By Ed Sutherland on Oct 24, 2013
There’s nothing like a good dogfight between two tech titans to get your blood flowing. After a hiatus from its sniping at Apple, Microsoft is back, calling the decision to offer iWork and iLife software free “no big deal”. Sure Microsoft, whatever you say.
But Redmond didn’t stop there. In a Wednesday blog post, the software giant’s communication vice president paints Apple’s move as desperate, before launching into a rally-round-the-flag sort of promo for the new Surface tablet.
All of which reminds me of the Hamlet quote about protesting too much… Read More
By Cody Lee on Sep 23, 2013
As expected, Microsoft held a media event in New York this morning where it unveiled the successors to both of its Surface lines—the Surface 2 and the Surface Pro 2—in a new effort to make inroads into the tough tablet market.
Both slates have received significant updates this time around, with better processors, USB 3.0 support, and Microsoft promising better battery life. But will the hardware upgrades be enough to turn the Surface brand around? Read More
By Cody Lee on Sep 16, 2013
In February of 2011, Microsoft and Nokia announced a joint strategic partnership that would see Windows Phone become the principal platform strategy for Nokia’s mobile devices. And the Finnish giant took quite a bit of heat for putting all of its eggs in Microsoft’s basket.
But according to a new report, the company had a plan b: an Android device. Sources familiar with the project say that a team within Nokia had Android up and running on its Lumia handsets “well before” it began buyout negotiations with Microsoft for its mobile phone business… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Sep 12, 2013
In another attempt to chip away market share from Apple’s iPad, Microsoft is now running an iPad trade-in offer. Yup, you read that right. As in, trade in your iPad and increase productivity. The software maker is tempting switchers to bring in their iPad for a $200 credit, redeemable against the purchase of a Surface “or other cool products at the Microsoft Store”.
Only the “gently used” iPad 2, iPad 3 and iPad 4 are eligible. Jump past the fold for the full breakdown… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Sep 9, 2013
Taking another crack at tablets, Windows giant Microsoft on Monday sent out invites asking select members of the press to attend its media event on Monday, September 23, in New York City. Unfazed by slow sales of its own Surface RT and Surface Pro tablet lineup after taking the $900 million charge over unsold inventory, the company is adamant to launch a second-generation Surface tablet, the Surface 2.
The high-profile press conference will take place in New York City’s Chelsea, where Microsoft is expected to formally announce the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 tablets as refreshed versions of its existing Surface RT and Surface Pro models… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Aug 8, 2013
Wow, there’s just no stopping Microsoft’s marketing people in their anti-iPad crusade. As it’s done several times this summer, the Windows giant yesterday posted a Surface commercial which predictably takes swipes at Apple’s full-size iPad, criticizing its $499 asking price, lack of SD card slot and limited Office compatibility (go figure).
You’d have think Microsoft’s ad agency would not release another iPad bashing commercial until next week. Much to our surprise, however, a mere 24 hours later a new commercial has surfaced on YouTube, this time on Microsoft’s WindowsVideos channel.
And for the first time, the software giant is targeting the iPad mini by pitting Acer’s 8.1-inch Iconia W3 tablet against Apple’s popular 7.9-inch $329 device. I’ve included the ad for your viewing pleasure right after the break… Read More
By Cody Lee on Aug 7, 2013
You would think that with an ongoing Surface sales slump that even multiple fire sales can’t fix, Microsoft would try to switch up its tactics. But nope. As it’s done several times this summer, the Redmond company posted a new tablet ad today attacking the iPad.
The new spot is called ‘Surface RT vs. iPad.’ And like Microsoft’s previous commercials, it pits the Surface against Apple’s popular tablet, highlighting their differences. This time around, the iPad is knocked for having a smaller screen, lacking a kickstand and more… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Aug 5, 2013
In another sign that Microsoft’s Surface tablets are failing to hit the ground running, the Windows giant has slashed the Surface Pro lineup by $100 through August 29. The Microsoft-branded tablet family was unveiled last October so it’s only logical the company now wants to get rid of unsold inventory as it gears up to announce a second-generation Surface later this year. Both the 64GB and 128GB flavors of the Surface Pro are now a $799 and $899 value, respectively… Read More
By Cody Lee on Jul 31, 2013
Steve Ballmer sounded pretty confident when his company debuted the Surface tablet last fall. At one point, he even said “I don’t think anybody has done a product that is the product that I see customers wanting,” implying that Microsoft had.
But I think by now, it’s pretty clear that’s not the case. Not only did the software giant have to eat $900 million in unsold Surfaces last quarter, but estimates based on a new SEC filing suggest that it’s only sold 1.7 million of them since launch… Read More
By Ed Sutherland on Jul 26, 2013
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer Thursday played Captain Obvious, telling Microsoft workers the company may have overestimated demand for its Surface tablets. Really? The revelation comes only after the software giant announced a nearly $1 billion writedown after slashing Surface prices.
Not willing to take such things as a sign to go off and do something else, Ballmer and operations chief Kevin Turner reportedly told a closed-door town hall meeting a new Surface is now being tested… Read More
By Ed Sutherland on Jul 19, 2013
Microsoft just doesn’t skip a beat when it comes to its fantasy that the Surface rivals Apple’s iPad. Never mind the software giant had to reduce prices on its tablet because no one is buying the device. Never mind Thursday the company took a $900M writedown on those cheaper Surfaces that no one wants.
