Monday, June 18, 2012

Major Microsoft Announcement or Red Ocean Venture?

Microsoft unveiled its “Surface” tablet pc today in Apple fashion.The company invited the news media to the event with only a few days’ notice and maintained an unusual air of secrecy around its details, withholding even its exact location until Monday morning.”The Surface has similar specs to the iPAD, but also has unique features like a built-in kickstand and a detachable cover that doubles as a keyboard.

Kim and Mauborgne’s article entitled “Blue Ocean Strategy” talks about differences between blue and red ocean strategies. Microsoft has chose to enter an overcrowded tablet pc industry, which is largely dominated by Apple’s iPAD. Which begs to question, how much of the pie is left to take? It’s my opinion the water is already bloody enough and this could be yet another flop for Microsoft.

Hardware is not Microsoft forte. Remember the Zune? Apple Inc. was quick to take the idea of a digital music player and enter unchartered blue waters capitalizing on Apple’s sync capabilities. Zune was soon discontinued. Then there was the Xbox, which experienced flaws in its early design costing Microsoft $1billion.

Could this be Microsoft’s response Apple’s stranglehold on computing? Microsoft is planning to release a tablet version of Windows 8 in the coming months.   Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s chief executive, is trying to differentiate products like the Surface, making statements like, “product was part of a long-running effort by Microsoft to create hardware, like computer mice, that show off innovations in its software.”

It’s my opinion that Microsoft is falling into the pitfall discussed in Kim and Mauborgne’s article of using competition as a benchmark. Microsoft should revisit its own values and that of its customers rather than trying to compete in red oceans.

Are there blue ocean opportunities out there for Microsoft in the tablet pc market? By streamlining costs and offering a similar tablet to the iPAD can Microsoft compete or is the iPAD one version away from this blog being irrelevant? 

"Microsoft Unveils a Tablet to Challenge the iPad"

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