Photo: Screenshot Of Microsoft’s Surface Launch Video
Just over a month ago, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos declared that his tablet, the Kindle Fire was “the best tablet at any price.“Once the reviewers got their hands on the tablet, they quickly shot down that assertion saying it was inferior to the iPad.
Today, Steve Sinofsky, who leads development of Windows at Microsoft is following in Bezos’ footsteps. Speaking with a dozen reporters at the company’s headquarters he said, “I’ve used a lot of tablets and this is not a tablet but it is the best tablet I’ve ever used. And I’ve used a lot of notebooks and laptops and this is not a notebook or a laptop but it is also very best laptop I’ve ever used. It is a new kind of device.”
It’s a bold statement, and it puts the Surface up for direct comparison with the iPad. We’re going to bet it can’t beat the iPad, since the iPad has been on the market for almost three years. (We’ll see what happens when reviewers get their hands on it.)
This statement also shows how confused Microsoft is about this device. It’s not a laptop. It’s not a tablet. What is it? Something new. How do you sell something new? (By having a bunch of people dance around, apparently.)
If the Surface fails it’s going to be because of this sort of indecision. Microsoft didn’t commit to being a tablet. And it didn’t commit to being a laptop. It believes it can do both. We’ll have to see if consumers agree.