I’m sure most clicked on this article believing I, the author, was either an outlandish fan boy or simply producing click bait. You’d be wrong on both accounts though an argument could be made that I am somewhat a fan boy. This editorial is solely my opinion but I think its one that mirrors a lot of consumer and windows users mindsets. As a point of clarification the success metrics I speak of are not sales units or market position. I am speaking from the point that the Microsoft Surface is proving to be the vanguard for the next phase of mobile computing. Sure the iPad made possible the mainstreaming of tablets and larger mobile devices. I would be a fool to say that it didn’t. What I am referring to with the Surface is a device that can be perceived to work best on a touch interface but true thought has gone into the OS to allow input devices (keyboard and mouse) to have a more integrated feel.

The Surface is the first Microsoft produced hardware that I deemed a “must have”. It was unveiled at a time where I was in the midst of purchasing an iPad for my wife and myself. In an instant the iPad had been relegated to the “its good that consumers have options” pile in my head. My heart had been stolen and to sound totally cliché, it was love at first sight. A little background on myself. I’ve been a straight-laced guy my entire life. I don’t drink or smoke and never have. Lately though I’ve been consciously stripping away the sharpness to my life and going for a more edgy and vibrant way of enjoying life. The iPad has always represented what was popular, the mainstream. As much as people today wants to believe having an iDevice makes you cool the truth is that it just makes you mainstream. There is no inherent thrill and sense of living on the edge with an iDevice. Hundreds of millions are being sold each year because they are safe and you know what you’re getting. I have no idea what the user experience will be with the Surface. I’m under no illusions that the Surface will transform my lie as I know it. All I know is that I want it and will pay handsomely for it. I want one so badly that I’m delaying my upgrade for the Lumia 920 that I’ve been craving.

People, yes actual people, are already talking about the Surface. I’ve been watching my friends on Facebook and Twitter. They are sharing Surface with their friends and telling each other they like what they see. Its not just my tech-savvy friends but the ones who have iPhones and have been looking for something like an iPad but haven’t pulled the trigger yet. Combined with the billion dollar advertising budget for Windows 8 and the colorful contrast between device and keyboard the Surface will wow those who see it. Yes there are many pundits that say the change to Windows 8 is too abrupt and turn people off but there will be more, far more, people who see the visual screen and be drawn in. Just look at the new ads that Microsoft has produced for the Surface and Windows 8. They far exceed what most, including me, thought they’d be capable of. Both videos are consumer marketing at its best. They draw you in and make you feel an irrational desire to know more and possess it. Consumers don’t buy things, they are sold things. Selling your wares doesn’t always mean throwing the price front and center at every turn. Its bout creating a desire in the consumer to have the product. Ever notice how the best products usually don’t have the price shown up front? Its because if the customer wants the product they will rationalize in their head plenty of reasons whatever price they have to pay is justified.

To that end I say the Surface is already a success. I want one and will pay a premium to have it. I don’t care that it won’t magically transform my life and what I do. I want it simply because I do. Its pretty, colorful and looks like I’ll have a blast using it. Yes, I sound like someone unfit to make any adult decision and that’s the point. Marketing works when even the most revered minds are reduced to the most basic responses. The Microsoft Surface may have started out as a North Star product meant to inspire OEMs but its far exceeded that designation. It is now a symbol that times are changing and Microsoft and fun just might become good friends after all.

 

Am I totally out in left field on this? I don’t think so but I’ve been laughably wrong on occasion. Not that I care. Good times are coming people. If you’d like another great read I’d encourage you all to read former Microsoftie and current Amazon Mobile Division Exec Brandon Watson’s blog post on the Surface: Gangs of New York

15 COMMENTS

  1. Can’t wait to purchase one, on he 26th will be driving to one of the pop up stores at the mall to get it. Will be a great day.

    • The ads started this weekend but more broad exposure comes tonight with the ad campaign really getting started on Monday Night Football and Dancing With The Stars. Microsoft has clearly targeted two extremes and making sure both gender-centric viewer bases get exposed. This launch will be huge. It won’t be all Surface but combine the Surface ads with Windows 8 campaign that will be going on at the same time and Microsoft will be at the forefront of consumers minds.

      This is where the value comes in with the pop-up stores in the malls. Tons of foot traffic by people who are out primarily looking to see whats new and what they can spend their money on for Christmas. I have a feeling the pop-up stores will drive a significant amount of late adds to the Christmas wish list.

  2. Smh, its going to be discounted in december and discontinued in January. Its cool and all. Has great features. BUT!!! Its not mainstream.. and when products are not mainstream they don’t make any money. Although people will consider these for work… and then realize the iPad is more reliable…. lol

    • Well clearly you’re all Apple. That’s cool because I believe that diversity and competition is a good thing for consumers.

      The fact remains that its desirable. You say the iPad is more reliable but provide no mention of in what way. As far as I know the heavily curated Windows Phone carries just as much, if not more, distinction as being reliable as the iPhone. In fact I know my wife has at least 3 times more issues with her iPhone than I ever have with my Windows Phone. The Zune, another Microsoft device, holds up incredibly well and gets top marks for customer satisfaction. No it wasn’t wildly popular but when it comes to reliability the truth is that Microsoft produced products tend to be very reliable.

      By the way, the Kindle Fire wasn’t mainstream but still managed to sell about 5 million when it was released.

  3. Murani, you’re buying the RTM? Why not wait and get the pro? My gf’s bday is coming up but I’m making her wait till the pro is out.

    • Yeah Camilo, i’m getting both. I need the pro for my graphic design and video editing but want the RT just to be fully immersed. My wife is getting the new iPad, i’m having her wait for the upgraded one with LTE though.

      I want the Surface RT to be my main mobile device. I’ll keep the Surface Pro for work and for around the house but the RT will go wherever I go.

  4. I think I would be good with the RT version but depending on the price I might wait for the pro.

  5. My mobile needs days are over. I have been on one plane in the past 4 years, and average about 75 miles a week on my car, mostly to go to work and back. My new ASUS i7 desktop will do the heave lifting for editing/rendering video and images. I want to use the Surface RT for many of the things I currently use my phone for.

    Things like, reading and posting in forums like these, reading news, viewing videos, playing an occasional game. All things that will be more pleasurable on a 10.6″ screen vs. 4.3″, or even 4.8″. So, instead of going through 1.25 charges per day on my phone (about 5-6 hours screen on), it will be more like .5 charges per day (1-2 hours – phone) and 3-4 hours with the Surface. Will also eliminate the need to power up the beast for some simple browsing.

    The Surface RT can’t and won’t replace my phone. And I will still have access to all the same stuff on my phone when the RT is not available. But it always helps to have the right tool for the task. With SkyDrive and Xbox Music, my RT will always be synced with everything that’s important to me. And don’t even get me started on how it will integrate with Xbox via SmartGlass.

    So I agree Murani, Surface is already a success. I hope Microsoft planned accordingly.

  6. Oh, one more thing. I think its time someone added IE 10 to the icon list. Tired of looking at the little red x. Just sayin.

    • LOL, yeah its time Jim. I think what is interesting is what you said. I want the Surface RT for many of the things I use my phone for too. The move to having one device for everything is starting to be reversed now that there are mobile devices that can accomplish the tasks we were trying to fit into a phone because a laptop was just too cumbersome.

      When i’m not editing pics or videos I usually have TweetDeck open and exploring Twitter, browsing Pinterest, writing an article or watching streaming video. The Surface does all this. Now I won’t have to run my battery down and that makes battery life a non-issue for me. Plus i’ll be using the Surface RT to have a digital gallery for my clients when I meet with them.

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