Microsoft’s Surface and Surface Pro might not have been the rousing successes Redmond desired when they were released last year but there’s also no denying that they were both decent products that had a few key issues holding them back. While the sales numbers might pale in comparison to Apple’s iPad or even Google’s Nexus 7 it is also apparent that Microsoft sees the Surface line as essential in their fight to remain relevant going forward especially as they try to transition to better meet the demands of the modern marketplace.
While the previous Surface ad was filled to the brim with people of all ages dancing with glee at the arrival of Microsoft’s newest hardware product it has to be asked whether or not it truly educated consumers as to what the Surface was all about. Techies will already know about it especially those Microsoft fans as well as businesses which have been evaluating it for office consumption. The average consumer on the other hand probably has next to zero information on the Surface and, more importantly, a truly lacking rationale as to why they should care to consider the product over the iPad or other tablet. This new ad from Microsoft surely will go a long way in introducing the Surface and at least making a succinct case as to how it is truly differentiated from its competition.
Well that was fast. After months of speculation Microsoft finally went ahead and bit the bullet by announcing pricing for their Surface RT line of tablets and as I expected it is exactly in line with their primary competition namely the iPad. I realize the Net was abuzz that perhaps Microsoft was somehow going to release this at a crazy low price but most seemed to have forgotten that Microsoft themselves gave the statement that it would be priced competitively compared to similar tablets.
It has been a very long time since I penned a technology or marketing related post but it seems the right time with the advent of Microsoft’s marketing blitz for arguably their biggest gamble with the impending launch of their Surface brand of tablets to directly combat Apple’s seemingly insurmountable lead with the iPad. Sure, some might say that Microsoft’s bigger product would be the launch of Windows 8 and though I agree the fact remains that Microsoft is playing to their software strengths in the new OS whereas Surface represents a sharp U-turn for the company into releasing their own hardware.
Here are some photos I took of my Blackberry Bold 9900 unboxing. Admittedly, this is actually the first Blackberry I’ve ever had the privilege of using every day and though I realize that the company is really going through some rocky times at the moment I have to say that overall this unit is physically quite nice.
Here are a series of shots of the Playstation Vita First Edition Bundle unboxing that I took on launch day. By now this bundle has long since sold out here in Toronto although the actual Vita unit itself can be found virtually anywhere. Is this a sign of slow sales? Well, truth be told it is an excellent mobile gaming unit but so far it seems to have only been adopted by true diehard video game fans and hasn’t yet cracked the much larger casual market.
Why do people watch reality TV? While there are plenty of reasons one might point out I am sure a huge percentage of people tune in weekly just to see how ridiculously bad/awful/ridiculous things are for those “performers” and are elated that compared to them, their own situation seems imminently much better. There is some sort of sadistic emotional resonance going on when people watch other people implode whether through economic hardship or plain old romantic failure. The list of disasters these virtual families go through make day time soap operas seem tame. Nevertheless, in terms of the business world the same phenomenon can be seen except instead of virtual families we revel in watching big hulking corporations explode before us in a cacophony of sheer stupidity.
For those individuals who are looking to give a unique gift to a diehard gamer here is a website at cafepress that provides avatar-based gifts for those with Xbox Live accounts. While the inclusion of avatars initially met with much criticism from some diehard gamers who thought they were too kiddy-like in appearance and served no purpose they have proven to be resilient enough for Microsoft to keep using them in games and through their social services. There is no argument however, that Microsoft devised them in reaction to the positive consumer response from Nintendo’s Wii yet in fairness the Rare studio designed avatars have much better range in movement and generally have a pleasant next-gen sheen which the Wii lacks.