SeekingAlpha contributor Michael Blair notes that Microsoft has had a rough ride with its first foray into the tablet market, taking a $900 million bath on inventory in its latest reported quarter.
However, Mr. Blair maintains, perhaps over-optimistically based on Apple’s Thanksgiving weekend sales performance, that this year’s release of the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 has potential to change all that.
Mr. Blair, who bought a Surface Pro when it came out and found other than price none of the frequent criticisms of the device had much substance, but they were enough to keep buyers away, but like many others who didn’t he found the full support for all of his Windows software incredibly valuable, since MS Office is a mainstay for him. He also found the applications library much deeper and richer than Microsoft’s critics gave it credit for.
Now the Surface Pro 2 with its Intel Haswell processor offers both increased power and much longer battery life, with storage options now going up to 512GB, which he observes is more than anyone will want and backed up by a generous initial SkyDrive allocation. He deems Windows 8.1 to be smoother and more user friendly than Windows 8.0, and the new device has a more flexible kickstand with two positions rather than one.
Blair acknowledges that the ecosystem still favors Apple, but the gap is narrowing, and in time, will be a non-issue.
Maybe, but as yet there’s little evidence of the Surface even significantly denting iPad sales, although Windows Phone is sowing some growth in Europe especially.
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