How best to judge Microsoft’s next-generation tablet, the Surface Pro 3, which was unveiled by its new chief executive Satya Nadella at an event in New York on Tuesday?
One way would be to compare it to its previous incarnation, which received a more positive critical response for its improved features, but still did not really make a dent in the market share of Apple iOS or Android devices – Microsoft has recorded about $2.64bn in Surface sales so far. For comparison, Apple sold $7.6bn worth of iPads in the latest quarter alone.
Microsoft is expected to unveil a third generation version of its Surface tablet later on Tuesday.
Then again, it might not.
What’s likely to come out of its New York event (4pm London time, webcast here ) has been kept tightly under wraps by the company, leading to speculation that ranges from a Surface “mini” being shown to a larger 12-inch tablet, to nothing more than tweaks to existing models.
Whatever is in store, Microsoft needs some fairly dramatic improvements for Surface to come anywhere close to matching the iPad’s appeal. Read more
From the FT’s Charles Clover in Moscow:
Russia’s gas monopoly Gazprom has ordered a custom-built, $3.7m gadget for its chief executive Alexei Miller to help him run the company, according to tender documents posted on the company’s website on Tuesday.
Gazprom says that the bespoke device is not just a run-of-the-mill tablet computer, but an “integrated workstation” for Mr Miller. The company is frequently under fire for spending too much money on everything from the 2014 winter Olympics in Sochi to steel pipe. Read more
Google’s tablet and living-room media device, unveiled at its annual developer conference, were enough to have some Google fans and tech commentators fawning over the company. Google also stepped it up another notch with a demonstration of the prototype Google Glass and a promise to turn it into a product by early 2014, reminding us that Google still has huge technology ambition – though some were not sure sure the company was taking the right direction. Read more
The way in which a new product is unveiled can sometimes be just as important as the product itself. However, in Microsoft’s case this week, a few hiccups didn’t appear to distract some tech commentators from writing glowing reviews of the company’s tablet computer, Surface, announced on Monday. Read more
Critics like to say that PC makers were slow to recognise the threat from tablets and to respond with their own versions to rival Apple’s iPad.
This narrative may be the popular one, but it underestimates the challenges faced by traditional PC makers in coming up with a competitive and profitable tablet, Henry Lu, senior vice president of Micro-Star International, told the Financial Times. Read more
If consumers like iPad-like devices, and they also like smartphones, what could be even better than a Padfone?
That was the thinking at Asus, which on Monday unveiled its latest invention ahead of the Computex trade show. Read more
Tablets, led by the iPad, will cut increasingly into PC sales from this year onwards, according to the latest forecasts from the Gartner research firm.
While the chipmaker Intel has predicted tablets will expand the PC market, Gartner suggests Apple and Android tablets will displace around 10 per cent of other PC sales by 2014. Read more
One of the things noted in my review last week of the Samsung Galaxy Tab was the inferior screen compared to the iPad and Samsung’s own Super Amoled Galaxy smartphones.
Well, it looks like Samsung already has plans to fix that with the unveiling of a second-generation Tab with Amoled screen in Japan this week, although it’s unlikely to appear before the second half of next year. Read more
Research in Motion’s new BlackBerry PlayBook will be taking on the iPad, the Cisco Cius and a host of other tablets when it appears early next year.
But its closest rival, both in looks, specifications and marketing strategy, appears to be Samsung’s Galaxy Tab, with the two manufacturers looking to pair the devices with their existing smartphones. Read more