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Microsoft's Surface Pro highlights flawed two-for-one strategy

Gregg Keizer | Dec. 4, 2012
Microsoft's upcoming Surface Pro tablet sums up the company's seeming strategy with Windows 8: That business users can do with one device what they currently accomplish with two.

"Windows 8 doesn't really offer a vibrant app ecosystem, at least for now, that takes advantage of touchscreen capabilities," argued Singh. "So the touchscreen is basically an additional expense with little to no practical use for x86-based devices."

That means that the Surface Pro must succeed as an ultrabook first and foremost, agreed analysts. "If the Surface doesn't sell as a PC that can manifest itself as a tablet, then it's nowhere," said Gottheil.

In fact, few experts give the Surface Pro much of a chance of selling in any appreciable number. By extension, that means there's little chance for Microsoft to break out of the flagging PC business to a wider product constituency of tablets, or to create a viable two-in-one category.

"At the end of the day, Microsoft's problems with the Surface and Windows 8 have been caused by a flawed mobile strategy," asserted Singh. "Microsoft sees the tablet as an extension of the PC, but doesn't seem to understand the fact that the gap between touch-optimized and non-touch-optimized applications renders that logic invalid. Microsoft is attempting to position the Surface Pro as a laptop/PC replacement but unfortunately, replacing a PC doesn't seem to be necessity anymore."



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