Recently, at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference, there was a talk from Microsoft’s Chief Financial Officer Peter Klein. He talked about how the Surface, was designed to be scalable, and mentioned that they could get the Surface to be as small as 4 inches, and all the way up to 27 inches (that’s a big surface). Here’s the direct quote:
“We can have the same core code base driving form factors from four inches all the way up to 27-inch ones and everything in between,” said Klein. “So I think we are well set up to respond to demand as we see it. We can deliver a versatile set of experiences across form factors, whether they’re four-inch, five-inch, seven-inch, 10-inch or 13-inch.”
This could even mean that a smartphone is on the way from Microsoft, who would be treading new territory, and diving in to an already extremely competitive marketplace, though they certainly have the funds to do it.
Let’s face it, a smartphone is just a mini-tablet with a phone, so if they can make a “Surface Pro Mini”, and then add a calling feature, then boom, you have possibly one of the hottest new phones on the market. That was easy.
We can only hope that this upcoming mini will feature Windows 8, as opposed to Windows RT, which it’s safe to assume that it will, considering the popularity of the Pro, and unpopularity of the RT.
The question is, will their mobile Operating System be up to snuff? It’s difficult to say, but right now, iOS and Android are clearly superior, and quite frankly, not even the in the same ballpark as Microsoft’s current mobile OS’s, so that will be a definite challenge for them, as they move forward.
Let’s face it, Microsoft has become the King of Operating Systems over the years, but as this new technology is arising, it’s interesting to see if they’ll be able to stay on top with the OS’s that have been famous for success in the mobile, and tablet market, namely, once again, iOS and Android. It’s current Mobile OS is struggling even against BlackBerry, interestingly enough.
One very real difficulty that Microsoft might run into with this upcoming mini, is the fact that the Windows 8 OS requires some serious hardware to get it going, and when you’re working with a 4-inch device, that hardware space just generally isn’t available. With that being the case, Microsoft might have to resort to using their RT, or some other Operating System, but the problem is that no one bothers developing apps for it, so it becomes extremely limited in what people can do with it, when you consider how many developers take time to create apps for Android and iOS.
Microsoft is now an interesting position, they have the ability to expand into other markets, such as mini-tablets and smartphones, but, do they really have what it takes? We’ll have to wait and see, but I for one can not wait to see the Surface Mini on display at my local Best Buy.