Nov
28
2013
0

Microsoft Surface Team at MVP Summit

PB210253I was incredibly privileged to meet the Microsoft Surface team last week in Redmond at the annual MVP Summit. A person that really stood out was Panos Panay – the head of Microsoft Surface. He featured in the video below that I recently posted (design story).

Panos Panay is certainly an interesting character. He was a captivating and formidable presenter.

The inside word at MS is that his alternate career path was as a professional gambler. And maybe that’s not far apart from being the head of Microsoft Surface.

Personally I couldn’t stop comparing Panos to Ben Stiller’s magician in Arrested Development – “Tony Wonder.”

See what you think:

Maybe you had to be there… And watch the show… Crickets…

What I was impressed with is how engaged the folks at Surface were. We met with Panos Panay and Brian Hall. Both made themselves readily available for direct questions and discussions, despite their seniority and importance at Microsoft. There is little doubt to me that these guys are the future of Microsoft, but there they were, talking and engaging with 150 MVPs – 10 Surface MVPs and 1 Tablet and Touch MVP – me).

In the group session I asked Panos for his thoughts on the Wacom Pen in Surface Pro. “Is it just an after-thought? Or is it an integral part of the experience?”

His response was interesting.”What is the use case for 200 million people?” It is a good question. I suggested that the team take note of how many people carry pen and paper to meetings along with their tablets (iPad of course is the worst offender).

I did get a sense that Panos and the team are all on board with the pen. They are looking for ways to get the message across to a lot of people, and that is re-assuring.

We met with Ed Guiano, the head of Surface Engineering who oozed enthusiasm for his product. And it is a product worthy of such enthusiasm. Ed was incredibly forthright and knowledgeable. He certainly came across as someone that you would want leading your product engineering team.

The marketing team for Surface were accessible, open, dedicated and charged up.

On the other hand folks from the Windows tablet team were not present. There were plenty of great sessions on Consumer Apps, Windows 8.1 features and experiences, but nothing specifically on tablets (apart from Surface). Maybe that’s because only one Tablet and Touch MVP attended – me. There aren’t many of us left anyway in the Tablet and Touch specialty. But I hope that doesn’t mean that Microsoft are putting all of their efforts into Surface.

Surface is currently two amazing and worthy tablets. But they a not suited to everyone and never will be.

The strength of the Windows tablet sphere has always been variety of hardware. Let’s hope the OEMs like Dell, Lenovo, Sony, Fujitsu, Panasonic and Motion have their effort reflected by Microsoft with enthusiasm for their products like we saw from the Surface team last week.

Written by admin in: Tablet PC | Tags: , , , , ,
Apr
30
2013
0

Tablet PC Marketing: Telling the design story

Apple of course set the standard for telling the design story and now Microsoft is following the course with its Surface Pro Windows 8 Tablet PC.

Having visited our friends at Motion Computing in Austin Texas I can tell you that Tablet PC hardware companies are full of stories like this.

For example, did you know that Motion Computing pioneered Gorilla Glass with Corning on the F5? They were the first to use it. Direct bonding for displays? Motion and DuPont. Wide View displays? Motion were involved again. Who’s telling the story? I think hardware companies take this for granted.

Lenovo is an example of a company that is telling the design story. Over at their Yamato Labs blog you will find intricate detail on the Lenovo ThinkPad 2 tablet design.

Personally I’d rate the ThinkPad 2 as the best business companion tablet on the market and you can see from this blog how intelligent industrial design produced that result.

The trouble is that not enough effort goes into telling these stories, but they are incredibly important to the consumers who purchase these devices. Design stories provide the points of logical differentiation that helps you to justify your purchase.

I’d love to see Motion, Lenovo, Samsung and Fujitsu produce a polished video for each of their Tablet PCs like the one Microsoft have produced above for the Surface Pro.

They each have design stories to tell that are just as good if not better than Microsoft’s.

It surely couldn’t have cost much to do. There are no actors there. It’s professionally shot of course. A little bit of script writing would be done to add polish. I can’t see how you could spend $10 grand on it. Worth doing?

Which Tablet PC would you purchase? The Tablet PC with a design story or the cheap one? If Apple is anything to go by you’d go with the story.

Apr
24
2013
0

How a Tablet PC should be marketed!

Here’s what’s just awesome about Microsoft’s marketing for the Surface Pro.

  1. They’re doing it. They’re actually marketing the crap out of this thing.

    Billboard, TV, online – they’re really going for this.

  2. It’s not just another PC in the range, it is the range.

    Microsoft have a team (or teams) of people dedicated to just two products.

    Other big Windows 8 Tablet Makers just put the thing up on their website buried in the Notebooks section. They don’t seem to realise that their PC business is dying let alone what they should do about it (market the tablets!).

  3. They’re telling a story that’s true.

    What the Surface people are showing in their marketing might not represent your working environment (as seen in the following video) but you can see yourself in it.

On the flip side, since Microsoft seem to be the only Windows 8 Tablet manufacturer actually marketing too many people will rush out and buy a Surface Pro next month without considering some of the better alternatives.

Not that they’d be disappointed with the Surface Pro. It’s an awesome tablet PC.

Written by admin in: Tablet PC | Tags: , , ,

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