Rumors have been circulating regarding the direction that Microsoft will be taking its Surface products in the coming months. Will the tablet be able to overcome initial poor sales to make a killing in the market?
The initial release of the Surface RT and Surface Pro caused some disappointment- the products did not perform nearly as well as Microsoft hoped and many consumers had complaints regarding the Surface’s features. There were, however, many strong underlying elements of the product, and Microsoft has focused its energy on capitalizing on those features and optimizing them for business use in the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2.
Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 have already been released for preorder. They have been designed to build on the functionality of their predecessors with features like enhanced components, new dual position kickstands, better graphics, performance, longer battery life. Price range from $449 for a 32 GB Surface 2 all the way up to $1799 for a 512 GB Surface Pro 2 (accurate at time of post, subject to change).
How these devices preform remains to be seen – hopefully they will more closely match consumer needs redeeming the Surface name for future development. With the Surface 2 hot off the shelf, however, many are already speculating about where the Surface is going next. The crowd consensus seems to be that we will see smaller displays in the future.
Microsoft may be moving toward smaller display designs for its Surface tablets. Instead of the current 10 inch display, this could mean a 7-8 inch “mini” version. Rhoda Alexander, a member of the Tablet and Monitor Research team at HIS iSuppli, speculates that it will be an RT tablet with a 4:3 aspect ratio and a 1,4000 X 1,050 resolution display.
Although there is no official confirmation from Microsoft on this topic, it seems like a reasonable guess on where the Surface is headed. The market for small tablets is heating up, and more and more hardware developers are heading for the “mini” and “phablet” zone.
If there is to be a new mini tablet, sources agree that it will not come until early in 2014. This release date would line up with the Windows 8.1 updates codename 2014 GDR. Ideally, sources report, the new Surfaces will come preloaded with this update. If Microsoft can successfully coordinate the launch of these two products it would symbolize the cross-department collaboration that the recent reorganization has been designed to facilitate.
Pricing on a future mini Surface unclear, although it may be even less expensive than current Surface tablets.
Other interesting guesses on what the next Surface may look like include rumored 3G/4G capacities, which would be a Microsoft first.
Stay tuned for more information on Surface, Windows, and Microsoft developments. Office 365 Advisors provides premier consulting and advising for Office 365 and Microsoft products. Contact us today to learn more!