Why will Microsoft’s “Surface” tablet/netbook computer succeed, especially in large organizations and schools? Forget about words like “innovation,” “gamechanging,” and “disruption.” The reasons for likely success are really quite simple. There are two.
Reason number one:
Reason number two:
Taken together these two product elements — MS Office and a keyboard — respond to the corporate decisionmaker’s dilemma, which can be boiled down to very simple requirements when considering new technology:
“I want to be hip, innovative, and revolutionary and change how my organization works.”
“Can the thing run Word?”
There are still some hurdles, of course.
Sometimes being evolutionary instead of revolutionary means that there’s a lot of baggage that needs to be dragged along, accommodated, and paid for. I expect that integrating all those legacy apps and systems with the Surface will provide a lot of work for IT departments and consultants. I assume the big consulting firms and contractors already have marketing literature ready describing how tools such as the Surface can become part of one seamless, well oiled, enterprise machine alongside the already-accepted Microsoft architectures.
On the other hand, Microsoft’s willingness to “break the mold” with the new Windows 8 interface suggests there’s a lot of risk taking potential that may even extend to shaking up the vast ecosystem of co-dependent developers, integrators, and trainers that have grown up around its product family over the years. That may be the most profound change coming down the pike.
Copyright (c) 2012 by Dennis D. McDonald. Dennis consults on collaborative project management and technology strategy from Alexandria Virginia. Contact him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.