Office on RT and MS's strategic positioning
I wanted to get the Tribe's opinion on this line of thinking. The text comes from a comment I posted on another thread which focused on the RT. Also, I reserved my Surface Pro yesterday! I'm very excited.
Office on RT: I agree with the inclusion of Office on RT as a direct port onto ARM for the following reasons:
1) Metro is a touch centric UI and caters to consumption.
2) Microsoft cannot enter the market with a consumption only product. Apple owns the pure-consumption tablet market with Android picking up the slack. Introducing a Metro only tablet in this market segment would be unwise:
- UI offers only cosmetic differences
- RT/Metro/Surface Brand(s) is new and unproven
3) They already have a product designed to meet the needs of consumers who demand the ability to produce(Surface Pro).
Given these conditions, I propose the inclusion of an unfiltered office to be appropriate. Surface RT enters into a space where those who wish to consume content can, but those who wish to occasionally produce content have the ability to do so. Competitors products can also provide these functions but only through significant effort and further purchase.
Further, as the Surface, RT and W8 brands progress, the differentiation becomes more meaningful. OEMs can produce Metro only consumption tablets from 7-10" which use ARM (capitalize upon cheap price, long life and allow for brand expansion); Simultaneously, W8 and Surface Pro will continue as the work horse brand with Intel Core.
If only these two avenues were pursued MS would be subject to the dichotomy that exists between iPad and Mac Book Air. The Surface RT and its descendents allow for both consumption and production for those who require it.* I agree that Office could use some refinement in RT but in the end I don’t think it will matter. Anyone who is going to actually use Office will simply choose W8.
_*This also allows for a significant degree of flexibility with respect to ARM v Intel. ARM’s benefits will allow for competition against consumption only tablets (Apple) and allow for competition on price(Google, et all). As Atom becomes more feasible MS will be able to introduce a tablet that can consume all day but can also run office and legacy; improving upon the area now occupied by the RT. Were they not to follow such a strategy, consumers would be forced to either carry two devices, choose one or leave for a competitor.
Section 2: A problem of perspective
It is my opinion that a great deal of the disagreement on these topics stems from the presupposition of (1) what a tablet is and (2) what a tablet is used for. I think it is foolish to define a tablet by the feature lists of two products(iPad and Android). Restricting ourselves to this view disallows the possibility of properly evaluating other iterations of touch capable computers.