The Microsoft Surface Was Made For Surfaces…But That’s Not What Tablets Were Made For

on October 16, 2012
Reading Time: 1 minute

The first Microsoft Surface Ad is out. It’s called “The Surface Movement” (although it probably should be called “Click”). In his article entitled: Marketing Surface and Windows 8, Ben Bajarin focuses on what the ad communicates to potential buyers. My focus is on what the ad communicates about Microsoft’s attitude toward tablets.

HOW MICROSOFT DEFINES A TABLET

Even before the ad aired, industry observers had picked up a theme:

The message we seem to be getting from Microsoft with its Surface tablets is that you need a keyboard with your slate to take full advantage of Windows. ~ James Kendrick, ZDNet

Microsoft is really is focusing on the keyboard as what enables the Surface to work equally well for consumption and creation. ~ Mary Jo Foley, CNet

It’s all about the keyboard and it’s all about using the keyboard on a flat surface.

WHAT DEFINES A MICROSOFT SURFACE

The Microsoft surface has five characteristics that distinguish it from the iPad:

— Windows 8 user interface;
— Windows desktop applications;
— Kickstand;
— Upturned rear-facing camera; and
— Attachable keyboard.

The last four of those five characteristics are most useful when employed on a flat surface…

…but that’s not what tablets were made for.

WHAT DEFINES A TABLET

The tablet has two defining characteristics: It is touchable and totable.

The tablet was made for standing, and walking; for moving from room to room, and moving from door to door; for sitting back and leaning forward; for remote locations and touch occasions. The tablet was made to be touched and toted. The Surface was made for a surface.

The Microsoft Surface goes on sale on October 26th. We’ll soon see what really defines a tablet.