And while Apple’s iPad dominates the market, Apple’s innovations are increasingly evolutionary rather than revolutionary. Apple CEO Tim Cook keeps saying Apple’s product pipeline has never been more exiting. But The VAR Guy isn’t all that impressed with Apple’s 2012 moves … at least not so far.
Innovator or Imitator? It Doesn’t Matter
Meanwhile, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer seems poised to prove that his company still knows how to “embrace and extend” third-party ideas. In a press release today, Microsoft claimed the Surface tablets were “Conceived, designed and engineered entirely by Microsoft employees.”
Um, the Apple folks in Cupertino, Calif., will beg to differ. But that doesn’t matter.
We’ve all seen this story before. A company innovates and defines a market. Then Microsoft gets around to responding with an all-out war. It happened with…
- Mac vs. Windows
- 1-2-3 vs. Excel
- WordPerfect vs. Word
- Novell vs Windows NT
- Netscape vs. Internet Explorer
- Oracle vs. SQL Server (although Oracle stood tall in that war)
- Sony and Nintendo vs. Xbox
- And now, potentially, iPad vs. Microsoft Surface
Perhaps The VAR Guy is giving Microsoft far too much credit…
… or is he?