This is an open letter to all of us (all of us who say whether a technology would fail or pass, before it is launched. Me included – think of my alterego writing to the id.)
Arguably, one of the biggest launches of the decade is just 3 days away – the biggest upgrade of the OS that more than half of the world uses, the end of the era that Windows 95 ushered and and the genesis of a new age where people drive enterprise choices.
Not so long ago, people had asked the same question for the iPad – and many of us had declared it Dead on Arrival. But, we were wrong. Woefully wrong. The iPad not only created a revolution where people slept with their computing devices, but showed that there was a far better world out there with potential to be exploited in the field of Mobile Computing. It brought OS like functionality to 10″ screens, that could be carried aroud with ease.
Microsoft, being the sly cat it always has been (wink wink), waited for the market to be created, product ideas to mature, and created a product that would bring a full OS – a desktop OS – into your tablets. Why is this a big deal? Simple, because people are already preferring to use Enterprise Apps on their tablets, and if it is comfortable, they would like to use entire software on a tablet – just because its so much more comfortable. And don’t even get me started on that hinge – its magical even to look at.
Today, it launches a product that effectively cannibalizes the laptop market – or at least looks to do so, to create a market for itself. Now people think that there are no enterprises that would associate itself with tablets, but guess what – Oracle just released an API for exactly that. And other cloud powered companies are soon gonna follow suite.
Whether it will be a success or faliure remains to be seen in the coming months – but early adopters are going to love this slate (moreso the Pro, I’m waiting for that), and crossing the chasm will be not so difficult if the comfort levels of a person are met. I mean it is a windows, reads a pen drive and external HDD, can watch movies (whatever format), and looks bloody brilliant. It is a vertically integrated system, with Microsoft governing the specs, so it shall be optimized. And its a Windows. Again. Security patches and updates will be pushed when needed. More often than not with immediate effect. Without you buying them.
It doesn’t matter whether we declare it dead right now, or a hit, because Windows has its own lovers – and if I can hook up a Surface Pro with a mouse and a numpad (not a keyboard), I’ll buy it to play Counterstrike. Hook it to a gamepad, play Fifa. Not those AngryBirds and Temple Run games that pseudo-gamers play, but fully grown games that we always loved and missed on tablets.
So tighten your seatbelts, because for once, its something radically different to any single device out there, and this is gonna be one helluva quarter.