If you’re into new technology, then you probably heard and read about all the hype and rumors that led up to Microsoft’s secret press conference yesterday. With all the chatter on social media, blogs, Web sites and other media channels; I was anxious to see what they had unveiled. But did what they unveil live up to all the hype or was it a big letdown?
I understand how businesses would want to create a lot of hype before their big press conferences. Hype attracts more media and attracts more attention resulting in more traffic to their site and hopefully more sales. Auto manufacturers tend to build up the hype right before the big auto shows. Others build up a lot of hype leading up to big conventions and gatherings like E3, SouthBySouthwest, and Apple’s Developer Conference. I think Microsoft was a little jealous of how much hype Apple gets before it’s big press conferences and followed in their footsteps for their great unveiling. Microsoft definitely did a good job of building up the hype and talk prior to thier big unveiling. People were predicting everything from a Microsoft television to an iPad killer to a Xbox controller/tablet/phone super machine. What they ended up revealing though was the Surface. It’s a tablet computer that looks to be a competitor against the iPad and possibly netbook computers.
So did it live up to the hype? Yes, no and maybe. I think it has some interesting technology like the magnetic cover that is also a keyboard. The confusing part is that they released two versions. One runs on the upcoming Windows 8 while the other runs on Windows RT, a mobile OS. One seems to be more of a tablet competing against the iPad while the other looks to be more of a netbook competitor with a faster processor and an OS that it will share with regular computers. It does make me wonder if Microsoft was torn at which way to go with the Surface and ended up going both ways. I could see one of the versions eventually becoming obsolete down the road as more people buy the other version. One thing I think could have helped it live up to the hype is if they integrated it with the Xbox system. Imagine playing Xbox games on it or using it as a Xbox controller. That would appeal to the millions of gamers out there. The biggest let down though and the reason why most people really can’t cast any judgment yet is that they didn’t release any info on the battery life or the price points–two very important things a consumer looks at when purchasing a tablet or netbook computer.
In the end, I think Microsoft did a good job of creating a lot of buzz, rumors, hype and talk before the big unveiling. There are still a few questions that need to be answered but overall, I came away somewhat impressed which is huge for someone that most would label as an Apple-Fanboy. Living up to the hype can be a daunting task, especially when the company is partly responsible for building the hype and fanning the flames of the rumor mills. If done right, it can be a great way to increase awareness of your product or service, but if done wrong, it can sink your product or service before it ever goes on sale. For competitions sake, I’m hoping that the Surface is a success and will push Apple to create even better iPads.