They say a picture’s worth a thousand words. The chart above is a great example of that. The thousand words it reminds me of are all the ones used in all those Microsoft TV ads for the Surface tablet that seem to be on every 10 minutes. The ones that always feature an actor blabbing about how the iPad is not for ‘real work’ and how the Surface is the right tablet for anyone who needs to do ‘real work’.
The chart above is from the Good Technology Mobility Index Report for Q4 2013. This tracks the impact of mobile apps and platforms in the enterprise – an area where people have been know to do quite a bit of real work. The iPad is the runaway leader, with over 91% of activations. Android tablets come in second, with under 10%.
The other thing that jumps off the page on the chart: where’s the tablet that’s so perfect for real work? Nowhere. Zero percent. Not even on the chart.
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I’ve been wanting to try out a Windows tablet for quite a while now. I even once spent several hours at a local Microsoft store with every intention of buying one of their Surface tablets – and then just couldn’t do it after spending a few hours trying them out.
I’ve owned and used a couple generations of Kindle Fire, the sadly short-lived TouchPad Pro that ran webOS, a Samsung Galaxy Note 8, and both the 2012 and 2013 Nexus 7 – so a Windows tablet is one of the few mainstream (ish) types I haven’t had a chance to get to know.
This week I’ve found a Windows tablet that looks like a better fit for me – the Dell Venue 8 Pro. It’s a better fit for me partly because it’s an 8 inch tablet and I am now solidly a fan of the more ‘mini’ tablet form factor. I also like that it is priced much more attractively than the Surface line.
Since I’m now back at work as an IT consultant as my ‘day job’ I’ve been using a laptop running Windows 8 for a few months now. The Dell Venue 8 Pro runs Windows 8.1 – so it will be interesting to see whether this tablet can help be more productive and where it might fit in my work routine.
I won’t bore you with further detail here, since this site is all about the iPad, but I do plan to write up some first impressions and other thoughts as I spend time with the Dell Venue 8 Pro. If you have any interest in seeing those, check out my little baby site, Tech & Nonsense.
This week Microsoft have released yet another of their TV ads comparing the iPad to a Surface or another Windows based tablet. In this new ad it’s the Surface RT that’s pitted against the iPad.
The newest in this series of ads trots out some of the same supposedly killer advantages for the Surface over the iPad – like the knock on the iPad because it doesn’t include Microsoft Office.
Another advantage cited for the Surface is ‘integrated kickstand and keyboard’. Only in the very tiny fine print does it mention that the keyboard is sold separately. Sold separately for $100 if bought at the same time as the tablet and $120 if not. Pretty stiff price for something that’s ‘integrated’.
Despite every indicator showing that the Surface has had just about zero impact, Microsoft keeps pounding away with these comparison ads. Here’s this latest one, below. Does anyone believe these are having any effect?
Following its big recent price cuts on the Surface RT tablet line, Microsoft has now dropped the price for its Surface Pro tablets by $100.
As The Verge reports, Microsoft has confirmed that customers in 5 countries – the US, Canada, China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan – will pay $100 less for the Surface Pro between August 4th and August 29th.
The price cut affects both the 64GB Surface Pro, which now goes for $799, and the 128GB model, which is now available for $899.
Given the Surface’s current status as a major flop, it will not be at all surprising to see these price cuts become permanent sometime soon.
Lots more bad news for Microsoft and their Surface tablets this week. Microsoft’s most recent financial results filing (for their fiscal year that ended June 30 of this year) show a total of $853 million in revenue from Surface sales – which some are saying is less than they’ve spent on marketing for the Surface line.
BGR, along with many others, have declared the Surface a flop when referencing the Surface revenue numbers:
That figure doesn’t include the $900 million write-down it took or the huge amount of cash it spent on marketing and advertising, so Microsoft has clearly lost a substantial amount of money on its Surface bet so far — yes, the Surface is officially a flop.
The latest estimate of total Surface sales, by GeekWire, is just 1.7 million units sold. That’s 1.7 million sold in the 8 months since the first Surface release. For a little perspective, 3 million iPad minis were sold in 3 days at its launch time.
Over the years I’ve seen many Microsoft fans argue that the success of the iPhone / iPad / Apple themselves was largely down to marketing. Well, Microsoft have marketed the hell out the Surface line. They’ve ripped the iPad in their recent TV advertising and painted it as a far less useful device than the Surface.
Maybe they should focus more now on making a tablet that actually lives up to their hype.