Chitika Insights notes that two of the biggest players in computing space – Microsoft and Google – recently launched their most ambitious efforts yet in the tablet marketplace. Microsoft’s Surface was launched on October 26th as the flagship tablet for Windows 8, with a more powerful Pro edition debuting in January. Google released its Nexus 10 on November 13th – a larger sibling to the company’s Nexus 7 tablet, which was recently updated from its original model unveiled earlier this year.
While both Microsoft and Google both offer a $499, 32GB version of their tablet, the Nexus 10 has a 16GB version for $100 less while the Surface can only be upgraded to 64GB. A 16 GB version of the Surface would be impractical because the Windows 8 System itself occupoed about that much memory capacity.
Chitika Insights conducted a study to see which tech giants tablet offering is emerging as the most popular, based on tens of millions of tablet impressions from the Chitika ad network in the U.S. and Canada from November 12th to November 18th 2012.
They report that domestically, Google Nexus tablet users are generating more than seven times the Web traffic that Microsoft Surface is, although an important qualification is that the original Nexus 7 had a head start back in July. With time, Chitika suggests that it would seem likely that this gap will narrow as Surface sales grow.
Microsoft will need these usage figures to improve in order to attract substantial levels of developer interest for the Surface and broaden its app ecosystem. However, a clearer picture of the devices longer-term prospects will emerge following Christmas day, as tablets purchased for the holiday, including the Surface Pro, are put into use.
Is Microsoft’s Surface Already Flatlining?
Gizmag’s Will Shanklin, commenting on the recent Chitika report finding that Microsoft’s Surface tablet was only Generatting 0.13% of all tablet web traffic in mid-November, which translates to out of every 10,000 tablet ad impressions, an average of 13 came from Surface.
Shanklin acknowledges that Surface is still a new product, but notes that this is hardly the start Microsoft wanted after spending months hyping its new tablet. He suggests that Microsoft priced Surface too high, and initially sold the tablet exclusively through its physical and online retail stores, although it just announced that it will soon begin selling Surface at additional retailers.
Other factors could be a complicated operating system, a sparse app library, and a display, battery life, and cameras that are all inferior to the iPad’s. Shanklin also observes that Nexus 7 and 10 combined, plus the Surface, only cumulatively account about 1% of tablet web traffic, while the iPad dominates with 88% of all tablet web traffic. He notes that Microsoft was reaching for the sky with Surface, but the first battle has been a failure, leaving it to play the long game in hope its Windows 8 Pro Surface (due in January) will fare better, but with a $900 starting price, what are the odds?
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