You’re seen the headlines and read the news. Microsoft is back, baby! The company managed to shoehorn Windows 10 into a tablet-notebook hybrid device and created a whole new category of personal computer that is doing so well the company just launched a MacBook killer.
If you don’t believe that Microsoft is back and seeking vengeance on Apple and the Mac, just look at the new Surface Laptop running Windows 10 S. It’s a MacBook killer. It must be true because I read the articles and saw the headlines.
Or, is this just another expensive blunder from Microsoft?
The proof, as they say, is in the taste of the pudding, and Microsoft’s pudding seems to have soured somewhat. PC sales are down again and so are Microsoft’s Surface notebooks and hybrids. Yes. That’s right. Sales are down again. Down. As in not going up. And not staying the same. How can that be? Isn’t the Surface Studio supposed to be an iMac killer? Wasn’t Windows Phone supposed to have 15-percent marketshare already? What about all those television commercials that make iPads and MacBooks look silly because television?
Alright, let me do the math. Here’s how product marketing works all over the world. To unseat an industry leader, a new competitor must take one of these two directions; 1) build a better product and sell it at about the same price (otherwise, what’s the compelling reason to switch?), or, 2) build a product that’s about the same as the leader, but sell it at a lower price point (otherwise, what’s the compelling reason to switch?).
So, Microsoft introduced the new Surface Laptop– the one technology websites and Microsoft apologists are calling a MacBook killer. Some even called it a Chromebook killer, but let’s dismiss that out of hand. The Surface Laptop starts at $999 while most Chromebooks start at $299.
Worse, the Surface Laptop comes with a crippled version of Windows, this one called Windows 10 S. Microsoft crippled this version of Windows so it wouldn’t compete quite so well with the Windows versions it sells to OEMs and uses on its own Surface tablet-notebook hybrid PCs.
Yeah, Windows 10 S customers won’t be able to run regular Windows applications. Instead, they’re limited to only those apps available on the Windows Store. So, no Google Chrome for you, Windows 10 S user. But if you want all those Windows apps that Microsoft doesn’t want you to buy and use, pay Microsoft $50 for the privilege and you’re good to go.
Imagine all the noise and static Apple would receive if it limited macOS to only apps on the Mac App Store but charged $50 for the privilege of unlocking the Mac so it could download and install non-Mac App Store applications.
Windows 10 S is sufficiently crippled that it gets better battery life, so there’s that.
What about the Surface Laptop? OK, it won’t kill any Chromebook, but Microsoft’s partners in manufacturing can also sell devices with Windows 10 S (the Windows that doesn’t cost them anything) and those have been announced already. Starting at $299. About the same as entry-level Chromebooks.
What about the Surface Laptop that will kill the MacBook? It’s more of a girly girly machine aimed at ‘womenfolk‘ says Jack Miller.
Specifications make it more masculine than Apple’s entry-level MacBook line at a lower entry-level price tag and with higher capacity options. Pound for pound, a 256GB SSD and 8GB of RAM in a MacBook is priced at $1,299, same as the Microsoft Surface laptop, but the latter has faster CPUs inside, and options to go to 16GB of RAM and 512GB SSD which puts it more in line with a MacBook Pro and both, similarly equipped, are priced the same at $2,199.
The pictures are priceless.
As to Microsoft being back, well, the company still makes money hand over fist, but not because of Surface tablet-notebook hybrids. Those are not selling so well.