So there’s another Window’s RT tablet coming out from Microsoft. They’re going to have another go at it, as I figured they would. While people debate the foolishness of this move, it’s a bit more interesting to think about what Microsoft would need to do with the product to make this round more successful.
With mobile devices, there’s a lot of places improvement could happen. Price may be the first area where a little tweaking could make up for a lot. Adding a bit more speed to any product makes a big difference, as well. In mobile world, a big competitive value seems to be in battery life – at least for the pundits. All these are good assumptions and I would assume a lot of these are in the works for the Surface line. What about other ways to move the dial?
The aspect we haven’t touched on is the software. Really, there’s nothing much to do for the OS. It takes heaven and earth it seems to make changes with a Microsoft operating system, and to be honest, it’s pretty nice as it is. The other thing that bears overlooking is the app count that people are so excited to point out. The important thing is not quantity, it’s quality. Only a minuscule amount of people actually travel down the long tail of apps looking for a gem in the rough and over the last few months Microsoft has been making in-roads to getting the more popular ones on RT.
It’s worth noting that RT will never be molded into running regular Windows programs. That’s plainly not the direction Microsoft is heading. With the same Windows name though, people aren’t going to let that go easily. This is essentially where the rub is with RT tablets. It’s not price, color, or anything else.
Microsoft is not going to get a clean break from legacy Windows (after all, Apple didn’t have that luxury, either) and if it wants customers to embrace RT, it needs to supply what people use windows computers for the most. They need to bring fully-functional Microsoft Office to RT. It could be a cloud implementation or fully functional extension of Office365, as long as it has the capability to run Excel, Word and Outlook, they’ll see the sales results they are hoping for.
If Microsoft can app-ify Office, then the world is their oyster – especially the business world – a market nearly virgin to most tablets. Having Office available on RT would effectively silence the critics screaming, “What good is Windows RT if it doesn’t run Windows [Office] programs?”, which is really unfair to begin with, as no other mobile OS does, either.