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Three thoughts about Microsoft Surface

After reading yesterdays NYT piece about Surface, I’m still left with a bunch of thoughts and questions.

Timing

Why didn’t they wait for the big reveal until after they were ready to actually let people touch it? The keyboard is clearly a big new thing with the Surface but I’m told by folks at the event that users were never allowed to try to the keyboard attached to the device. And why didn’t they have pricing ready?

Hardware Partner/Channel Conflict

When Google launched their first Nexus, it was an attempt to showcase Android. But they still worked with one OEM at time. By choosing just one they insured quality. They went with HTC on the first one and then with Samsung on the next two Nexus devices. The Nexus line stands out from all the other Android powered phones because they are clean versions of Android. There isn’t any UI layer built on top and they generally have the best hardware at the time. The latest Galaxy Nexus is a great example. 

I’m surprised Microsoft didn’t do the same. The NYT story talks about a failed joint developement with HP for the tabletpc. But there are a lot of other Windows based OEMs out there. Does MSFT no longer trust OEMs? As Gruber points out, why didn’t MSFT work with Nokia on this given their close ties.

 Apps

I recently passed on an investment opportunity because the entrepreneur is going to port for Windows 8 before the iPad. The reason? Because Microsoft is paying the development costs and told the entpreneur they will market it. I’m not a fan of changing your roadmap because of near term dollars. You gotta decide: who is your customer. Also rarely do marketing pushes by any App Store (iOS or Android) ever make a company. Getting featured is super nice but it doesn’t define your success. 

So back to the topic at hand. Who is gonna develop for the Surface. The best news is the Microsoft has a number of their own apps that are compelling for the enterprise (Exchange & Office). But that isn’t sufficient. How will MS get thousands of other great devs to build for Surface. Marco has some great insight on this topic

What do you think? Will you give the Surface a try?