Microsoft has always been able to pull together great demos of pre-released products. Unfortunately, many of the most exiting features from those demos never seem to make it into the released versions of their products. Here is the most recent demo of their upcoming Windows 8 release for CES 2012:
‘Over promising’ isn’t something Microsoft can have happen with the release of Windows 8. Microsoft is playing catch-up on a lot of fronts – especially in the mobile arena – and needs to seriously ‘over deliver’ if they have a chance of grabbing some market share. With Windows 8 not slated to come out until the later half of 2012, there will be a lot of innovation that takes place on both the Android and iOS platforms before it arrives. What they offer will need to standup to comparison with both of these established players on every front: interface, features, stability, and applications.
Not an easy task by any measure.
Microsoft will also have a very small window to make headway and establish credibility in the tablet space. Apple will probably be releasing their iPad 4 (two full generations of the tablet from what is available today) in the beginning of 2013 – grabbing the media spotlight with rumors long before it eventually rolls out.
If what they are demoing here can make it on to lightweight tablets devices with true ‘all day’ battery life and price points starting at or below $500, they have a chance of success – especially if they can leverage their Office franchise as a differentiator.
If instead it turns out to be a bloated OS running on $1000 hardware with a laptop level battery life, they will be dead on arrival.
At this point, my money isn’t on Microsoft.