One thing Microsoft has is a thick skin. Over the last few years they have put me in mind of that person probably most of us know. The one who whilst doesn’t get invited to parties always manages to invite themselves. The one who lives off past “glories” with a big, brash attitude that always claims to be doing something better than everyone else. The friend who whatever you are doing is always doing themselves – and claiming to do it better. Of course when examined more closely the truth is rather different and whilst this friend is talking about all the great things they will do, others are actually doing them.
Despite it’s apparent failure to grasp the Smartphone market with its WP7 – which to this day I have found is rarer to observe in the “wild” than a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Microsoft moves pasts the apathetic consumer who are far more interested with the new form factors hosting platforms from Apple or Google with news of its midnight release (on the 26th of October) of its surface tablet.
Steve Ballmer may be convinced that the Surface systems will fly off the shelves, and Redmond will beissuing around 93,000 to full-time employees, but a midnight launch could be overdoing it, in The Reg’s opinion.
We’ve heard about Steve Ballmer’s “thinking” before. Remember his comments on the iPhone? or how about the allegation he once said he was to “f*cking bury Google”? – I expect this will be another case of what Steve Ballmer thinks, doesn’t quite tally with reality.
One commenter from Usenet on comp.os.linux.advocacy (Chris) makes the following observation:
I’m sure Microsoft will pack the gallery with willing shills who will, aided by the unwitting press, convince the “marks” that this things is a “must have”.
To which I agree, furthermore it will be presented in a loud and brash Steve Ballmer package that will attempt to push it onto the consumer. Of course in the real world, people don’t seem to be talking much about Microsoft’s offerings. They certainly didn’t like the Kin, the WP7 sales figures are what? poor at best? And Windows 8 is not exactly being anticipated with great excitement (unlike with 7 which came off the back of Vista) Windows 7 (if people are even off XP yet) is not really in need of the fix Vista was.
My sceptical mind has me thinking that people turning up to this midnight launch of Microsoft’s, will certainly be more than just “average consumers” but for the camera, I’m sure they will be hyperactive, happy, Microsoft consumers. Lets hope if Microsoft is making a PR stunt of sorts out of this that they fair far better than when they tried it with the “iPhone funeral” stunt.
Are you going to queue up at midnight or at any other time for this Microsoft effort? – From listening to others I’d say no and in a few months time, the Surface scheme of Ballmer’s will be languishing in the same place as WP7. Apathy by the consumer as a whole. There’s no doubt Apple and Google have the hearts and minds of the consumer on a whole, infact I would go so far as to say that with the current high Apple are on, they could probably sell a wet toilet roll with the Apple logo on it and have people queuing up all day.
This year has already given us some excellent tablets, from the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 to the Google Nexus 7 – and don’t forget those iPad Mini rumours that, if proved, could seriously scupper Microsoft’s plans.
With that in mind, a midnight launch could be a risky strategy. Although we’ve no doubt Microsoft are aiming to build up some inertia for the Windows Phone 8 launch on October 29, a mere four days later.
And where is the WP7 now? Where will it be in Microsoft’s mind when they want to sell you 8? – I’ll let you come to your own conclusions.