Microsoft’s confusing marketing of the Surface


Boy Genius Report:

“The biggest reason this ad campaign is so dumbfounding, however, is that Microsoft is not some relatively small company like Nokia or BlackBerry  that has limited resources to devote to high-quality marketing campaigns. It is, in fact, still one of the world’s most valuable tech companies with a market cap well north of $200 billion. If it can’t create a good marketing campaign for what’s supposed to be a crucially important product, then you really have to question whether the company has its head on straight. “

As I said in February, if you were a business owner looking for tablets for your employees, would this make you want to buy Microsoft Surface Pros? I suspect it doesn’t. While dancing might be effective for the consumer ad, it’s confusing for a spot meant for business professionals looking to spend IT dollars in an extremely competitive market.

Many people

Steven Bathiche, director of research in the Applied Sciences group at Microsoft, explaining how he knows the 1366×768 Surface display shows more detail than the 2048×1536 iPad display:

“[We did] a side-by-side with the new iPad in a consistently lit room, we have had many people see more detail on Surface RT than on the iPad with more resolution.”

Many people said so. At the side-by-side comparison we conducted. Like a whole lot of people. Seriously, though, I mean like SO many people said ours is better. Lots of people.

Not “Windows 8 Surface” (Update)

Jason Brennan:

“The product name is completely devoid of the term ‘Windows,’ a term for which Steve Ballmer appears to have a major crush on. Even their touch-based phone products can’t escape the Windows moniker, resulting in the Windows Phone 7 mouthful. Though the Surface will run Windows 8, they aren’t calling it Windows 8 Surface.”

I didn’t realize it, but Jason’s right. It’s not the “Windows 8 Surface” or even the “Windows Surface.”

UpdateDillon Larson points out that Jason and I might be exactly wrong. Microsoft lists each device as “Surface for Windows RT” and “Surface for Windows 8 Pro.”

Pricing the Microsoft Surface (Update)

Microsoft’s new Surface Tablet looks interesting, and I’m wondering how much it’ll cost. Microsoft has said consumers can expect a price point that’s “on par with Ultrabook-class PCs,” according to Engadget. I’m not familiar with the Ultrabook market, so I looked up the cost of five popular models:

  • Lenovo ideapad U300s – $1,399
  • Toshiba Portege Z835 – $899
  • ASUS ZENBOOK UX31E – $1,249
  • Acer Aspire S3 – $699
  • Samsung 900X3A – $1,087

The average price of these devices is $1,066. That’s a lot of money for a tablet computer. While $1,066 isn’t the Surface’s official price, it is “on par with Ultrabook-class PCs” and twice the cost of an iPad.

Also, this suggests that Microsoft considers the tablet a PC.

UpdateShadoe Huard notes that, “…the ultrabook pricing is for the ‘Pro’ surface only (Intel CPUs). The lower end Arm version (RT) is in line with other ARM tablets. So prob in the 400-700 range, considering there’s no 16GB model.”