Surface Tablet Likely to See Minimal Holiday Sales, Says Analyst
Microsoft positioned to do well in the enterprise market.
What About the Surface as an Enterprise Device?
Even though the Surface tablet will take an extended period of time to gain acceptance in the consumer market, Kim has "big expectations" for the Surface Pro. He believes it will perform well as an enterprise device when Microsoft releases it in the first quarter of 2013, 90 days after the Surface RT release.
The Surface Pro, designed for businesses, is a separate tablet device from the Surface RT tablet. It runs the Windows 8 Pro operating system and contains an Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) Core i5, which is the same processor used for an Ultrabook. While the cost of the tablet hasn't been revealed, it will be be priced in the same range as Ultrabooks. It can hold either 64GB or 128GB of storage.
The tablet is positioned to capitalize on the transition from desktops to a greater use of mobile devices in the workplace. The availability of Office integration, the Windows server, and the management console on the Surface will go a long way toward businesses adopting the Surface Pro.
The enterprise market could also open a "backdoor" for Microsoft to enter the consumer market in a larger way.
Individuals may use a Windows 8 product in their work environment, like it, and then purchase a Windows 8 tablet for their household needs. This transition will likely take one to two years to occur, though.
Whether or not Microsoft can leverage its Window 8 products in enterprises to gain a foothold in the consumer market will act as a better indicator of success than the initial performance of the Surface tablet in the consumer market.
Microsoft working through the enterprise market seems like the best plan for Microsoft given the competition in the consumer market.
(See also: Microsoft Says No to Bargain Bin for Surface, Aims to Fight iPad Head-On and Tech News: Microsoft Leaks Prices for Surface RT.)