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Microsoft's Surface strategy: Flatten the PC

Mark Hachman | Oct. 7, 2013
With the Surface 2, Microsoft isn't just trying to dominate the tablet market. It's hoping to replace the PC market.

For its part, Microsoft is open to the idea, executives say, but they don't have anything in the works to announce as yet.

Visions of tablets to come

It would be a stretch to imply that the new Docking Station and Power Cover will be the spark that launches Surface sales into the stratosphere. After all, Microsoft has already written off more than $900 million after overpricing the Surface. Dell, the last holdout to build tablets around Windows RT, abandoned the platform in its latest lineup, leaving the Surface 2 as the only tablet on the market purpose-built around RT.

Slowly, however, technological change effects cultural change. These days, we can't imagine walking around without a mobile phone, or not being able to fast-forward through a commercial on a DVR. But both of those innovations phased in slowly. We know that the growth of tablets, phablets, and large smartphones shows that users prefer larger screens. I'm less confident that they enjoy drumming their fingers on glass, however.

Even if the Surface 2 stumbles and falls, though, it could accomplish one momentous change: making a tablet, rather than a notebook or phone, the focus of our computing lives. Today, we slide our work laptops into docking stations, or we simply connect them to monitors. But in a few years, your new "notebook" may end up being a single sheet of glass.


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