Message Font: Serif | Sans-Serif
No. of Recommendations: 1
Seems like people would prever their PC and their phone work the same, rather than have to learn two different ways of doing things, and since there are more phones, it's on the PC to emulate it.

I've seen no research that says people would prefer their phones and PC's to work the same, and I don't happen to think it's true. Nobody I know wants a touch-screen desktop interface, and even fewer want a phone that works with a mouse - or even a stylus.

While there may be some commonalities (QWERTY keyboard, anyone?, Browser?) there are far more things that are different and nobody seems to mind. The "Music" on an iPhone works quite differently than on an iPod (no clickwheel, for instance), but I have never heard a complaint about that.

As I have said before there are some things that people want to work the same (or at least think they want to work the same.) Office, specifically the ability to open, edit, and save Word documents. Whether people really want to work on a big Excel spreadsheet or edit a PowerPoint presentation is a question mark, for me at least, but Word? Big.

I think Surface has a decent chance on garnering sales, mostly at the expense of Android. I'm pretty sure Apple fans are Apple fans, and the presence of lower priced options hasn't tempted them, but Android tablets are fungible (and more to the point, likely to be made by the same manufacturers to who will be producing Surface tablets), so except for a licensing fee for the OS and perhaps a different chip, I expect them to be relatively the same.

But if "sameness" is the thing you crave, then Microsoft is making a big mistake forcing people to learn a new interface, users might as well learn the iPad instead. (I don't really expect that, I just find the "same interface" argument weak, although it might gain traction 3-5 years down the road as users are "forced" to confront the new interface on their desktops as those are replaced.)

Of course, for the tablets, it may be because they had a big announcement months ago, which has allowed plenty of time for people to forget about them (or write them off as the same vaporware as the last time MSFT announced a major tablet initiative). They should really take a page from Apple's playbook and wait until closer to launch to start announcing these things.

They had a different rulebook. Apple launched the iPhone without apps (except for a few self-generated ones), and nobody missed them because there were no competitors. By the time they launched the iPad, it was compatible with the 250,000 iPhone apps, so there was an already existing and well stocked library. Microsoft had no such treasure trove, and to get developers working they had to announce early. No way you're going to keep it a secret if you have 5,000 developers working on apps, so you might as well make the announcement, get some press, then get your developers working so you can launch with an "app store" with some merchandise on the shelves. You can bet that when they launch they will tout some of the highest function apps, from maps to games and far beyond as part of the "package" that makes the Surface such a swell tablet that everyone simply must own one by Christmas.

Of course I expect the Surface's success, if it is to be had, to be in the enterprise, where they have legions of IT managers who are comfortable with Windows products. Or perhaps they're tired of all the malware and other problems but are locked in, and unless Surface is uber-compelling, will allow the iPad and others into the gated walls. (Well, no I don't think Android is a good fit, here, given the random, open, and insecure nature of its app vetting process.)
Print the post  


When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.