To mark all the features the Surface has (which no one except paid actors apparently want), the Redmond-based Windows giant has released another sneering ad pitting its tablet against Apple’s. This is what lesser-known brands quite often do as they strive to piggy-back on the popularity of the Apple brand… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jul 18, 2013
Microsoft last June unveiled its iPad contender, the ARM-powered Surface RT tablet. We’ve suspected all along that it hasn’t been much of a smash hit.
Nine months later, the Windows giant admits defeat by announcing it will be taking an astounding $900 million loss over unsold Surface RT inventory.
The top dogs called it an “inventory adjustments”. Our take: these things would not have been collecting dust in the warehouse if they were flying off the shelves like hotcakes… Read More
By Cody Lee on Jul 12, 2013
In an effort to spur struggling slate sales, Microsoft launched a TV ad campaign aimed squarely at the iPad. The strategy, which has spawned four commercials since May, focuses on highlighting the flaws in Apple’s popular tablet in comparison with the Surface.
But despite the agressive campaign, Microsoft still seems to be having trouble selling tablets. According to a new report, the Redmond company is planning to drop the price of all Surface RT models by $150 later this month—a move in response to lackluster sales… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jul 9, 2013
iPad-bashing is becoming the recurring theme for Microsoft as the once dominant force in computing struggles to reclaim its relevancy in the post-PC world. Nowhere is this more evident that in Microsoft’s inability to hit the ground running with Windows 8 on tablets.
With a few notable exceptions, you can tell an also-ran has run out of ideas when it puts together a television commercial advertising its contender against the industry leader.
Sometimes the strategy of piggy-backing on the top dog’s popularity can do wonders (case in point: Samsung), but often times it just backfires. The latter appears to be happening with Microsoft’s anti-iPad ads. I’ll let you be the judge of that: the latest iPad-dissing 30-second spot sporting two baseball scouts is below the fold… Read More
By Ed Sutherland on Jun 26, 2013
Apple appears to have stemmed any loss of iPad usage online detected in April, roaring back to continue its utter domination of tablet web traffic in May. The iPad in May accounted for 82.4 percent of tablet web traffic within North America, according to the Chitika ad network. Amazon’s Kindle Fire registering the next best at just 6.5 percent of North American tablet web traffic May 15 to May 21… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on May 20, 2013
After Apple back in January flew its vice president for education John Couch to Turkey who meet with the country’s president Abdullah Gül to discuss Turkey’s $4.5 billion modernization program in which textbooks will be replaced by tablets and chalkboards by electronic whiteboards, a report Monday notes that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdoğan has now visited Apple, along with Google and Microsoft, in order to explore options ahead of the country’s impending decision to purchase 10.6 million tablets for education… Read More
By Ed Sutherland on Apr 18, 2013
Here’s an interesting tidbit we found this morning: Microsoft’s Surface tablets could actually be outselling Google’s latest Nexus 10. We understand every scuffle between Google and Apple is actually a proxy for the battle between Android and iOS, so the statement by blogger Benedict Evans caught our eyes. According to Evans, the Samsung-made Nexus 10 likely sold around 1.01 million of the Google tablets by the end of March.
This compares to the 1.5 million Surface tablets Microsoft has reportedly sold – not to mention the ten million iPad mini tablets purchased in just the last two months of the fourth quarter in fiscal 2012. While the latest Nexus tablet is no threat to the iPad, the calculations suggest something more important: strong distribution and a well-defined ecosystem can overcome big-name rivals… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Apr 15, 2013
As Apple’s manufacturing partner Foxconn recently began hiring workers for assembly of a next-gen iPhone and possibly a rumored budget iPhone, our friends over at Redmond are thought to be busy developing own branded smartwatch, smartphone and seven-inch Surface tablet. Both gadgets are viewed as direct responses to Apple’s rumored iWatch project, its wildly successful smartphone and the iPad mini tablet, respectively.
The smartwatch project is purportedly beyond the prototyping phase as Microsoft is said to have started aligning parts suppliers in Asia earlier this year, allegedly sourcing 1.5-inch screens. However, folks who apparently saw the prototypes warn it’s “unclear whether Microsoft will opt to move ahead with the watch” at this stage… Read More
By Ed Sutherland on Feb 21, 2013
In the contest for coolness, the amorphous concept potentially driving young consumers to smartphones, tablets and other devices, Apple has some competition. While the iPhone maker is seen as cooler now than previously by 60 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds, even more people point to Android as the king of cool.
Even more surprising is Microsoft apparently isn’t your father’s software giant. The Windows maker – long viewed as buttoned-down and behind the technology curve – has revamped its image, thanks largely to the firm’s smartphone and Surface tablet… Read More
By Ed Sutherland on Feb 20, 2013
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer recently addressed the companies Surface and the tablet’s sales (or lack thereof).
We’re going to try our best not to characterize his comments as whiny or envision the firm’s leader stomping his foot in the face of gloomy analysis. But it’s hard – real hard.
Speaking with MIT Technology Review, while admitting the Microsoft product was not an iPad-killer, Ballmer stressed the Surface isn’t a post-PC fantasy, either… Read More